Press Release: Rugby League - Czech Republic 8, GB Student Pioneers 29
The Czech Republic's new rugby league team makes a promising start against a visiting British universities side
In blistering hot conditions, Rugby League initiated the perfect touring destination as the Czech Republic made a hugely encouraging debut against the GB Student Pioneers in Prague.
The hosts made a massive impression on the touring party with their natural rugby athleticism, ably led by skipper and free running full back Michal Priputen.
Stuart McReynolds, Craig Barker, Joe Smith, Gareth Barron and diminutive Irish scrum half Steve Owen scored tries for the Pioneers; Barry Walshe with three and Doug Thompson adding the conversions, with Owen dropping a late field goal.
For the hosts, Tomas Ciporanov and Patrik Poledna posted tries, leaving Czech Rugby League general secretary Milan Mrtýnek to comment, "I am very proud for Czech rugby and all the players involved. It is very positive for the future, we have lots to improve upon but the guys thoroughly enjoyed their first game of rugby league and we look forward to the next ones."
Rugby League European Federation Development Officer Kevin Rudd added, "It was a fantastic first step and I look forward to Czechs joining and making an impression on the European Rugby League circuit. There are some good quality athletes over here who are clearly pre-disposed to the code."
His assertion was backed up by Pioneers coach Dave Roberson, who said, "I was very impressed with the structure and discipline shown by the Czechs. The GB Student Pioneers know that they have been in a game and any neutral observer wouldn't have thought that this was the first game that the opposition have played."
The sides meet in a return fixture in the north-eastern city of Olomouc next weekend.
Czech Association of Rugby League
Milan Mrtýnek, General Secretary
Mobile: (+420) 777 339 113
Iain Sellers, Vice President
Mobile: (+420) 724 225 512
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