Serbia national rugby league team

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Serbia
Badge of Serbia team
Nickname White Eagles (Beli orlovi)
Governing body Serbian Rugby League
Region Europe
Head coach Ljubomir Bukvic
Captain Dalibor Vukanović
Most caps Zoran Pešić (28)
Home stadium Makiš Stadium, Belgrade
RLIF ranking 11th
Colours
First international
 Lebanon 102–0 Serbia 
(19 October 2003)
Biggest win
 Germany 6–90 Serbia 
(22 April 2011)
Biggest defeat
 France 120–0 Serbia 
(22 October 2003)

The Serbia national rugby league team represents Serbia in the sport of rugby league football and has been participating in international competition since 2003. Serbian Rugby League was reborn on November 10th 2001 after 40 years of non existence due to the Yugoslav Communist dictatorship banning the game in the mid 1960s because they favored Rugby Union which Croatia was playing at the time. Rugby League was first played in Serbia in 1953.

History[edit]

Rugby League was first played in Serbia in 1953 when it was introduced by Dragan Marsicevic, secretary of the Yugoslav Sport Association. Two French teams toured later that year, and in 1954 the clubs Partizan and Radnički were formed. These clubs played their first match on April 26, 1954.In 1961 a Yugoslav Rugby League team played its only game against a French Select XIII team in Banja Luka. The French team won 13-0. The sport died out soon afterwards not due to lack of popularity but due to the communist regime banning the sport a barbaric decision that would see the sport halted for the next 40 years. The rebirth of Serbian Rugby league Federation was on November 10, 2001 with the new federation been formed. There is now an eight team domestic competition between Dorcol Spiders, Morava Cheetahs, Red Star Belgrade, Belgrade University, Radnički Nova Pazova, Tsar Lazar, Soko, Stari Grad, and Niš.

Serbia has participated in the Mediterranean Cup competition in 2003 and 2004.Serbia won the 2006 and 2007 Slavic Cup after beating Czech Republic 36-28 in Prague and 56-16 in Belgrade, respectively.

2008 World Cup Qualifying[edit]

See also 2008 Rugby League World Cup qualifying

Serbia failed to qualify for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, losing to Holland, Russia and Georgia in 2006, to be eliminated from the qualification process.Serbia won the 2007 and 2010 European Shield tournaments, by beating both Germany and Czech Republic on both occasions. Serbia took part in then European 2nd tier competition Euro Med Challenge in 2008. After being defeated 4-30 by Russia in Novi Sad and 14-20 by Lebanon in Bhamdoun, Serbs finished third. Serbia was a participant in the 2009 European Cup, having been drawn in a group alongside Wales and Ireland.

2013 World Cup Qualifying[edit]

Serbia participated in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers in October 2011. They played games against Italy, Lebanon and Russia, but were defeated in all three matches and so were ultimately unsuccessful in qualification for the tournament.

2014 Balkans Cup[edit]

Serbia participated in the inaugural Balkans Cup tournament held in their own country. Serbia finished second in the tournament after a defeat to Greece who had a full squad of Australian born players in the final.[1]

2017 World Cup Qualifying[edit]

Serbia participated in the qualification for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. The first stage of qualifying involved having to finish in the top 3 in their 2014–15 European Shield competition. During their qualification, Serbia created history after beating Russia for their first ever time on their eighth time of asking.[2]

The final qualification tournament will consist of 6 teams - the top three teams from the European B tournament, the winners of the European C tournament and seeded nations Wales and Ireland. The tournament will feature two groups of three teams playing in a single round-robin format. The winners of each group will qualify for the World Cup, while the runners-up will face each other in a play-off match on 5 November 2016 to determine the final spot. A seeded draw will take place to determine the groups on 5 November 2015. Serbia are placed in Group A. They will take on Wales on October 15, 2016 in Llanelli Wales and Italy in Belgrade on 22 October for a place in the 2017 World Cup.[3] In the lead up to the World Cup qualifiers, Serbia played Spain in Valencia and ran out 64-4 winners a dominant display in the first ever meeting between these two nations.[4] In the first World Cup Qualifier against a Wales side full of Super League and Championship players Serbia lost 50-0 proving that there is still a long way to go but that there was some slight improvement from last time the two nations meet in 2009 when Serbia lost 88-8.[5] In the second and final game of World Cup qualifying Serbia needed victory over Italy to send them through to a one-game playoff against Russia but lost the game at the Maksis Stadium in Belgrade 14-62 which was a respectable result against an Italian team with many NRL and English Super League players who where Australians of Italian heritage.[6] On November the 10th 2016 15 years was celebrated since the re-forming of Serbian Rugby League a great milestone occasion.[7]

Tournament History[edit]

The following tournaments is a list of notable international competitions that Serbia has been competing in since their existence in 2003. A red box around the year indicates tournaments played within Serbia

World Cup[edit]

