‘Russian rugby team moving in right direction’

Despite a defeat to Italy in their second game at the Rugby World Cup, Russian lock Aleksandr Voytov found plenty of positives in his team’s display.

­“The final scoreline looks discouraging, but not the game itself, I think,” Aleksandr Voytov told RT. “Unfortunately we couldn't score a fourth try and were left without a bonus point. But it’s worth saying that the team managed to put it up to Italy for large periods.”

Italy won Tuesday’s game with a solid margin of 53-17, but World Cup debutants Russia managed to collect their first-ever try in the competition and at some moments looked very competitive, playing against an a much more experienced side.

But Voytov stressed that there are plenty of elements in his team’s game which still need improvement, the scrum in particular.

“The scrum is an element which involves a lot of technique and team work, not just physical strength,” he said. “I have to admit that the Italians used it much better than us tonight. But we know how important the pack is, and we always try to improve it.”

The Russians face Pool C leaders from the Republic of Ireland in their next the game, scheduled for Sunday, September 25.

With two losses from two matches, the Rugby World Cup rookies are still looking for their first win of the tournament.

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