Turkey, who have been playing Rugby League for less than a year, made their international debut facing Greek Titans last week, at the Kallipatira Stadium on the island of Rhodes.
The hosts, featuring 12 players from the domestic RLEF Greek Rugby League competition, won 86-0, but the Turks – who had reached the final of the Rhodes 8s in the build-up – showed great promise.
Greek Titans were in control from the start, with centre Mitchell Zampetides (who finished with six touchdowns) and Rhodes’ winger, Panayiotis Lampousis, both scoring a brace of tries to give the home side a 16-0 lead after 23 minutes. Zampetides, who registered his hat trick in the 28th minute, was sin-binned soon after.
The serious loss to Turkey of their centre, Onur Ersoy (sent offfor alleged kicking out) began to take it’s toll – playing with only 12 men. And when Titan’s winger, Yiannis Valasas finished off a back-line move to score in the 35th minute, the Greeks left the field at half-time with a healthy 26-0 lead.
The second half was a one-way affair with the Titans racing in a further 60 unanswered points. But undaunted, the Turks – who will shortly commence their domestic competition with 5 clubs involved – are planning to host the Greeks next year.
Greek Titans’ captain, Jordan Meads commented: “For us, tonight was about showing how much progress the Greek boys have made. Most of our team came from the local competition which illustrates how much good work is being done in Greece.”