The Greek Rugby League Association has hailed the completion of its first championship season as the governing body, which ended with an exciting Grand Final in Rhodes.
Played in blazing summer sunshine, the unbeaten Rhodes Knights were held 10-all at the break, before defeating Aris Eagles 30-16.
“It was a terrific decider played in very hot conditions,” said Michalis Chatziioannou, the Rhodes Knights’ head coach. “Despite the heat both teams showed great enthusiasm and passion, and the level of play and organisation has clearly improved. We had the will but were really tested.”
Commenting on the season as a whole, Chatziioannou continued: “It very tough on and off the field, there was a lot of travelling involved but everyone played their part. The season ended successfully, especially as the new association officially joined the RLEF. That gives us the opportunity to play international games and my role as an assistant coach of the national team gives me the chance to test myself and the boys for the Balkan cup in October. I can see some talented young players here and I am very excited.”
GRLA interim president George Stilianos added: “This was by far our biggest and most successful season yet with a total of 116 registered players taking part across four teams. Moreover, the quality of the league is getting better.
“Our new team Patras Panthers had a successful season, their 1,300km round-trip to Rhodes among the highlights. All matches were officiated by qualified referees who have benefited from the RLEF training courses. Our focus is now on ensuring next season will be even better and also our tour to Serbia in October, where we will take a domestic only squad into the Balkan Cup.”