Red Star Belgrade have completed the season unbeaten, taking the Balkan Super League crown from derby rivals Partizan; winning the Grand Final 30-6 at the SC Inge Stadium, Zvezdara.
This year’s competition featured 15 teams from seven nations and victory saw the red and white’s pick up an unprecedented fourth trophy of the campaign, which saw them win all their 21 games.
“To be undefeated from February to November and to win four trophies is an amazing effort,” said Red Star managing director, Colin Kleyweg. “It is starting to sink how special this team is. We will now have a two week break until we will commence indoor training for entry into the historic UK Challenge Cup in January.”
Phil Economidis’s men add the regional championship, in its second season, to the Serbian Championship, Cup and Super Cup, beating Partizan in all three deciders.
There was little between the sides in the first half, Red Star leading 10-6 thanks to tries from Predrag Keglić and Petar Milanović to one from Dragan Janković, but they dominated the second period with 20 unanswered points, running in four more tries including a second to Milanović, who was outstanding.
“Going into the break the game was very much in the balance,” noted Economidis. “At half time we discussed the need to lift the tempo as I believed we had the edge in fitness. It certainly paid dividends as the longer the game went on. Credit to both teams for producing a really hard fought final in a fair a spirited manner.”
RED STAR 30 : Miloš Zogović, Ilija Krstić, Denis Čengaj, Petar Milanović, Rajko Trifunović, Jack O’Brien, Aleksandar Đorđević, Sam Herron, Vladislav Dedić, Marko Janković, Predrag Keglić, Nikola Đurić, Stefan Nedeljković. Subs: Vuk Štrbac, Matej Bajić, Slobodan Milenković, Velibor Srećković. Tries: Predrag Keglić (9), Petar Milanović (26, 67), Stefan Nedeljković (45), Miloš Zogović (53), Velibor Srećković (79′). Goals: Miloš Zogović 2/3, Stefan Nedeljković 1/3.
PARTIZAN 6 : Dragan Janković, Ronaldo Bitići, Vladimir Milutinović, Nikola Srbljanin, Boban Janković, Branko Čarapić, Džavid Jašari, Denis Bibić, Mihailo Ilić, Mihailo Stoiljković, Denis Bajrami, Ronaldo Bitići, Vlado Kušić. Subs: Dušan Milutinović, Stevan Ivanović, Velibor Karanović. Tries: Dragan Janković 33. Goals: Džavid Jašari 1/1. Sin bin: Boban Janković 79’
Half time: 10-6. Referee: Radoslav Novaković