100 years of rugby in Catalonia was celebrated yesterday with a game against Ukraine, who fielded their first ever XVs selection.
Ukraine have a successful history of sevens rugby - they won the European Sevens Trophy earlier this year - but had never previously fielded a XVs team.
As part of Catalonia's centenary celebrations, Ukraine were invited to send a team. The Ukraine federation pulled together players from all over Europe, including half of the victorious sevens from the Trophy for the game at Foixarda in Barcelona.
The Catalonia included several Spanis internationals and every tackle, run and ruck was fought to the end by the Ukrainians
Mario Sans' Catalonia team sweated hard to get the first try , which came just before the break and was scored by winger Alba Camacho after a great play.
Camacho herself extended the score at the beginning of the second half, and although the 10 to 0 could have begun a rain of local tries, the Ukrainians again gritted their teeth to hold on to the game.
A splendid run by Yelyzaveta Havrylova crossing the entire field gave the visitors their first ever XVs try and made it 10 to 7 on the scoreboard. The try celebrated with great emotion by the scorer and all her colleagues, a sign of the meaning of this confrontation for Ukraine
The excitement lasted until the end, literally, since it wasn't until the last minute that captain Anna Puig's try ensured a Catalan victory 15-7.