Poland, for whom Keighley’s Kyle Keswick scored 10 points, won the inaugural Narvik Cup, defeating Norway 22-18 in a thrilling encounter at Wanderers Sports Ground in Ilford, London. The sides posted four tries each, centre Martin Høyland with a brace for the Norwegians.
Poland led throughout the game, with Norway coming back aggressively in the second half and just failing to convert a chance one minute from time, due to a lost ball in a despairing tackle close to the line which if made could have helped to draw the contest.
Poland joint head coach, Colin Baker, commented: “It was a really good contest, both teams going toe to toe. There was plenty of enthusiasm from our guys and a real will to win.”
His opposite number, Norway’s Liam Stead, noted: “I am really happy with the performance and proud of the effort from everyone. We stepped up in the second half and had our moment but just missed our opportunity in the last minute.
“This is a massive step up for us even though we didn’t get the result.”
POLAND 22 : Mateusz Kowalewski, Kamil Wilkowski, Domink Medecki, Adam Jasinski, Tomek Pozniak, Łukasz Łucka, Kyle Kesik, Stef Archer, Tomasz Zerbe, Harry Chmiel, Phil Leycock, Gab Romianowski, Eryk Wisniewskii; (Subs) Kacper Filipczak, Mateusz Kłosiński, Chris Malloney, Simon Adamski; Tries: Wilkowski (1), Kesik (15), Jasinski (21), Mateusz Kłosiński (51); Goals : Kesik 3/4
NORWAY 18 : Lucas Zuniga, Casey Biggs, Arne Oma Torsen, Martin Høyland, Patrick Justad, Kristoffer Milligan, Stephen Mwikaria, Mathias Vada Stenseth-Holm, Robin Bjoernstad, Daniel Horne, Marius Odland Sagelv, Nils Kristian Holte, Harald Mikalsen; (Subs) Oliver Falk, Eric Mellor, Andreas Vågen, Kevin Båtnes; Tries: Høyland (26, 55), Milligan (37), Bjoernstad (71); Goals: Mwikaria 0/2, Milligan 1/ 2
Half time: 16-8 ; Referee: Matthew Rossleigh (England)