It seems that the Game in Europe is continuing to power on. Though not everything is perfect at least a regular set of international competitions is now established and teams know that they have set internationals that they can look forward to in the year. Malta and Denmark had the first of their two matches for the year whilst the European Shield is now 1/4 of the way through their 2 year competition with Italy and Serbia renewing their rivalry which will be interesting to see since t will pit a full domestic Italy team with no imports against the domestic players of Serbia. Canada name their squad for this years internationals while also the BARLA team takes on Jamaica in Kingston.
Malta came from 12-4 down at half-time to defeat a Denmark XIII 24-12 in the first leg of the 2012 Dove Men+Care International Series, at Victor Tedesco Stadium, Hamrun.
Denmark’s Viiga Lima scored a brace of tries to see the Scandinavians ahead at the break after Shaun Gilmour had broken through on the left flank to open the scoring for Malta after a quarter of an hour.
As temperatures tipped 30 degrees pitch side, mistakes crept into the Danish game in the second half and the Maltese took full advantage, Sliema Stompers winger Von Brockdorff scoring in the corner and Cardiff’s Shaun Bartlett helping Malta to the lead after 50 minutes, Dylan Frendo landing a conversion.
Paul Parkinson, a Maltese player in the English north-east regional league, scored a debut try in the 59th minute which Frendo goaled, and another debutant Ed Willis sent the Maltese into victory mode two minutes from time when he scored out wide
Malta coach Anthony Micallef commended the tenacity of his squad. “I’m very proud, the Dove Men+Care Championship has seen local talent develop to a standard where they can chime in with the overseas-based players. We had 10 local players in our 17.”
Danish Rugby League President Rune T.Nordvang rued a series of second half errors that wiped out Denmark’s hopes of victory. “I was very impressed with the first half performance, it was strong but we made a few too many mistakes in the second half. It was a very good game and good learning performance for us to take home for the next leg.”
The second leg, at Gladsaxe Stadion, will be played on September 29th.
2012 Dove Men+Care International Series
(Tries: S.Gilmour, M.Von Brockdorff, S.Bartlett, P.Parkinson, E.Willis; Goals: S.Keep 0 from 2, P.Parkinson 0 from 1, D.Frendo 2 from 3)
Denmark 12 (Tries: V.Lima 2; Goals: R.Naylor 2 from 2)
At Victor Tedesco Stadium, Hamrun
Men of the match: Malta - Shaun Gilmour Denmark – Eugene Hanrahan
Half time: 4-12
Referee: Mr P.Browne (Aus)
EUROPEAN SHIELD: GAME 3 – SERBIA 24 ITALY 18 – Makis Stadium, Belgrade
Serbia came from eight points down to claim their opening victory in the 2012/3 Rugby League European Shield, winning 24-18 in Belgrade as Italy made their bow in the competition.
Two tries in four minutes in the closing stages put the hosts, who had agonisingly lost by a point in Germany in game one, ahead for the first time but it needed a despairing late tackle into touch that denied Romain Pavori to confirm the spoils.
“We needed to be mentally strong, patient and follow our game plan in the second half,” highly satisfied Serbian coach Marko Jankovic commented.
In stifling conditions that reached over 100 degrees pitch side, both sides produced highly commendable performances, although fatigue in the oppressive heat understandably led to dropped ball.
Serbia had the first clear cut chance in the fourth minute, game star Lazar Zivkovic denied a try after a knock on by Milos Calic following good work by veteran hooker Zoran Pesic.
Second rower Drake Muyodi led the Italian response with the first of a series of line breaks, Mirko Bozovic’s tackle forcing the ball from Ivan Barani in a promising position.
Another Muyodi 40 metre charge set the position for the opening try in the 18th minute, stand off Rhys Lenarduzzi making the most of a penalty and forcing his way over, Gert Peens adding the extras.
The Serbians hit back immediately, Pesic was held up but a quick play the ball saw Stefan Nedljkovic put Niksa Unkovic over for an unconverted try.
Remi Fontana went close for the visitors but he was then provider, Barani crashing over from his pass, Fontana goaling to make it 12-4.
Ivan Susnjara knocked on with the line at his mercy after more determined running by Zivkovic and, in response, Davide Rancati came close to scoring but stepped into touch under pressure from Ilija Radan.
