The Croatian national rugby team sits at the top of the 2018–19 Rugby Europe International Championships Conference 1 South table after beating old foes Israel in Zagreb on Saturday with a try in added time.
Croatia, who beat Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica and Cyprus in Split earlier this month, came from behind to steal a last-second victory over Israel at Stjepan Spajić stadium in the Croatian capital today.
Israel took the lead through a penalty before Croatia scored the first try of the match when Krešimir Čorić dotted down after a great rolling after a lineout ten metres out.
Croatia led at the break 7-3.
Israel narrowed the gap to just one point early in the second half through another penalty and went ahead 9-7 with their third penalty of the game in the 59th minute.
Croatia took the lead again with 12 minutes to go left winger Marko Grčić finished off a good move out wide. Israel went ahead again with a penalty and a try to lead 16-12.
With time up on the clock, Croatia had lineout close to the Israel line again and it was almost a replica of their first try when a powerful rolling maul saw hooker Čorić dive over for the match-winning try.
Croatia has taken a big step to become champions of the conference and now face Malta who is in second place next. The champions will advance to the playoffs for a spot in the Trophy division.
CROATIA 19-16 ISRAEL
CROATIA: 1. Biškić, 2. Čorić, 3. Perlain, 4. Budimir, 5. Brajkovic, 6. Owen, 7. Ozich, 8. Rowe, 9. Rosso, 10. Ayoub, 11. Grčić, 12. Jurišić (C), 13. Rudić, 14. Vlajčević, 15. Plazibat. Coach: Milan Yelavich