Serbia head coach Stuart Wilkinson ran two teaching clinics with Montenegro’s fledgling worldwide aspect earlier than the Balkan nations met in a consultant fixture. In a extremely aggressive conflict, the younger Serbians emerged 24-16 victors on the FK Arsenal Stadium in Tivat.
“My temporary was two-fold,” stated Wilkinson, who needed to journey to Montenegro through Croatia. “To assist Serbia strengthen the Montenegrin Rugby League and to look at the younger Serbian gamers stay as a part of their present 4 match Balkan tour, to see how far they’ve progressed. Because of the pandemic I’ve not been in a position to see them in motion for nearly two years, since our final camp held in Serbia in summer time 2019.
“After watching this recreation, I can say that the younger guys have actually improved their rugby league expertise and grown into the game, they’ve a vivid future forward of them and a few will play in our European Championship B marketing campaign in October 2021.”
Wilkinson added: “Montenegro additionally left a optimistic impression on me, they’ve nice enthusiasm, a need for information and enchancment of their rugby league expertise. The area of Boka Kotorska and metropolis of Tivat is usually a nice base for them.”
Montenegro celebrated their acceptance as an observer nation with a high-quality efficiency, not least after overcoming logistical issues staging the sport which was moved at quick discover from the unique venue in Bar due to threats from Montenegro Rugby Union.
Igor Adzaip, Montenegro Rugby League director, commented: “We managed to arrange the match regardless of all of the difficulties. I’m grateful to FK Arsenal for the excellently ready subject in addition to to the municipality of Tivat who enabled every part to be organized regardless of the dearth of time.
“Subsequent week our workforce Juzna Regija will proceed to play within the Serbia second division and the Balkan Tremendous League and that would be the sixth full 13-a-side recreation to be organized in Montenegro this 12 months, which is a very nice success.”
Adzaip confirmed: “Our plan for the longer term is to arrange a global 9s match in addition to a seashore rugby league competition – we are going to ship a workforce to Istanbul later this 12 months for Turkey’s seashore rugby league match – and attempt to appeal to as many groups as attainable from Europe, particularly the UK, to return to the gorgeous Montenegrin coast as a result of we imagine that on this manner we will increase the extent of rugby league in our nation.”
Serbia led 14-6 on the break after three tries within the opening 20 minutes, two to winger Aleksa Zivojinovic and the opposite from skipper Enis Bibic. Montenegro replied with a landing from Vlado Kusic and conversion by their captain Srdjan Popovic.
In-form Serbian prop Djordje Krnjeta returned from the sin bin to crash over for a attempt at first of the second half, Kusic once more slicing the hole. Krnjeta made it two in 13 minutes, Kusic finishing his hat trick to arrange a tense end, two Serbian defenders simply stopping dwelling centre Boban Banjevic from grounding the ball 4 minutes from time after one other Kusic break.
Serbia assistant coach, Jasmin Bibic, famous: “It was a really troublesome and unsure match however we managed to win once more. I’m actually happy with the dedication and habits of our gamers and we’re additionally very happy with the arrival of Stuart Wilkinson who held a few conferences with the gamers and carefully monitored and analyzed their recreation earlier than our subsequent encounter.”
Serbia will end their Balkan tour on 4 July after they face Albania in Shkodra.
Vladan Celebic, Burim Ibrahimi, Ivan Colakovic, Redzep Baljaj, Elvis Cenaj, Srdjan Popovic (c), Mitar Boskovic, Nikola Lagator, Danilo Djakovic, Janko Milovic, Goran Novakovic, Milos Vujic, Vlado Kusic
Subs (all used): Danilo Ceranic, Boban Banjevic, Luka Stosic, William Sabet
Tries: Kusic (30, 53, 71)
Targets: Popovic 2/3
Andrej Marinkovic, Bosko Todorovic, Branko Sabanovic, Dorotej-Dado Arnold, Aleksa Zivojinovic, Lazar Stamenkovic, Mateja Nedeljkovic, Djordje Krnjeta, Nikola Mladenovic, Luka Ilic, Uros Ilic, Uros Popovic, Enis Bibic (c)
Subs (all used): Anastas Nesic, Ilija Stanic, Jovan Loncar, Veljko Djordjevic
Tries: Zivojinovic (7, 20) Bibic (12), Krnjeta (43, 56)
Targets: Bibic 0/2, Arnold 2/2, Djordjevic 0/1
Half time: 6-14
Referee: Slobodan Manak