As the first half came to a close, Serbia forced three repeat sets but Nedeljkovic knocked on under pressure from Pavoni.
They did narrow the gap three minutes into the second half when Nedeljkovic crossed in the corner from a clever reverse pass by Pesic, skipper Dalibor Vukanovic landing a terrific touchline conversion.
Italy regained a short kick off and Stefano Cardella battled over for a try, goaled by Fantona to restore their two score cushion but fine interplay saw Nebojsa Zivanovic just touch down in the corner, set up by a fine off load from Stevan Stevanovic and a great pass from Vukanovic.
A Vukanovic grubber kick against the post just evaded the on-rushing Ivan Susnjara and repeat sets by the Serbs just came to nothing thanks to resilient Italian defence.
Finally, the home pressure told and centre Danilo Delic brought the crowd to life with a powerful run which just saw him draw Serbia level, Vukanovic edging his side in front with the conversion.
After a kick from Fontana went out on the full and good ground was gained by Radan and Pesic, a quick passing move saw Calic put Bozovic over in the corner, Vukanovic landing an excellent goal.
Stevanovic was denied a try because of a double movement and Italy refusing to give in Florin Ilinica making a terrific clearing run and Muyodi held up at the line, a knock on from Lenarduzzi ending the attack.
Dedic nearly went the length of the pitch to score but was stopped by full back Fabrizio Ciaurro and Vukanovic missed a drop goal attempt, Italy having one last effort through Pavoni but it came to nought.
“Our effort was enormous, there was a fair bit of naivety because some of the players were inexperienced, but they did superbly well,” said Italian coach Paul Broadbent. “They need more game time to handle pressure and keep their composure with the ball. We knew that the team who did the least defending in these conditions had a good chance to win and in the second half we didn’t look after the ball as well Serbia did.”
SERBIA (4) 24
Milos Zogovic, Nebojsa Zivanovic, Danilo Delic, Stevan Stevanovic, Mirko Bozovic, Ivan Susnjara, Dalibor Vukanovic, Vladica Nikolic, Zoran Pesic, Lazar Zivkovic, Stefan Nedeljkovic, Milos Calic, Ilija Radan Subs: Velibor Sreckovic, Niksa Unkovic, Vojislav Dedic, Milan Susnjara
Tries: Unkovic (21), Nedeljkovic (43), Zivanovic (52), Delic (65), Bozovic (69)
Goals: Vukanovic 2
ITALY (12) 18
Fabrizio Ciaurro, Santiago Monteagudo, Ivan Barani, Romain Pavoni, Octavian Ilinca, Rhys Lenarduzzi, Remi Fontana, Cedric Prizzon, Christoff de Meyer, Giovanni Franchi, Davide Rancati, Drake Muyodi, Gert Peens Subs: Stefano Cardella, Luca Cerza, Rodrigo Marchesi, Andrea Sola
Tries: Lenarduzzi (18), Barani (28), Cardella (47)
Goals: Peens, Fontana (2)
Man of the match: Lazar Zivkovic
Half time: 4-12
Referee: Gordon Wallace
JAMAICA 10 v BARLA GREAT BRTITAIN COUGARS 52
National Stadium East, Kingston.
The BARLA Great Britain Cougars got their BARLA Jubilee Tour off to a great start with an eleven try victory over a spirited and defiant Jamaica after leading 24-4 at the break and the tourists showed their experience on the hard ground and hot sunny conditions throughout the eight minutes.
The squad started there day well when chairman Spen Allison and BARLA Great Britain International Manager Mick Turner presented each player in the squad there international tops.
Spen Allison told the players,
“It’s a special privilege to wear the BARLA top and we hope to see your success grow, and hopefully we will see some of you guys in Super League”, he also added that he was proud how the players had conducted themselves so far.
The game kicked off with some enthusiastic play from Jamaica with some driving runs and fierce tackles and enthusiasm which BARLA defended well in the early minutes.
The visitors opened the scoring on ten minutes following an half break down the left flank from Adam Masson (Shaw Cross Sharks) before passing to skipper John Paul Brocklebank (Egremont Rangers) who ran across the line before feeding a flat pass to Clayton Sutton (Egremont Rangers) to go under the posts. Brocklebank added the extras to make it 6-0.
