venue: Hochspeyer, Kaiserslautern
22nd April 2011
Full Match Report
The picturesque German village of Hochspeyer played host to what promised to be a fine clash of two emerging European rugby league nations. After an epic 24-hour journey from Belgrade to Heidelberg, the Serbia team expected a tough challenge, especially after last year’s Belgrade showdown had ended 42:14 to the home team and saw them , claim the 2010 European Shield West. Germany obviously had other plans for the friendly, fielding a team of largely untested youngsters with, only a handful of players from the previous encounter between the two nations.
A tranquil Good Friday afternoon in this quaint German village also saw , Lee Crooks in attendance for the first time in his post as Serbia technical director. Crooks also planned to test some new players, with Serbia naming five debutantes in the squad. One of them Australian-Serb Ilija Radan, a former Manly Sea Eagles Under-20s player, who’s now with the UK’s Hemel Stags, completed his debut in an Eagles shirt with a fine second-half try. Serbia opened the scoring a minute after kick -off, when agile back rower Danilo Delic crossed the line and Dalibor Vukanovic converted for the first of his record points haul of 42. Only three minutes later powerful loose forward Vuk Tvrdisic stormed through the German defence to scored Serbia’s second try, with Vukanovic adding two more to his tally.
Germany's solitary score came in the 7th minute, when loose forward Andrew Hoggins intercepted and ran clear to ground the ball under the posts. Stand-off Liam Doughton converted to make it 6:12. From then on it was one-way traffic, with the floodgates opening for Serbia in the 9th minute when Stevan Stevanovic scored for the first time, closely followed by tries from Dalibor Vukanovic a minute later, Dejan Lukenic on 17 minutes, Danilo Delic in the 21st minute,, Stefan Nedeljkovic, 24th, Stevanovic again on 31st minutes, and Nedeljkovic in the 36th. Vukanovic converted seven of Serbia’s nine first half tries to reach a total of 6:50 at the break.
The game followed a similar pattern from the start of the second half, with the Serbs hungry to put as many points on the board as possible – on occasion slightly selfishly in their aim. Dalibor Vukanovic led from the front with a masterly performance and he opened the second-half scoring with a try in the 42nd minute. Experienced hooker Zoran Pesic had started on the bench and was eager to prove he deserved a place in the starting line-up. , The diminutive number nine scored just six minutes into the second half to make it 6:60. A century was Serbia’s obvious goal from that point, while Germany struggled to keep pace with the Serbs game. Vukanovic again broke the German line in the 48th minute to add to his growing personal tally. The next ten minutes were characterised by mistakes, with both sides struggling to complete their sets.
However, there was little doubt which team would be next to score. In the 58th minute 19-year-old Red Star Belgrade centre Milos Calic scored his first ever try for Serbia. Australian-born Radan was next to score, powering over in the 63rd minute, before Vukanovic scored his last try with 10 minutes to go. The final blow to a demoralised German outfit came in the 79th minute when another debutant, Tsar Lazar’s flying winger Milos Zogovic, scored, and Vukanovic converted for a final score of 6:90.
Clement Formache, Tim Redmacher, Yassin Ayachi, Nico Koch, Timo Troesch, Liam Doughton, Anselm Wagner, Thomas Isaak, Max Doughton, Ben Behr-Heyer, Fabrice Fehlman, Christian Gabriel, Andrew Hoggins. Subs: Angelo, Sebastian Anedda, Sebastian Rogyn, Mawuli Amefia.
Ivan Šušnjara, Nebojša Živanović, Milos Ćalić, Stevan Stevanović, Miloš Zogović, Stefan Nikolić, Dalibor Vukanović, Ilija Radan, Austen Novaković, Dejan Lukenić, Stefan Nedeljković, Danilo Delić, Vuk Tvrdišić. Subs: Zoran Pešić, Aleksandar Sič, Lazar Živković, Nenad Radević, Nikša Unković.