Germany vs. Serbia - European Shield, Game 1
SERBIANS STRIKE FIRST BLOW
By Simon Cooper.
The first ever rugby league international in Heidleberg sawSERBIA run out 38-6 victors over GERMANY in the opening clash of the Rugby League European Federation Development Tri-Nations Tournament.
The match was a personal triumph for Serbian loose forward Dalibor Vukanovic, who celebrated his 21st birthday with a stunning performance which yielded a try and six goals, while he also had a hand in the majority of his side’s five other touchdowns.
The visitor’s greater experience and fitness, gained from playing a series of incoming tourists over recent weeks, told at the end of each half but there was plenty of encouragement for the eager Germans who were in the contest for long spells.
Hooker Zoran Pesic opened the scoring with a typical dart from close in on the fifth minute but the Germans levelled when Simon Cooper’s break from his own quarter and reverse pass freed Nick Kleinhorst; his brother Marcus converting.
Just after the half hour, 19 year old second rower Soni Radovanovic powered on to a slick, short pass from Vukanovic who then finished a well worked move, taking the final pass from his skipper Radoslav Novakovic.
Vukanoviclanded a penalty to make it 18-6 at the break but the Germans responded well after the interval and kept their opponents scoreless for 22 minutes.
A well rehearsed scrum move saw Serbian full back Nenad Matejic break the deadlock, his try adding to an earlier conversion, and as the Germans tired, Milos Milnako forced his way over.
In their eagerness to claim another score, the hosts spilt the ball in their own quarter, Nikola Jerkovic pouncing on the loose ball to sweep in for the final try; Vukanovic adding the conversion and a last minute penalty.
Undaunted German skipper Leo Berngruber commented, “It was a fantastic effort from our boys today. We can’t wait to go on toPrague now to play the Czech Republic on the 4th August.”
Rugby League European Federation Development ExecutiveKevin Rudd added, “It was very pleasing to see how the Germans fronted up and their next contest will be an intriguing encounter based on this experience. Their organisation has attracted some very capable people on and off the field and they are making steady progress despite certain obstacles being put in their way. The experience of the Serbs told and their greater exposure to the sport by way of their domestic competition also showed.”
Before the match, the hosts’ preparations were disrupted when Heidleberg Lions’ Mike Kerr was threatened with a ban by the head coach of the German Rugby Union side if he played League.
Match Highlights on YouTube click here and here.
goal: M.Keinhorst 1/1
SERBIA: Nenad Matejic; Dimitris Dajc,
Dusan Mijuskovic, Nenad Grbic, Branko Vojvodic; Jovan Vujosevic, Mate Granic;
Radoslav Novakovic (capt.), Zoran Pesic, Soni Radovanovic; Nikola Jerkovic,
Milos Milanko; Dalibor Vukanovic.
Interchange: Petar Maukovic, Ivan Antic, Milan Susnjara, Milos Banduka.
Head coach: Dino Vikas
tries: Pesic, Radovanovic, Vukanovic, Matejic, Milanko, Jerkovic
goals Vukanovic 5/6, Matejic 1/1
Referee: Ken Edwards (Australia)
_5' TRY Pesic (SRB)
___GOAL Vukanovic (SRB) 0-6
25' TRY N.Keinhorst (GER)
___GOAL M.Keinhorst (GER) 6-6
31' TRY Radovanovic (SRB) 6-10
36' TRY Vukanovic (SRB)
___GOAL Matejic (SRB) 6-16
38' GOAL Vukanovic (SRB) 6-18
62' TRY Matejic (SRB)
___GOAL Vukanovic (SRB) 6-24
70' TRY Jerkovic (SRB)
___GOAL Vukanovic (SRB) 6-30
78' TRY Milanko (SRB)
___GOAL Vukanovic (SRB) 6-36
80' GOAL Vukanovic (SRB) 6-38
Man of the Match: Dalibor Vukanovic (Serbia)
For Photos of various games click here.
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