Jamaica then pushed BARLA again on their own line but some strong running from Thomas Richardson (West Hull) and Jack Sutherland (Barrow Island) soon moved BARLA upfield again.
They increased their lead on 15 minutes when Brocklebank threw a pass out to full back Chris Warren (Millom) to cross the whitewash, the goal was controversial with one flag up and one down and referee Joe Cobb disallowed the goal.
Tom Saunders (Hunslet Old Boys) started to use he’s size advantage to the fore and then big Jamie Fields (Hunslet Old Boys) smashed in the next ball and realeased the ball for substitute Dan Sayle (Dalton) to cross with the goal from Brocklebank making it 16-0 to BARLA.
With both Field and Saunders taking hard ball up the middle Jamaica were struggling to hold the offloads from the two huge men and on 22 minutes Ross Gainford (Kells) cut out pass missed out two men for Jack Ridsdill (West Hull) to run a good angle and go over nearly untouched for a 20-0
On the half hour mark Brocklebank’s grubber on the last tackle was knocked on ingoal by Gainford and Jamaica had a 20 restart and moved to within 2 metres of the BARLA line. But Troy Brophy (Warrington Wizards) superbly held them out in right hand corner.
On 34 minutes some fine Jamaican attacking play saw their hooker Marvin Thompson dance inside two BARLA players to score in the corner, much to the delight of the large Jamaican crowd. Ryan Grant missed the conversion and it was 20-4 to BARLA.
On the stroke of half time prop forward Fields again showed his prowess and power as he burst through four would be tacklers to drive over from 5 metres off the line 24-4.
BARLA came out the quickest and hit Jamaica with three tries in eight minutes.
On 42 minutes BARLA’s forwards pushed Jamaica downfield and this time Dan Morrow (Walney Central) drove downfield down the right channel and released the ball to Gavin Conroy (Widnes St Maries) to score in the corner to make it 28-4.
Jamaica were struggling to get any passion and territory and they were undone again three minutes later when Saunders crashed onto a ball to go under the posts to which the events commentator shouted ‘Went over untouched’, Brocklebank added the extras.
Jamaica again got some energy and tested the BARLA both in attack and they were hurting in tackles but the beefy Richardson brought the troops forward and a quick play the ball saw Gainford dummy over in the corner on 50 minutes to make it 38-4.
Jamaica took on the BARLA attack but now were dropping off tackles as tiredness set in and Brocklebank exploited big man Fields by a show and go and Fields took five defenders on to cross himself.
Jamaica to their credit then pushed the BARLA line and twice were just pulled back from the tryline, with stand off Ryan Grant being the main thorn in both attacks.
BARLA again retained the ball and this time threw the ball from left to right and quick hands by Masson saw Conroy go in the corner, this time Brocklebank added a superb touchline conversion to make it 48-4.
The tourists brought up the half century with their last try of the game following a scrum 20 metres from the Jamaica tryline. Brocklebank picked up the ball from lock and fed Morrow who gave the ball to Conroy who danced his way through three would be tacklers before slipping a lovely ball to Morrow to score. Danny Lynch (Pilkington Recs) missed the conversion but BARLA led 52-4.
To their credit Jamaica never let their heads drop or give up which showed on 79 minutes as winger Robert Rodney crossed and the crowd went mad especially when scrum half Roy Calvert added the extras to make it 52-10
The hooter sound seconds later and this was a result for rugby league development and the Jamaican players and crowd certainly enjoyed the day.
BARLA Great Britain Coach Mick Fishwick was delighted especially with the conditions the game was played in
“We knew at times it would be scrappy at times but we got more shape and direction as time went on the ground was hard and the conditions were hotter than most boys have experienced, however we got a win and there was some excellent individual performances which we take onto next game”
Physio Stephen (Jonty) Thompson was busy on the day with the hard ground with some good running repairs during the game, David Jones sprung a shoulder, Clayton Sutton had treatment on a groin injury after the game and Jack Sutherland had a head wound. All others players were repaired on the pitch and kept playing and Jonty will be assessing and treating players again tomorrow.
