venue: FK Kabel, Novi Sad
20th September 2008
Full Match Report
EURO MED CHALLENGE GAME ONE
A brace of tries each from wingers Sergey Dobrynin and Nikolay Zagoskin saw Russia emerge victorious in the opening match of the tri-nation Euro-Med Challenge. The Bears led 20-0 at the break, their greater experience, physicality and ability to get the ball wide, the main difference against the steadfast Serbs, who tired but showed continued improvement at this level.
Serbia had the chance to open the scoring, Ivan Mitic missing a penalty shot at goal but Dobrynin crossed twice in the first 12 minutes, Vladimir Vlusuyk providing the telling, final pass on both occasions and his Lokomotiv Moscow team mate Valentin Baskakov adding the conversions.
Zogoskin claimed his first just before the half hour after tricky scrum half Vlusuyk had cleaned up a Serbian knock on and, on the stroke of half time, outstanding hooker Roman Ovchinnikov – who spent time at Wests Tigers in Australia under Tim Sheens – ghosted over from dummy half.
Halifax under 21s hooker Austen Novakovic, on his debut gave the hosts hope with a try from close in around the 49th minute, after earlier having had a similar effort ruled out, centre Nenad Grbic setting up the position with a fine break but Zakoskin again got clear on the outside for his double.
With 12 minutes left, Russian prop Evgeny Bojoukov sealed the win with a powerful, defence splitting run. In the closing stages, RLC Podbara’s Marko Zebeljan, based in Novi Sad, was sin binned by referee Liam Todd for a high tackle as frustration set in, but the stretched home defence, with Soni Radovanovic superb, held firm.
The Russians return to Moscow to face Lebanon next weekend, with the Serbians travelling to Beirut at the beginning of October.
Dario Milosavljevic, Aleksandar Sic, Milos Milanko, Nenad Grbic, Ivan Mitic, Dalibor Vukanovic, Mate Granic, Radoslav Novakovic, Austen Novakovic, Mario Milosavljevic, Marko Zebeljan, Soni Radovanovic, Zoran Pesic. Subs: Jovan Vujosevic, Milos Stanic, Filip Jankovic, Milan Susnjara
Valentin Baskakov, Nikolay Zagoskin, Ramil Yusupov, Alexander Lysokon, Sergey Dobrynin, Viktor Nechaev, Vladimir Vlasyuk, Alexander Lysenkov, Roman Ovchinnikov, Evgeny Bojoukov, Marat Khabibullin, Azat Musin, Oleg Smirnov. Subs: Andrey Zdobnikov, Denis Meshkov, Artoym Batmanov, Georgy Vinogradov