Official Rankings as of November 2016[8]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Increase  Australia
2 Decrease  New Zealand
3 Steady  England
4 Increase  Scotland
5 Decrease  Samoa
6  France
7  Fiji
8  Ireland
9  Wales
10 Steady  United States
11  Serbia
12 Increase  Canada
13  Italy
14 Decrease  Tonga
15  Papua New Guinea
16 Increase  Russia
17 Decrease  Jamaica
18  Belgium
19 Steady  Spain
20  Malta
21  Lebanon
22 Increase  Ukraine
23  Germany
24  Czech Republic
25 Decrease  Cook Islands
26 Steady  Norway
27  Denmark
28  Greece
29  Sweden
30  Netherlands
31  South Africa
32 Increase  Niue
33 Decrease  Philippines
34 Steady  Chile
35  Vanuatu
36  Latvia
37  Solomon Islands
38  Hungary
39  El Salvador
40  Morocco
World Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
Australia 2008 Failed to Qualify
EnglandWales 2013 Failed to Qualify
AustraliaNew Zealand 2017 Failed to Qualify
England 2021 Future events
Total 0 Titles 0/14 0 0 0 0

Balkans Cup[edit]

Balkans Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
Serbia 2014 Second place 2/4 2 1 1 0
Total 0 Titles 1/1 2 1 1 0

European Cup[edit]

European Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
WalesScotlandIrelandRussiaGeorgia (country)France 2005 Failed to Qualify
ItalyLebanonScotlandIrelandSerbiaWales 2009 Group Stage 5/6 2 0 2 0
WalesFranceScotlandIreland 2010 Not Invited
ScotlandIreland 2012 Not Invited
EnglandIrelandFranceScotlandWales 2014 Not Invited
WalesFranceScotlandIreland 2015 Not Invited
Total 0 Titles 1/32 2 0 2 0

European Shield[edit]

European Shield record
Year Round Position GP W L D
GermanyEstoniaAustria 2006 Not Invited
GermanyCzech RepublicSerbia 2007 Champions 1/3 2 2 0 0
ItalyCzech RepublicGermany 2008 Not Invited
Czech RepublicItalyGermany 2009 Not Invited
Czech RepublicSerbiaGermany 2010 Champions 1/3 2 2 0 0
NorwayGermanyMalta 2011 Not Invited
GermanySerbiaItalyRussia 2012/13 Third Place 3/4 6 2 4 0
SerbiaRussiaItalyUkraine 2014/15 Champions 1/4 6 5 1 0
Total 3 Titles 4/8 16 11 5 0

2016 squad[edit]

22 players were selected to represent Serbia in their 2017 World Cup qualifying campaign:[9]
David Andjelic (Blacktown St Patrick’s), Reece Grkinić (Cabramatta), Daniel Burke (Collegians), Jason Muranka (Dewsbury Rams), Dalibor Samardžić, Dalibor Vukanović, Stefan Nedeljković, Stevan Stevanović (Dorćol), Joshua Marjanović (Kawana Dolphins), Džavid Jašari, Vlado Kušić (Partizan), Pero Madžarević, Žarko Kovačević (Radnički Nova Pazova), Miloš Ćalić, Miloš Zogović, Vladislav Dedić, Vojislav Dedić (Red Star Belgrade), Chad Grant (St Clair Comets), Vladica Nikolić (Villeneuve XIII Leopards), James Mirceski (Western Suburbs Magpies), Jordan Grant (Wests Tigers), Ilija Radan (unaffiliated)

Notable NRL players of Serbian heritage[edit]

Youth National Teams[edit]

Serbian youth national teams permanently compete in European cups from 2006. Their first appearance was in France during Under 19s European Nations Cup. They finished 6th after dying minutes defeat by Scotland Under 19s.

In 2007, Serbia hosted Under 16s European Nations Cup. Win over Russia Under 16s in group stage secured match for the 3rd place, but Serbia Under 16s eventually lost 20-22 by Euro Celts Under 16s and finished 4th.

In 2008 Serbia attended Under 18s European Nations Cup in Czech Republic. Ireland Under 18s beat Serbia Under 18s in preliminaries and send them to European Nation Shield semifinals, where they beat Euro Celts Under 18s and qualify for the Shield final. In the most indecisive game of the tournament, Serbs finally lost to Scots after golden point extra time (second extra time) and won 6th place.

In 2009, Serbia hosted Under 16s European Championships for the second time. Serbia Under 16s failed to win a game in the European Shield part of the competition. The both, Euro Celts Under 16s (composed of Irish, Russian, Welsh, Czech, Serbian and French players) and Scotland Under 16s defeated Serbia Under 16s on their home soil and Serbs finished 6th.

