FAN'S VIEW: Amlin odyssey - Bucharest to Agen via Budapest
Supporter Glyn Edwards provides a first-hand take on life in Europe with Bath Rugby...
Bucharest is a friendly and interesting city that has not yet fully escaped from its former communist personality.
The Wolves of Bucharest - formed each year specifically for participation in the Amlin Challenge Cup - are a 'club' side assembled from the best Romanian rugby players still based in their home country and is, effectively, the Romanian 'A' national team.
Some travelling Bath supporters felt that the 40-17 victory on Saturday was a rather disappointing return for Gary Gold's men, and had obviously expected a somewhat more emphatic scoreline.
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No-one in BB&W will be at all happy with the two tries conceded, but the Wolves deserved at least some reward for their 80 minutes of solid effort.
Whilst a five-point win was no doubt the minimum result expected by the squad - and of the squad by the coaches - I felt that the numerous younger players who took the field far from let their followers down, even if few are likely to feature in the next game against Agen.
The two 'Wills' - Skuse and Spencer - looked very comfortable at this level, and it was good to see Ben Williams injury-free at last. Olly Woodburn returned to continue his fine form from last season and, after a nervy start, our other remaining Olly - Devoto - reminded us of his huge potential, and scored his first Bath try to underline it.
Perhaps the most intruiging aspect of this contest was the appearance - for the final quarter - of Kyle Eastmond, who slotted in at fly-half as if he had played there routinely.
A bold experiment, maybe - and this was not Premiership or Heineken Cup opposition, of course - but he convincingly demonstrated that he possesses genuine kicking-from-hand skills to match the silky feet and strength in the tackle that we have already witnessed this season.
At the time of writing, Erica and I are in Budapest - the 'Paris of central Europe' - on our rather convoluted route to Agen in southern France. What a shame that rugby is not yet 'de rigueur' in Hungary!
However, our train guard from Bucharest to Budapest was a former water polo international and a current national official and referee, as well as being a dedicated and knowledgable rugby aficionado. Like Paulica Ion also once told me, he regretted that the end of communism in Romania in 1989 had seen them overtaken by Italy in the race to turn the 5 Nations into 6.
From a purely rugby perspective, Western democratic freedoms have not delivered funding levels to match the investment of the old regime - and rugby in Romania is very much the poorer for it.