Bravo England on 18 in a row but Cyprus beat rats, kicks and punches for 24 | Simon Burnton

England may have felt aggrieved at missing out on topping New Zealand’s 18 consecutive wins, but they would still have been five behind the mighty Mouflons

The report on the official website of the Cyprus Rugby Federation of the team’s resounding victory over Azerbaijan in 2008 makes for interesting reading. Among the indignities endured by the travelling team in Baku were “two hours at immigration awaiting entry visas, four hours’ sleep, poor accommodation and no real food”, singing their anthem “to the bemusement of the opposition”, who didn’t bother with their own, their flanker having “his cheekbone smashed by a stray elbow” – “his assailant went unnoticed”, it is noted, while the victim “will require surgery to correct his smashed face” – and “a cowardly attack” on one of their props that “saw him being kicked, punched and pushed”. In the accompanying photograph the team is pictured upon a field that boasts only a passing acquaintance with grass.

Related: Eddie Jones: ‘We were just not good enough – we still have a lot to do’

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March 20th, 2017 by