From Phil Caplan, RLEF


Hungary and the Czech Republic meet again on Saturday in the 2012 European Bowl.

Last year the Czechs visited Hungary and won their first silverware, claiming the Bowl courtesy of a 38-16 victory in Keskemet. This weekend, the Magyar Bulls head to Vrchlabi, 130km north-east of Prague, to try to register a first win in the sport for a Hungarian side.

Since taking up rugby league last year, the Hungarians have been mentored by their Serbian neighbours, with incoming and outgoing club tours in October and March.

“The match against the Czech national team is the first match for the Magyar Bulls outside Hungary,” said Hungarian rugby league organiser Zsolt Habóczki. “All the 19 team members are excited about the trip and we want to show the Czechs how much we have learnt in the past 12-months.”

With word spreading about rugby league’s development in Hungary more players were available for selection, although injuries to Geza Goletz, Peter Fustos and star player Matyas Bihari, all of whom played last year, has been a blow. Eight players return from their 2011 squad.

Czech coach Andy Mulhall has named a 20-man squad comprising of players from seven of the nine Czech clubs in what is the most diverse national selection ever. League leaders Lokomotiva Beroun contribute five, including inaugural Czech captain Jan Sluka, who made his debut in 2006, with seven members of the victorious 2011 side retaining their places.

Despite seven players being called up from the new second division, Mulhall will able to call on a more experienced side than last year: “Jan Sluka returns after two years out of the game, and his brother, Jiri, is playing his first season with Beroun after previously being a mainstay of the Czech national rugby union team”.

Three of the squad, all outside backs, Jan Buben, Martin Cernohorsky and the Prague Rhinos’ sole representative, David Dolak, played for the Czech Republic Under-18s in 2008, with Dolak and Buben beginning their senior representation later that year. The duo, who lead their country with four caps each, provide the most experience in the squad, alongside hooker Petr Sedina, who played for Irish club West Coast Eagles for several seasons.

In a ‘European Bowl Festival’, two curtain raiser matches will precede the main event with a big crowd is expected in league-friendly Vrchlabi.

Jan Buben, Martin Cernohorsky, Vítězslav Dražka, Jan Sluka, Jiri Sluka (Beroun), Lukas Bohm, Petr Cap, Ladislav Cintler, Pavel Kubasta (Havlickuv Brod), Karel Hudec, Vaclav Jacko, Petr Sedina, Pavel Vrana (Mikulov), Victor Leeuw, Pavel Zemanek (Pardubice), David Dolak (Praha), Jaroslav Bzoch, Vaclav Fischer (Usti nad Labem) , Standa Kosar, David Lahr (Vrchlabi)

Phil Angel, Gergely Bán, Mehdi Benaniba, Juan Carlos Berbesi, Lajos Bihari, Matyas Bihari, Andre Brand, Francois Brunhes, Ted Coe, Arnold Dobos (c), Myles Ellison, Zsolt Haboczki, Laszlo Harangozo, Alex Hernádi, Joel Jiminez, Olivér Kopasz, Nandor Szabo, Tibor Horvath, Ádám Zsinkó

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  1. welly says:

    Why are they referred to as Hungary XIII? Is this an official international?

    • druzik says:

      Hungary are still just observers, and don’t have a full domestic comp yet, so do not fall under as a full Rugby League Nation. However does not mean they can;t play any matches… its still and international but not a full one.

      Its like we had Polska XIII against the Pioneers last week. Its a way to distinguish between a full international and a developmental one.

  2. KeighleyWeb says:

    “”In a ‘European Bowl Festival’, two curtain raiser matches will precede the main event””

    Any idea what these matches are?

    The Czech Republic seems to be on a roll at the moment, Am I right in saying that they now have their own grond intirerly owned by the CRL.

    A few years ago Germany played Austria, whats happened on the Austrian game, that could be a good tri nations series Czech/Hungry/Austria.

    • druzik says:

      No i don’t. I would think it may be some club games.

      Yes, they do have their own grounds now, in a couple cities now.

      Austria was something that the Germans tried to get going, but there was never enough interest from Austrian players for it so it never went anywhere.

  3. The Partisan says:

    Having watched highlights from many of the European countries ( esp. Eastern Europe) I am pleasantly surprised at their skill level.

    Daniel, two things

    1. If you were to ROUGHLY compare the standard of various International teams in Europe to a comp in Oz / Eng what would they be ? EG. Mid Grade of Sydney Sub Districts ?

    2. Would setting up some form of RL PenPals ( or whatever a modern version would be)between RL kids in the major league playing nations and those of emerging nations (most of whom learn english at school I would think) be an idea of interest to increase awareness of the game ?

    Keep up the good work. Will catch up with you when I win lotto here in Oz !!!

    • druzik says:

      Ooohhh…. standard…. I’ll need to think about that. I am away over the weekend so i’ll try to answer on Monday or Tuesday.

      Rugby League Pen Pals… wow what a great idea! Yes, that definitely would help, any little bit of exposure and promotion for the international game helps. How would you suggest going about it though?

    • RLRatings says:

      To answer that question, how about looking at the rankings we’ve created here?


      After today’s game, The Czechs and Hungary pretty much swap places, down at the bottom end, the ratings are a bit arbitrary.

      Comparing them to any reasonable standard of amateur team in Oz/UK (you can see amateur rankings for UK teams too) would show up that they’ve a long way to go, although the Czechs look like they’re making good progress.

  4. The Partisan says:

    In regards to my idea of League Pen Pal’s I must admit I haven’t put a lot of thought or time into it. However perhaps from a cyber safety point of view ( as I would imagine most communication would be on-line) it could be run by clubs rather than individuals.

    So a club may choose one or more clubs or schools in an emerging RL nation and communicate ‘one on one’ with a representative from that club / school. Perhaps even play on geographical / heritage / cultural links to create an initial link. For example, juniors involved with one of the many Brothers Leprechauns clubs (esp. in QLD) could liaise with juniors from Ireland or western parts of Bne / Syd with large Islander populations liaising with Pacific countries. I’m sure greater minds than I could find other links.

    Down the track players could receive formal letters of appreciation on the letterhead of these new countries or receive some kind of keep-sake ( jersey, merchandise of some sort , team photo etc) for reward / award of some as description.

    For many years I kept a pennant given to me as a 11yr old when i played against a touring NZ JRL club team (Otahuhu). Probably planted the seed for my enduring interest in international RL.

    Anyhow I’m sure some clubs would be interested and wouldn’t it be great if one day they could say that a former junior player from their club is now playing for, or against the country their club supported (and hopefully still has contact with !).

  5. Alex Fricska says:

    Sandor Earl should coach the Hungarian team when he finishes his career

  6. Aussie/Hungarian says:

    I am an australian my dad is Hungarian’ I play rugby league in australian how would I be able to represent Hungary

    • druzik says:

      Yes you are eligible, as long as you have not played for another countries national team, i.e. Australia.

      Eligibility comes down to the Grandparents, so parents make you eligible, like with all sports.

  7. Aussie/Hungarian says:

    How can I find out about been selected to play

  8. Aussie/Hungarian says:

    Is there any information on the net about selection

  9. Aussie/Hungarian says:

    I’ve tried ur email no luck

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