Planet Rugby

Bucharest aiming high despite loss

15th October 2013 13:01


Catalin Fercu bucharest wolves

Tough loss: Catalin Fercu

Bucharest Wolves coach Lyn Howells is adamant his side can take plenty of positives from their Amlin Challenge Cup defeat.

The Wolves went down at home to Premiership outfit Newcastle Falcons by the narrowest of margins, eventually succumbing to a 12-13 loss.

Though the coach concedes the manner defeat, with a 77th minute Tom Catterick penalty denying the Wolves a famous victory, was tough to handle, he is convinced his team have many causes for optimism.

"We have never beaten an English team and I really thought this was going to be it," Howells told the ERC website.

"It was pretty cruel in the end because we should have won and I don't think many would have argued with that. We just lacked a bit of experience in the final few minutes to close out the game.

"But overall I was so pleased with the players; they gave everything and deserved more against a team that included six regular first-team players from the Premiership. And they had to bring on another four off the bench to get the win.

"It was very pleasing from a national point of view as well. I was looking for another option at No10 so we played our scrum-half there and he went really well. It has given me another option for Bucharest and for Romania."

The loss left the Wolves at the bottom of their pool, but Howells remains confident the Hungarian side can push for qualification to the knockout stages.

Having overcome their next opponents, Calvisano, in last year's campaign (who held Brive to a draw in the pool's other opening fixture), and beaten French side Agen, the coach's buoyancy may be well-placed.

"It's a game that we have to target for a win," added Howells.

"We beat them last season but they have obviously improved a lot after taking Brive all the way last week. We have three home games in a row and we want to get a couple of wins under our belt.

"This pool is wide open. We should have beaten Newcastle but they will have to concentrate on staying up in the Aviva Premiership and Brive will have to focus on the Top 14, so there is a big opportunity for either ourselves or Calvisano to push for top spot. The next game could have a big bearing on that."

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