A hat trick from winger Ole Magnus Brekk proved to be the difference as Norway held on, despite a late Czech fight back, to win 30-26 in Krupka; the nations sharing 12 tries.
The hosts took an early lead when second rower Richard Gach crashed over for an unconverted score, Brekk responding with two tries in nine minutes, both out wide and unconverted. Czech best, hooker Ales Pour, levelled in the 20th minute, Jakub Hudrlik wayward with his conversion, but the visitors dominated the second quarter to establish a 24-8 lead at the break.
The Vikingene posted three tries in that period, two to right winger Leif Andreas Nilsen and loose-forward Isaac Schmidt with the other. Skipper Nathan Cummins added the extras to two of them.
Home captain Jan Heininger narrowed the gap in the 50th minute, Trondhjem’s Brekk completing his treble soon after, Stavanger Storm’s Cummins with his third goal.
Vrchlabi Mad Squirrels’ rake Pour grabbed his second just before the hour and late scores from Jaroslav Bzoch and Pavel Pavlik nearly saw the hosts overcome the deficit, but their sole goal from Ladislav Cintler – their third kicker – was not quite enough.
CZECH REPUBLIC 26: Adam Vojtech, Vladimir Pleskač, Jaroslav Bzoch, Martin Kostal, Ladislav Cintler, Jakub Hudrlik, Bruno Jasiczek von Castello, Ales Pour, Ondrej Preninger, Pavel Pavlik, Richard Gach, Jan Heininger (c). Subs: Tomáš Adamec, Pavel Mejstřík, David Lahr, Oldřich Chrbolka.
Tries: Gach (1), Pour (18, 59), Heininger (50), Bzoch(69), Pavlik(79). Goals: Hudrlik 0/2, Vojtech 0/2, Cintler 1/2
NORWAY 30 : Reidar Flage, Leif Andreas Nilsen, Kevin Båtnes, Kristian Nordin-Skipnes, Ole Magnus Brekk, Torbjørn Thorsen Egaas, Nathan Cummins, Sjur Håvard Strand, Kristoffer Milligan, Mathias Vada Stenseth-Holm, Joshua Skidmore-Hornby, Isaac R. Schmidt. Subs: Lucas Zuniga, Stephen Skofteland, Christoffer Stalsberg, Ravn Arvidsønn
Tries: Brekk (5, 14, 57), Nilsen (24, 39), Schmidt (33). Goals: Cummins 3/6. Half time: 8-24. Referee: Lukas Hergott