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Neapoli Lakonia crowned Division B champions

Greek RL 2nd DivisionNeapoli Lakonia became the first Division B champions in Greece after beating Pegasus Neos Kosmos ‘B’, 28-24 on their home field in Vatika, Lakonia.

                The match, played close to the ancient city of Sparta in southern Greece, drew over 600 fans, the vast majority of whom were watching Rugby League for the first time in what the Hellenic Federation of Rugby League consider a public relations coup.

                Afterwards, children were playing Rugby League in the playgrounds and schoolyards of the town.

                The home side turned in their best performance of the season, which began last November, overcoming an early Pegasus try to lead 18-12 at halftime.

                This year, the first of the Greek championship, six matches were staged in Division B on an invitational format.

                Following its success, the federation has decided that next year an official B Division Championship will take place, with home and away games, involving four clubs.



Greece teamA sun-bathed Melita FC with a First World War military hospital at one end and the Mediterranean Sea at the other was the scene as Malta opened the Rugby League European Federation European Championship C competition against Greece.

HE Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, met both teams before the match together with the mayor of Pembroke, Mr Dean Hili, and Melita FC President, Mr Paul Zammit. Greek ambassador to Malta, Mr Alexandros Rallis, also attended the match to support the Greek team. The Greeks, with 13 domestic players, took the lead early on through Nikolaos Kanellopolous thanks to an inside ball from Liam Sue-Tin after a Michael Korkidas break and off-load.

Alarm bells went ringing when it was a point per minute as Terry Constantinou crossed in the 12th minute and Malta coach Anthony Micallef was forced to make early changes. Michali Giorgas-Spanos made it 18-0 when he backed up Sue-Tin and Greece was dominating the early parts of the match on the back of a highly physical opening 20 minutes.

With the island’s Rugby League team renowned for coming from behind, the 300 pro-Maltese crowd came to life on the half-hour when Ed Willis completed a nice set of hands to cross in the left corner with Sam Keep converting from the sideline. They went into the half-time break with Greece up 18-6. The Maltese continued the fightback and it was a Stompers outside back again crossing for the points as Malcolm Attard sliced the Greek’s right edge defence twice to tie the match at 18-all. Central Queensland Capras prop Matthew Mizzi set the bar high from the opening minutes with a 80-minute workhorse performance for the Maltese. For the Greeks it was Pine Rivers hooker Liam Sue-Tin who was potent every time he touched the ball. Korkidas crashed over to score in the second half but incredibly, the referee said that he was held up over the try line.

Maltese econd rower Dragan Cerketa left the field in the 57th minute and soon after, the match was held up for 10 minutes after Greece’s Giogas-Spanos sustained a heavy concussion and was taken to hospital for precautionary measures. But it was Greek hooker Liam Sue-Tin, an enigma to the Maltese team for the entire match, who would send a pass to Niokolaos Bosmos to break the dead-lock with 15 minutes on the clock.

From a scrum win, Sue-Tin passed to Bosmos and the latter showed great speed to race 30 metres to score. Less than five minutes from time, Sue-Tin converted a penalty from right in front to give Greece an eight-point lead and it was Michael Korkidas who shattered the Maltese dreams when he took advantage of a handling error in the final 90 seconds and ran 60 metres to kill off any chance of a come-from-behind Malta victory.

Malta’s left edge of Attard and Willis were strong for the Maltese, together with strong showings from domestic championship players Dela, Attard, Cerketa and debutant Spiteri. A player with over a decade of experience across the NRL and Super League, prop and Greek captain Michael Korkidas, who led by example, said after the game “I won’t forget this win, it was one of the toughest games out there”. The most pleasing aspect for the Greeks was the way the local players stood up, tackling magnificently in what was a tough and physical encounter. “The Greek local boys have come a long way in such a short time of playing Rugby League,” said winning coach Matt Ashill.

1 Adam Bouris 2 Giorgin Syti 3 Ioannis Valassas 4 Nikolaos Kanellopoulos 5 Ioannis Nake 6 Nikolaos Bosmos 7 Michali Giorgas-Spanos 8 Stefanos Bastas 9 Liam Sue-Tin Kentrotis 10 Michael Korkidas 11 Terry Constantinou 12 Konstantinos Kotiadis 13 Mihali Chatziioannou Interchange 14 Emmanouil Katalaktakis 15 Ioannis Roussoglou 16 Pandeleimon Arfaras 17 Panagiotis Karefilis Coach: Matt Ashill

