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Artemyev helps Russia off to winning start; Academy trio all see action.

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Russia faced Spain in Sochi, and although the city is the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics it was rain, not snow, which dominated proceedings.

Russia scored the game's only try through Mikhail Babaev, with Igor Klyuchnikov adding the conversion and two penalties. Spain's replies came via a Jaime Nava penalty and two Cesar Sempere drop goals.

"We started well and spent most of the first half in Spain's half of the pitch and having most of the possession," Artemyev commented. "We scored one good try from a set piece lineout move but failed to convert on a couple more occasions when we came within inches from Spain's try line.

"Our defence was solid all throughout the game as we only gave away one kickable penalty to Spain. We definitely earned a deserved though hard-fought victory."

Russia are in action this coming Saturday, playing Romania in their second match of the winter.

Also in action this weekend were the trio of Saints youngsters on dual registration with National League One clubs.

Lock Alex Woolford and hooker Matt Williams came off the bench to help Coventry beat Tynedale 29-19 and move up to seventh in the NL1 table. Darrell Dyer also got game time for Cambridge in their narrow 7-9 home loss to high-flying Richmond.

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