JAMAICA: 1. Fabion Turner, 2.Adrian McKenzie, 3.Claude Yen, 4. Ryan Spence, 5.Robert Rodney, 6. Ryan Grant, 7. Roy Calvert, 8. Alec Harris, 9. Marvin Thompson, 10. Romaen Campbell, 11. Adrian Myers, 12. Khamisi McKain, 13. Jermaine Pinnock, 14. Andre Reid, 15. Jade Harris, 16. Kyle Ferguson, 17. Nathan Campbell
Tries: Thompson, Rodney
BARLA GREAT BRITAIN COUGARS: 1. Chris Warren (Millom), 2. Gavin Conroy (Widnes St Maries), 3. Clayton Edward Sutton (Egremont Rangers), 4. Jack Ridsdill (West Hull), 5. Troy William Brophy (Warrington Wizards), 6. John Paul Brocklebank (Capt) (Egremont Rangers), 7. Ross Gainford (Kells), 8. Jack James Sutherland (Barrow Island), 9. James Michael Delaney (Dewsbury Moor), 10. Thomas Paul Richardson (West Hull), 11. Adam Masson (Shaw Cross Sharks), 12. Daniel John Morrow (Walney Central), 13. David Jones (West Bank Bears). Subs: 14. Danny Lynch (Pilkingto Recs), 15. James Fields (Hunslet Old Boys), 16:Tom Saunders (Hunslet Old Boys), 17. Daniel James Sayle (Dalton), 18th Man James Edward Barker (Milford Marlins).
Tries: Masson, Warren, Sayle, Ridsdill, Fields 2, Conroy 2, Saunders, Gainford, Morrow
Goals: Brocklebank 4/9, Lynch 0/1
Referee: Joe Cobb (Leigh)
Tough Judges: Ricardo Bramwell, Lionnel Wallace
In Goal Judges: Nastasia Hedge, Andrew Dixon
Men of the Match: Ryan Grant (Jamaica), James Fields (BARLA Great Britain Cougars)
The Canada Wolverines have announced their 34 man squad going forward into the 2012 international season. The squad features many players who have featured in international matches going back to CRL’s inception in 2010. A number of new players feature in the squad including a solid 7 players from the Ottawa Rhinos, and for the first time 3 players from British Columbia. More BC based players could be added as the domestic season continues to unfold there. Super League legend and current Keighley Cougars player-coach Jason Demetriou adds an element of experience and class to an already much improved Wolverines squad. Only time will tell if Team Canada will be able to translate that strength into results on the field of play. There is one thing for certain, the world will be watching.
2012 CANADA WOLVERINES 34 MAN SQUAD
Cam Grace – Ottawa Rhinos
Chris Chalmers – Surrey Beavers
Christian Miller – Hamilton Hammers
Dale Fitzgerald – Toronto Centurions
Stephen Lamb – Ottawa Rhinos
Louis Robinson – London Skolars (Eng)
Stu McReynolds – Ottawa Rhinos
Enoch Wamalwa – Toronto City Saints
Gareth Hewitt – Toronto City Saints
Graham Dobbs – Toronto City Saints
Sanaila Dawai – Burnaby Lake
Tony Felix – Toronto Centurions
Graham Stevens – Ottawa Rhinos
Henry Miers – Toronto Centurions
Jamie Lester – Toronto City Saints
John Felix – Toronto Centurions
Justin Redguard – Ottawa Rhinos
Jared Curry – Kelowna Crows
Kale Hutchings – Hamilton Hammers
Sam Nady – Toronto City Saints
Steve Conlon – Toronto City Saints
Ruairi McGoff – Barrow Raiders (Eng)
Keegan Watcham Roy – Ottawa Rhinos
Kenn Warring – Ottawa Rhinos
Lorenzo DeSantis – Hamilton Hammers
Matt Pettie – Hamilton Hammers
Matt Wyles – Toronto Centurions
Michael Thorne – Hamilton Hammers
Rob Autogavaia – Toronto City Saints
Robin Legault – Toronto City Saints
Tyler Neil – Toronto Centurions
Chris Diamond – Hamilton Hammers
James Coote – Newcastle Knights (Aus)
Jason Demetriou – Keighley Cougars (Eng)