Russia keen to bounce back
June 12, 2011
Russia fullback Igor Klyuchnikov is congratulated after his try in the midweek defeat by the Canadians © Getty Images
Northampton-bound winger Vasily Artemyev says that Russia are determined to put their disappointment at losing their Churchill Cup opener against Canada behind them when they meet Italy 'A' in Gloucester on Sunday.
The Russians were three points up at the break in Wednesday's clash with the Canucks at Esher Rugby, thanks in no small part to tries from Artemyev and fullback Igor Klyuchnikov, but they failed to register a single score in the second period as they came out on the wrong end of a 34-18 scoreline.
The manner of the defeat came as a hammer blow to Russia but former Leinster ace Artemyev, who will be plying his trade at Franklin's Gardens next season, insists that they have since been able to draw some positives out of their performance against last year's Churchill Cup runners-up.
"It was disappointing to lose on Wednesday," he said. "The result didn't quite demonstrate what the game consisted of. The initial emotion was frustration but then afterwards, when we got together and looked back at the game, we saw that we were in control for most of it and that was a big positive form previous games, so we'll take that and move on.
"We can definitely be in more control for the entire game and follow the lead of our game makers, so if we can be a bit more composed and keep out cool throughout the full 80 minutes, I think we can eliminate those mistakes."
The Russians must now beat Italy 'A' at Kingsholm to pip the Azzurri to second spot in Pool B. Artemiev admits, though, that that will be easier said than done against a strong and experienced Italian side.
"We've seen they're very physical, with a good midfield including some strong runners," he said. "They're very strong up front and obviously have some international players in the squad, so it's definitely going to be a physical encounter with a good bit of kicking too."
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