All-time Results Record[edit]

Below is table of the official representative rugby league matches played by Serbia at test level up until 5 February 2016:

Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost Win % For Aga Diff
 Czech Republic 4 4 0 0 100% 204 54 +150
 France 3 0 0 3 0% 12 206 -194
 Georgia 2 0 0 2 0% 22 89 -67
 Greece 2 0 0 2 0% 48 94 -46
 Germany 6 5 0 1 83.3% 284 71 +213
 Hungary 1 1 0 0 100% 50 0 +50
 Ireland 1 0 0 1 0% 0 82 -82
 Italy 6 3 0 3 50% 130 166 -36
 Morocco 2 0 1 1 0% 24 78 -54
 Netherlands 2 0 0 2 0% 36 54 -18
 Philippines 1 0 0 1 0% 12 18 -6
 Russia 8 1 0 7 12.5% 104 214 -110
 Ukraine 3 3 0 0 100% 114 22 +92
 Wales 1 0 0 1 0% 8 88 -80
Total 40 16 1 23 40% 1,095 1,204 -109
Test # Date Opponent F A Venue City Crowd Tour/Competition
40 24 September
2016
 Spain 64 4 Quatre Carreres Valencia
39 5 February
2016
 Philippines 12 18 New Era Stadium Cabramatta
38 12 September
2015
 Ukraine 64 4 Avanhard Stadium Uzhhorod 2014/15 European Championship B
37 20 June
2015
 Italy 21 14 Stadio comunale di Tegilo Veneto Gemona del Friuli
36 22 May
2015
 France 8 68 Stade Gilbert Brutus Perpignan
35 16 May
2015
 Russia 20 15 Makiš Stadium Belgrade 2014/15 European Championship B
34 19 October
2014
 Greece 50 22 Makiš Stadium Belgrade 2014 Balkans Cup
33 17 October
2014
 Hungary 50 0 Makiš Stadium Belgrade
32 10 September
2014
 Italy 45 6 Makiš Stadium Belgrade 2014/15 European Championship B
31 21 June
2014
 Russia 6 20 Nara Stadium Naro-Fominsk
30 17 May
2014
 Ukraine 40 14 Železničar Stadium Niš 750
29 14 September
2013
 Italy 20 32 Stadio Augusteo Este 2012-13 European Shield
28 25 May
2013
 Russia 10 24 Makiš Stadium Belgrade
27 18 May
2013
 Germany 46 10 Makiš Stadium Belgrade
26 22 September
2012
 Russia 20 21 Nara Stadium Naro-Fominsk
25 6 September
2012
 Italy 24 18 Makiš Stadium Belgrade 600
24 12 May
2012
 Germany 24 25 Fritz-Grunebaum Sportpark Heidelberg
23 29 October
2011
 Russia 28 36 Makiš Stadium Belgrade 2013 World Cup Qualifiers - Europe
22 23 October
2011
 Italy 6 52 Makiš Stadium Belgrade
21 16 October
2011
 Lebanon 4 96 Olympic Stadium Tripoli
20 30 September
2011
 Ukraine 10 4 Ada Ciganlija Stadium Belgrade Milan Kosanovic Cup
19 22 April
2011
 Germany 90 6 TuS Hochspeyer Kaiserslautern
18 17 July
2010
 Germany 40 14 FK Radnički Novi Beograd Belgrade 300 2010 European Shield – West
17 17 July
2010
 Czech Republic 56 4 RK Petrovice Prague 100
16 8 November
2009
 Italy 14 42 Llynfi Road Maesteg 2009 European Cup
15 25 October
2009
 Wales 8 88 FK Smederevo Stadium Smederevo 93
14 18 October
2009
 Ireland 0 82 Spollanstown Tullamore 295
13 5 October
2008
 Lebanon 14 20 Municipal Stadium Beirut 1,000 2008 Euro-Med Challenge
12 20 September
2008
 Russia 4 30 FK Kabel Novi Sad 500
11 18 August
2007
 Czech Republic 56 16 FK Radnički Novi Beograd Belgrade 650 2007 European Shield
10 7 July
2007
 Germany 38 6 Fritz-Grunebaum Sportpark Heidelberg 264
9 12 August
2006
 Czech Republic 34 26 Ragbyove hřiště v Edenu Prague 2006 Slavic Cup
8 17 June
2006
 Netherlands 26 38 Rotterdamse RC Beekweg Rotterdam 250 2008 World Cup Qualifying – Europe
7 4 June
2006
 Russia 6 44 FK Radnički Novi Beograd Belgrade 500
6 13 May
2006
 Georgia 10 45 FK Radnički Novi Beograd Belgrade 500
5 24 July
2005
 Georgia 12 44 Dinamo Stadium Tbilisi 8,000 2005 European Nations Qualifiers
4 18 June
2006
 Netherlands 10 26 FK Radnički Novi Beograd Belgrade
3 25 October
2003
 Morocco 4 58 Olympic Stadium Tripoli 2003 Mediterranean Cup
2 22 October
2003
 France 0 120 Municipal Stadium Beirut
1 19 October
2003
 Lebanon 0 102 Olympic Stadium Tripoli

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]