By Phil Caplan, Date: 27/4/13
The Russian domestic season got underway in the Moscow Region with menâ€™s, womenâ€™s and colleges 9-a-side tournaments. Vereya Bears won the eight-team menâ€™s competition, while southern university side Don State won the womenâ€™s and collegeâ€™s Gagarin Cups.
Vereya, MSPU (Moscow Pedagogical University), Centaur and new side RCTU- formed by a graduate of the Vereya production line – played in Group A, with Storm, Schelkovo Pandas, Threshers and Crystal making up Group B. Vereya and Storm won the groups, beating Rostov outfit Crystal and MSPU in the play-offs, the Bears taking a hotly contested final 16-14.
The 9s event was a prelude to the start of the Russian championship, which begins this weekend. Storm and Vereya do battle again while MGPU take on Threshers in the Centre Conference. The Russian rugby leagueâ€™s plan is for the winners of the four-team North-West and South Conferences to play off with the two highest ranked Centre Conference teams.