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Two tries from centre Marko Cuk set Serbia Country on the way to a 30-22 win over a Belgrade Select in game one of the Serbia Rugby League Origin Series.


Played at Inge SC in the capital, Country took an early 12-0 lead with tries from Branko Bursac and Filip Stosic and two Slavisa Zekic goals. 


International centre Velibor Sreckovic hit back with a brace of touchdowns for Belgrade but opposite number Cuk’s first made it 16-10 to country at the break.


Zarko Kovacevic extended the lead but Belgrade were level by the 67th minute, Milos Calic and Stefan Nedeljkovic with the touchdowns, Vladan Kikanovic taking his goals tally to three.


Nemanja Bozic crossed to give Country the lead six minutes from time, Cuk’s second try securing victory, Slavisa Zekic converting both.


The remaining two games will be on the weekends of 4th/5th May and 7th/8th September and the matches will enable Serbian coach Marko Jankovic, to select his squad for the upcoming games in European Shield against Germany, Russia and Italy.





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The young Serbians showed immense courage and some fine skills against bigger and generally older opponents to ensure the home team never pulled away from them on the scoreboard.


The Czechs crossed in the early minutes through impressive Pavel Vrana and did not relinquish the lead thereafter.


Vaclav Fischer was the standout for the hosts and scored their second try with a typical bulldozing effort, while in an encouraging note for the development of rugby league in the Czech Republic, the rest of their tries were scored by players on debut, with two for Mikulov full back Otto Friedl, another to Fischer’s Teplice Dragons teammate, Jan Zelezny on the cusp of half-time, and a touchdown for Lokomotiva Beroun utility player Viteslav Drazka.


For the Serbs, who had travelled by coach for 13 hours the day before the game, stand-off and captain Vladislav Dedic was excellent leading his passionate young team, setting up the game’s second try with a magnificent cut-out pass to Lazar Grubor to cross in the corner.


Forwards Milan Rakic, Nikola Stojmenovic and Pero Madzarevic took the game to their opponents and Vuk Strbac and Petar Milanovic showed no fear as they constantly launched themselves at the Czech’s in both attack and defence.


Serbian coach Vladan Kikanovic was proud of his young charges efforts and predicted big futures for some of them. “These guys are the future of Serbian rugby league,” he said. “It won’t be long before many of them are pushing for full Serbian national team selection.”


“The standard of the Czech team has improved a lot since I played against them in 2010,” he continued. “I was not too sure of what level they would be today, but I can see that the Czechs are definitely improving as rugby league players, they have great  potential to improve even more as they continue to play more.”


Czech captain Petr Sedina was satisfied that the match was good preparation for the country’s forthcoming European Bowl commitments, but still sees plenty of room for improvement. “The first half was fine, but the second was disappointing,” he noted.


“I thought some of our defence was not up to scratch and we also struggled to convert good field position into points. That is something we need to work on, and we also need to eliminate the silly penalties from our game that cost us several times.”


He added, “The positive, though, was that several first-choice players were unavailable today and so we debuted quite a few a new guys, with half the team being 21 years or younger. That’s encouraging for the future but we must now focus on the rest of this season and playing against tough and experienced teams from Norway and Ukraine.’

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Serbian Armed Forces Rugby League visit Parliament

On Monday 8 July, representatives of the Serbian Armed Forces Rugby League Team visited Parliament as part of their Armed Services Rugby League World Cup tour.
The Armed Forces competition is part of a Festival of rugby league world cups currently being played in England this year.  Police, students, women and wheelchair tournaments also feature, ahead of the Rugby League World Cup 2013 which takes place over six weeks in October and November.
The Armed Forces Rugby League World Cup enters the knock-out stages on Wednesday 10 July when the Serbians will face Australia and GB will take on the Kiwis.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, said: “not only is it fantastic to see an Armed Forces Rugby League World Cup taking place in the UK, it’s great to see an emerging rugby league nation like Serbia taking part.
“We met representatives of Great Britain Armed Forces Rugby League two weeks ago, and it is a pleasure to meet the Serbians.  The Group will be writing to the Serbian Ambassador saying how important it is for them to have taken part and wishing them continued success in developing the game in their country.”
Speaking on behalf of the Serbian side was Lieutenant Colonel Dragon Todorov who said “we are proud to be taking part in the World Cup.  We would like to thank the Great Britain Combined Services Rugby League for their support and all those involved in the Festival of World Cups for making this such a good trip.  It is wonderful to be able to take some time to visit the Houses of Parliament and we would like to thank the Parliamentary Group for their support for the game.”
Chairman of Great Britain Armed Forces Rugby League is Air Commodore Dean Andrew who added: “This has been a tremendous tournament for rugby league in this country and in our Armed Forces in particular.  We are looking to two further tough, physical games in the coming week.  We are very grateful for the Group's longstanding and continued support; both to us and to our services counterparts throughout the world.
The final of the Armed Forces Rugby League World is being held at Colchester Garrison on Saturday 13 July.  More information about the Armed Forces tournament, and those for the Police, Students, Women, and Wheelchair athletes can be found at the Festival of World Cups’ website:

