SUN AND WOLVES 2
A SHORT ASTRONOMICAL EXPEDITION
COSMIC ROMANIA 39
-text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
design Florin Alexandru Stancu
special guests Dominic Diamant and Felician Ursache-
“Old friend, a wind of spring comes,
And the voice from the depths,
Which calls us with a so clear resonance,
Says that we must be proud and courageous.
Listen to the spirit of Eternal Dacia
And smile without fear.
The light which grows and settles
Will never disappear.”
- Dominic Diamant,
from The Spirit of Eternal Dacia,
Did you know that in Bucharest
there is a rugby club for children
entitled just… Geto-Dacians?
Their emblem reproduces the ancient flag of the Romanians’ ancestors,
a wolf head with a snake body,
which was overtook by Romans and “transported” to Britain,
where it became also an important fight symbol for locals,
whose followers, under the same Sun,
invented much later the rugby game.
In October 2012
I surrounded a few times the Triumph Arch in Bucharest,
thinking it was the last season when I could see Bucharest Wolves
(some of the followers of the antique Dacian warriors),
who used to play their matches in the Amlin Challenge Cup
on the close national rugby stadium.
But in January 2013
the Dacian goddess of Moon,
appeared accompanied by Jupiter and Aldebaran,
and said to me to keep close to that stadium.
After a few weeks,
the Dacian god of Sun,
also said to me to keep close to the same stadium…
So in March 2013 I caught a sunset
with the Casin Church…
…and then a dusk…
…and in April I caught the Triumph Arch
among magnolia stellata blossoms…
…and among cherry blossoms.
Suddenly, also in April, I heard that in 25 May
Romania A will play a special match
against an international combined team conjencturally named All Stars.
So I counted the days between the New Moon…
…and the Full Moon…
…and in the beginning of May
I watched the Moon timidly lowering during the day time.
Then in 12 May
I saluted the Sun.
In rugby union,
teams A traditionally represent the second national teams.
In this respect,
Romania A (named Constructorul, Bucharest B or Romania XV)
had its first good times in the 1950s,
when it was visited by very important teams from France, Wales and England
(the most powerful rugby forces in the northern hemisphere)
and obtained admirable results:
3-0 Perpignan (the vice-champion of France),
5-16 Swansea, 0-10 London Harlequins, and 6-9 Cardiff.
Then two matches crowned the history of this team:
-Romania A - France A 12-18 in 1968;
-Romania A - England A 12-13 in 1978!
In 1981, almost incredibly,
Romania A (named South Romania)
confronted at Constanta the best team in the world,
New Zealand (All Blacks),
and gave an extraordinary reply: score 9-25!
And in 1989
Romania A defeated even the champion of the Pacific Ocean,
(Let’s take a break
seeing the sunrise from 24 May 2013.)
But after the Romanian Revolution (December 1989),
the beginning of professionalism (1995)
and the general decline of the rugby game in Romania,
many Romanian players went to much stronger national championships
(France, UK, Italy and even Australia).
So the idea of the Romania A team
collapsed for a while.
But in 2003 (the year when England became world champion),
an excellent occasion for the re-birth of the second national team appeared,
this time as the selected team of the Romanian championship:
a special match, Romania A - England Counties
(the selected team of the 3rd English league) 24-26.
This new beginning continued in the Challenge Cup,
for which the combined team of the Romanian championship
became a national superclub: Bucharest Rugby (2004-2008),
Bucharest Oaks (2008-2011) and Bucharest Wolves (2011-2013).
Parallelly, Romania A received other exceptional visits:
-In 2005, Warratachs (the runner-up of Super 12,
championship of the franchises in the southern hemisphere;
in fact, the selected team of the first Australian state, New South Wales),
that defeated two variants of Romania A
(33-14 Black Sea Barbarians and 58-20 President’s XV).
-In 2007, Crawshay’s Welsh RFC (or Welsh Barbarians,
founded in 1922 and representing the Welsh variant of
the universal invitational club, Barbarians FC),
that defeated (Romanian) President’s XV, 22-18.
And in 2008, with a main coach from New Zealand,
Romania A started to an extraordinary expedition to the southern hemisphere
for five matches:
35-7 Marist Auckland (from the Premier Reserve of New Zealand),
13-25 Auckland Development
(the perspective team of New Zealand’s champion in 2007),
12-14 Waikato Development
(the perspective team of New Zealand’s champion in 2006),
21-40 Samoa A and 13-31 Fiji A!
