Wales Dragonhearts fought hard to earn a 40-32 win over the German national side that contained some professional players.
The Dragonhearts, the representative side of the community ranks in Wales, were disappointed to have their first match of the tour against British Army Germany called off on the day, so were extra determined to do well in this game.
It was deadlock at half-time after both sides scored three tries and converted twice. Ethan Coombes, who has scored tries in almost every game he’s played this season in his debut rugby league campaign with Valley Cougars and South Wales Scorpions Development, opened the scoring in Osnabrück on Saturday with Mike Hurley converting.
Dafydd Phillips and Sam Baker each added scores for Wales before the break, Hurley converting the first.
Germany replied with tries from Andy Hoggins, Ben Dent and Ben White, Dent converting the first two, to set up an action packed second half, which Wales edged, scoring five tries to three. Dean Higgs led the way for Wales with a brace, with his fellow Cougars Ross Price, Craig Lewis and Liam Watton also crossing. Hurley added two more goals.
Benedikt Esser was first to hit back for Germany with Mitch Evers’ personal tally of 12 points, two tries and two conversions, not being enough to give his side the win.
German Rugby League Vice President Simon Cooper spoke of the progress made by the German players:
“I was very impressed with the way the German Domestic players have made many improvements over the past couple of years. They are now at a level where they can match it against some of the best amateur players in Wales. Obviously the 3 Professional players and Mitch Evers caused the Welsh many problems, but much of the foundation was built by the likes of domestic players Josh Leutenecker, Karsten Brüning, Basti Peter, Marc Zupan, Arne Falk and Eddie Briggs. The German guys after a bit of an indifferent Summer, have shown today the standards they can all reach. Now they have to keep them levels, as we are slowly increasing the numbers of people playing Rugby League in Germany. I believe the players still have much more potential to improve. With the RLEF helping us to improve our Coaching Skills as well as our match officials, we believe that we as a Team as well as individuals can come forward and keep improving in many areas. We look forward to the next stage of our improvement.”