All those that attended the last game against Andorra in Paphos will recall the try of the season by Jack Antoniou -- now sadly recovering from surgery and unavailable -that swung the game in favour of the Moufflons
Before the game, coach Paul Shanks had emphasised "it's about basics," and that's where the Moufflons
lost it as the Latvians bossed them from the start.
Rick Wadmore, the team manager and development officer, said: "Quite frankly, I am staggered by the number of supporters coming forward wanting information about the leagues, academies, TAG competitions (non-contact rugby for 6-12 year olds) and of course, the Moufflons
are held in high regard by their European opponents because of the speed and robust commitment shown in the tackle.
Now that the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (RIK) have allied with us we can bring the game to a far wider audience which I hope will deliver the young players that can become the Moufflons
of the future.
The only country to beat Cyprus in the last six years is Latvia, who beat the Moufflons
39-20 in November, but who were in turn crushed by the Lithuanians 46-11 -- which gives an indication of the strength of the side.
captain Marco Mladenovic reminded his players that following the Lithuania game they will be participating in the European Sevens Cup the following month, and if they achieve their divisional position (3rd) by again beating Germany, they will go into the 2016 Olympic play-offs: Rugby Sevens is now an official Olympic team sport.
With their world record streak of 24 wins ended by Latvia in Riga in November, the Moufflons
are building for the future.
Nicosia, Paphos and Limassol all have qualified coaches that give up their time every Saturday morning to train up the next generation of Moufflons
Fresh from a convincing 30-10 victory over Andorra two weeks ago, the Moufflons
now face a team that has defeated Israel -- the only country to have beaten Cyprus.
It was taken for granted that the countries would be stronger, more seasoned, and certainly more experienced and more than likely better financed -- as the Moufflons
are tragically aware, in Cyprus, success does not attract funding, unless it relates to football -- and the further the sides travel in the European divisions, the more likely to encounter national teams staffed by professional or semi-professional players.
The Andorrans came out determined to squash the opposition: the Moufflons
being the only small country in Europe without a major sponsor and whose players are all amateurs.