For a side considered also-rans at World Cups, the Romanians have a very respectable qualification record for the tournament, having reached every single World Cup. And though the Oaks have never got past the group stage, they have finished bottom of their pool only once, in 1995.
That World Cup was the only one in which Romania failed to pick up a win, as they were defeated 34-3 by Canada in Port Elizabeth. Coupled with comprehensive defeats to Australia and South Africa, that campaign was Romania’s worst by some distance at a World Cup.
In 1987 they managed a narrow win over Zimbabwe in their opening pool match, before France put them to the sword. The Oaks restored pride in a defeat to Scotland, in which they managed to put 28 points past the Scots.
Four years later, but for a 19-11 defeat to Canada in Toulouse, the Romanians would surely have reached the knock-out stages, after surprisingly seeing off Fiji 17-15. In 1999 defeats to Australia and Ireland sat either side of another encouraging victory over the USA.
A record 90-8 defeat to hosts Australia rather marred their 2003 campaign, but they nevertheless recorded a win against Namibia to stay above bottom place. Similarly last time out in 2007, though they suffered humblings against the Southern Hemisphere nations, they pushed Italy all the way before going down 24-18 and beat Portugal 14-10, suggesting that on their day Romania could pose some problems to even the most experienced sides.
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