And now, after 5 years,
Romania A had to play another special match,
this time against a team composed of the best foreign players
from the Romanian Superleague (they came from New Zealand, South Africa,
Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Namibia. Georgia and Moldova)
plus a few Romanian players from other championships (France, Wales, Italy).
So, on the morning of that day (25 May 2013)
I tried to honor Zamolxis again
watching the sunrise.
Then, still following the Sun,
I went with my fellow Felician Ursache to the national ruby stadium,
where, for the first time in the 3rd millennium,
we saw a “haka”
(Maori war ritual coming from the sun-god Tama-mi-te-ra,
which is performed by All Blacks before their matches.)
we saw the Ka Mate variant
(its text being composed in 1820 by Te Rauparaka
to celebrate the Sun and its protector),
which was performed by All Stars
just because their captain was a player from New Zealand,
who tried to transmit to his team
the spirit of fight from the country with the best rugby in the world.
Then the match was very spectacular and,
as a superior addition,
adorned by a beautiful sunset,
while the final score was 28-28.
Felician photographed me as a witness
of the re-transformation of Bucharest Wolves into Romania A,
and then we departed
admiring the Triumph Arch in the colors of the twilight.
But for us
the end of the match was just the beginning of a new astronomical expedition,
which had to crown that special day.
- photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe and Felician Ursache
poem Andrei Dorian Gheorghe-
Six months after we had successfully caught
a total solar eclipse in Australia
and one hour after we watched
a festive multinational rugby match,
my fellow Felician and I tried another celestial hunt,
this time in the Herastrau Park, Bucharest, Romania,
where, over the lake,
the World Trade Center, two twin towers and the Press Palace
rummaged our feelings
in that pressing waiting, seeming to become
A bird just wanted to show us
that in the sky
there are more levels
in the idea to fly.
The three planets slowly appeared,
but soon, under them,
a supplementary body passed in a hurry,
it could be
an artificial planet,
a white hole,
or even a rugby ball.
Then we thought that maybe
the Press Palace honored us printing up there
Venus, Jupiter and Mercury
right for my fellow and me.
But soon after this episode,
I heard that the Amlin Challenge Cup will prolong the same system
still one season (2013/2014),
before being reformed at the request of the English clubs,
so Romania A will be admitted again as Bucharest Wolves,
this time officially becoming the Next Representative Team of Romania!
So, until October 2013,
I caught a sunrise series short before the summer solstice,
thinking that the Thraco-Dacians used to celebrate the longest day
through dance and music,
and certainly Orpheus was born from these rituals.
One day after the autumn equinox
I thought of Gebeleizis,
the Dacian god of the cloudy sky.
And in 26 September I simply thought just of
the beauty of the sky.
The new start of Bucharest Wolves coincided
with the (autumn) Astronomy Day (12 October 2013),
but it seems that the adversary,
(founded in 1877,
former champion of England and semifinalist in the Challenge Cup,
recent finalist in the British-Irish Cup,
and now a multinational team),
came along with the British fog.
The magical Welsh coach of the Wolves (and of Romania)
tried to make a big surprise,
his players had 12-3,
but the Falcons obtained the victory in the last by one phase (13-12).
After the match I felt a double frustration
and I wrote a pseudo-quatrain:
We’ve lost, maybe because
For a day of rugby
I’ve just betrayed
The Day of Astronomy!
Then a vision with sunrays over the rugby half-ball
of the Romanian Exhibition building
…and one week after,
I re-discovered that rugby and astronomy can be friends:
on a beautiful weather,
Bucharest Wolves defeated Cami Calvisano from Italy
(followers of the strong Roman fighters),
37-15, after an excellent match!
I don’t know how the selected team of the Romanian rugby championship
will continue to play in the future:
as Romania A, as Romanian President’s XV, or as Black Sea Barbarians…
but I know that I preferred to end here,
with a victory in a sunny day,
the story of Bucharest Wolves
just because they were the followers of the brave Dacians,
a species of antique winners
(in fact, they did not lose the war with the Romans
just because 166 years after the Roman Empire had partially conquered Dacia,
the Roman administration was forced by the Feee Dacians
to return to the south of the Danube River!)
the Sun on their shields
oval like a rugby-ball!
© 2015 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)