The honours have been shared as the Serbian rugby league season comes to an end, after Partizan held on to defeat rivals Red Star 32-26 to win the inaugural, regional Balkan Super League title, at the FK BASK Arena in the capital city, in the second ‘battle of Belgrade.’
The competition, which is scheduled to expand in 2018 with more nations and teams involved, also featured sides from Turkey, Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The week before, for the second time in their history, Red Star became Serbian champions after defeating Partizan 44-22 in the SRL Grand Final, held at the Ada Ciganlija Stadium.
The Balkan Super League decider saw the lead change hands four times in the first half. But touchdowns from the competition’s leading try scorer, Vladimir Milutinović, and Branko Čarapić in five minutes in the lead up to the break – which established a 28-16 for Admir Hadžić’s Partizan side – turned out to be crucial.
Red Star’s fight back was too late, Brodie Feeney with a brace of…
Two tries in three minutes at the start of the second half saw the Czech R. emerge triumphant, 26-6, against Hungary at the KFKI Sporttelep in Budapest.
Centre Martin Košťál and second rower Richard Gach did the damage after the break, the visitors running in five tries in all in the first official Test match between the nations. “The game gave us an excellent opportunity to bring through new players and expose them to a higher standard of rugby league,” said Czech assistant coach Petr Šedina. “All six debutants have made us proud of their efforts. The Hungarians fought until the end and earned our respect for the way they contested for 80 minutes. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in Budapest and look forward to welcoming them in less than a month.”
Winger András Nemes crossed for a late, deserved consolation for the hosts.
HRLF official and player Zsolt Luakcs noted: “It was honour to host the Czech Republic on the day of the sixth anniversary of Hungarian Rugby League. Our history st…