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On their return from the Armed Forces World Cup, where they improved with each group game and won a host of admirers inside and out of Colchester Garrison, the Serbian Army rugby league squad have been hosted at an official reception at the Military Academy in Belgrade.
Jovan Vujosevic, Rugby League European Federation Regional Director commented, “This is a great example of the cooperation between a rugby league governing body and the military. As a result, we hope that we will have more Serbian Army international activities in 2014.
“Also, on behalf of the Serbian Rugby League Federation, I would especially like to pay tribute to British military attaché, Colonel William English. His support was essential in getting Serbia to the World Cup”
The head of the Academy, Major-General Mladen Vuruna said that the historic participation stressed the importance of sport in the Serbian Army and said that rugby league was a fine example of what could be achieved.
Vuruna also pointed out that without support of the British Embassy in Belgrade and the British Ministry of Defence, the trip would not have gone ahead and thanked them for their help and guidance.

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Interesting little fact. Can he throw out thirty yard spin passes?

If he's alike his dad, he can throw 90 yard spin passes. But they'd all be forward. :P

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If he's alike his dad, he can throw 90 yard spin passes. But they'd all be forward. :P


perhaps [insert rival team name] should sign him then!

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England-Midlands U18s undertake 2nd pioneering tour to Serbia


The England-Midlands U18s depart for Belgrade, Serbia on Thursday 15th August where they face Germany and the hosts at the Rugby League European Federation Youth Festival. The Midlands select played at the same event in 2012 where they faced Lebanon and Serbia.


 “The experience last year left a lasting impression on many young players,” commented David Butler who will manage the tour. “The importance of growing the game in Europe cannot be underestimated and the entire touring party is aware of the role they are playing in doing so. We are delighted to be giving the Germans and the Serbians the opportunity to expand their playing programme and to be representing England at the same time.”


 The touring party consists of 19 players and 5 staff, with seven of the region’s clubs represented. All have raised their own funds to take part in the tour.


 In addition to the two matches, members of the squad and management will assist in coaching and match officials seminars and the squad will also be guests of the British Embassy to assist in promoting British products and culture at a festival taking place in the city.


 David McFarlane, Charge d’Affaires at the British Embassy in Serbia has taken a keen interest, sending the squad a good luck message ahead of the visit.


“The Rugby League European Federation U18s Tournament is fast becoming a regular and important international fixture,” he said. “I am delighted that a European tournament of this standing will again take place in Belgrade. This is a testament to the growing popularity of Rugby League in Serbia and the talent of the coaches and all the young athletes involved.”



England-Midlands Touring Party


Sean Roberts (Coventry Dragons)

Sam Ball (Coventry Dragons)

Reece Needham (Coventry Bears)

Connor Slater (Coventry Bears)

Joe Gregory (Birmingham Bulldogs)

Will Cox (Leamington Royals)

Ieuan Jones (Nottingham Outlaws)   

Sam Shepherd (Birmingham Bulldogs)

Adam Bromley (Birmingham Bulldogs)

Harry Marks (Coventry Bears)

Lewis Flack (Leicester Storm)

Jack Pearce (Derby City)

Daniel Hyams (Nottingham Outlaws)

Joe Frobisher (Nottingham Outlaws)

Jamal McKenzie (Nottingham Outlaws)

Peter Wilson (Nottingham Outlaws)

Zak White (Nottingham Outlaws)

Samuel Chalkin (Derby City)

Joolz Masters (Nottingham Outlaws)

James Carter (Coach)

Dan Poulton (Coach)

Kane Krlic (Coach)

David Butler (Tour Manager)

Danny McNeice (Tour Manager)


Updates will be available throughout the event on Twitter @MidsRugbyLeague

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Great work by the Midlands. The more interaction with other countries at the younger age groups the more rapid will be their development and I'm sure it will be a hugely memorable trip for everyone taking part.

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