NRL stalwart Braith Anasta has admitted that making his debut for the fledgling Greek national Rugby League side at the weekend was a highly significant moment in a glittering career.
The Wests Tiger landed 46 points, courtesy of four tries and 15 goals from as many attempts, as the Greeks defeated novices Hungary 90-0 in the two nation’s first sanctioned international, at Mac Stadium in Budapest.
“I was really nervous before the game. I talked to my mum and brother beforehand and I was emotional,” said Anasta. “To play for Greece was a proud moment for me, for my dad and grandparents. It was the first time I was in Greece beforehand and I loved it.”
“The European and International Federation need to put resources into countries like Greece and Hungary,” he added. “The passion for the game in Greece was incredible. They want to play Rugby League and we need to help them.”
The two nations held a joint coaching session the day before the game, the Greeks – captained by Michael Korkidas – schooling their less experienced opponents in some of the finer points.
Greece took just three minutes to open their account when Sebastian Sell scored following a backline movement. It was 12-0 after 10 minutes when Kristian Aroutsidis scored wide out.
Terry Constantine posted two tries in three minutes, Mitchell Zampetides scored a brace and Anasta went over for his first touchdown as Greece established a 42-0 lead at half-time.
Anasta scored two quick tries early in the second half before Nake Ioannis, one of eight players chosen from the Greek domestic competition, burrowed over.
Adam Bouris added two tries while Terry Conastantinou crossed for his third.
Sell scored in the 73rd minute and it was fitting that Anasta finished the scoring when he claimed an interception.
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