Cabramatta International Nines


at Cabramatta, Sydney
Greece A put up a brave effort but were eliminated from the tournament
after losing 18-16 to Niue in the Plate semi-final.
A try to Peter Vardis in the corner, followed by a magnificent
conversion from the sideline put the Greeks ahead 16-14 but a late try
to Niue gave them the victory. The Greeks went into the game with only
three fresh reserves after injuries to a number of key players.
Greece A opened their campaign with a 28-8 win over Niue Development
with Adam Bouris and Jake Vrahnos each scoring a brace of tries while
Vardis added the other one.
In a physical encounter with the Philippines, the Greeks went down
24-6 but were not helped by a number of questionable decisions by the
referee. Bouris ended up scoring the only try for Greece. The
fustration boiled over late in the game when skipper Michael Korkidas
was sin binned for a massive shoulder charge.
The Greeks then took on Canada and despite an early try to Terry
Constantinou, Canada piled on three quick tries to lead 18-6 before
Vardis’ try made it 18-10 at half-time.
Canada scored early in the second half before a wonderful break from
Matthew Georgiades resulted in Liam Sue-Tun Katrotis scoring to reduce
the deficit to a converted try but Canada held on to win 22-16.
Greece A then went into the Plate Division and shut out the Latin Heat
(representing South America) 20-0 in the quarter-finals.
In hot conditions, Greece led 10-0 at the break thanks to tries from
Kristian Aroutsidis and Georgiades. Further tries in the second half
came from Ben Toussis and Nathan Hughes.
Michael Korkidas (c), Adam Bouris, Petros Thanos, Ryan Kambouris,
Peter Vardis, iam Sue-Tin Katrotis, Nathan Hughes, Adfam Kambouris,
Kristian Aroutsidis, Jake Vrahnos, Matthew Georgiades, Steve
Spiliotopoulos, Matt Constantinou, Terry Constantinou, Ben Toussis,
Kosta Yiannaros.
Coach: Steve Georgallis.
Assistant coach: Jim Pizanias
Trainers: Mark Andrews, Mick Weldon, Paul Tate.
Staff: Dennis Lowe, Michael Psarakis.
Manager: Terry Liberopoulos

Greece vs Hungary

Greece vs Hungary
at Mac Stadium, Budapest
Wests Tigers’ Braith Anasta showed why he is a quality player after he
led Greece to a 90-0 whitewash over Hungary in Budapest.
Anasta piled on 46 points for the Greeks, who included eight players
from the Greek Rugby League domestic competition. He scored four tries
and kicked 15 goals from as many attempts, many of them wide out.
“I was really nervous before the game. I talked to my mum and brother
before the game and I was emotional,” said Anasta.
“To play for Greece was a proud moment for me, for my dad and
grandparents. It was the first time I had been to Greece and I loved
Greece took just three minutes of play to open their account when
Sebastian Sell scored after a backline movement.
It was 12-0 after 10 minutes of play after Kristian Aroutsidis scored
wide out. Anasta kicked the conversion from the sideline.
A wonderful kick return from Adam Bouris paved the way for Terry
Constantinou to beat the tackle of Banjamin Tolnai to score in the
17th minute.
Three minutes later, Terry Constantinou was in again after Anasta put
him in the clear. The latter converted and Greece were ahead 24-0 on
the scoreboard.
A healthy crowd of more than 1000 cheered loudly for the home side
but it was Greece that was putting on the points.
In the 27th minute, Mitchell Zampatides crossed wide out after a good
break earlier in the tackle count from Michael Korkidas.
Anasta was showing his skill when he put Terry Constantinou away. The
latter then passed back inside for Anasta to score under the posts.
Sebastian Sell produced a great run that saw Adam Bouris put
Zampatides over for his second try of the game. Anasta kicked the
difficult conversion to give Greece a 42-0 lead at half-time. Greek
coach Steve Georgallis emphasised at half-time that the boys needed to
concentrate in the second half and not worry about the scoreline.
Bouris went close to scoring in the opening minutes of the new half.
It didn’t matter as Anasta scored two tries in five minutes. The
second four pointer came after a powerful run from Matt Constantinou
before Anasta beat three defenders to dive over.
The scoreline was 60-0 when Nake Ioannis burrowed over from dummy
half in the 52nd minute. It was a great moment for the player from the
Athens-based club Pegasus Neos Kosmos.
Sell produced another huge run which eventually saw Anasta putting
Bouris away for the try in the 61st minute.
Two minutes later, a powerful clearing kick from Anasta saw nobody
home for Hungary and Terry Constantinou collected the spoils to bring
up his hat trick.
Bouris added another try to make it 78-0 before Sell scored in the
73rd minute and it was fitting that Anasta finished the scoring when
he latched onto an intercept to score with two minutes remaining.
The positive to come out of the game was the way the local Greek
players performed.
Ioannis, who went on an aeroplane for the first time in his life,
looked like a seasoned professional at hooker despite only playing the
game for a few months.
Michalis Chatziioannou, Iordanis Bilikaidis and Dimitrios Minadakis
hit the ball hard, Giorgin Syti and Konstantinos Lambrakis were
dangerous out wide while George Stilianos and Panagiotis Karefylis
never stopped trying all game. It was fitting that all eight players
from the domestic competition were all on the field when the full-time
siren sounded.
“The European and International Federation need to put resources into
countries like Greece and Hungary,” said Anasta.
“The passion for the game in Greece was incredible. They want to play
Rugby League and we need to help them.”
To their credit, Hungary never stopped trying with Sydney-based David
Farkas doing his best to get his team going forward.
Greece 90 (Braith Anasta 4, Terry Constantinou 3, Mitchell Zampatides
2, Sebastian Sell 2, Adam Bouris 2, Nake Ioannis , Kristian Aroutsidis
tries; Anasta 15 goals) d. Hungary 0 at Mac Stadium, Budapest,
Hungary. Referee: Radoslav Novakovic (Serbia). Touch judges: Steve
Wilson, Zeljko Delic. Penalties: Greece 6-0 Half-time: Greece 42-0.
Crowd: 1013. Goal-kicker: Braith Anasta (Greece) 15 from 15. Man of
the match: Braith Anasta (Greece).

Greece A vs Thailand

at Krabang Rugby Stadium, Bangkok.
Former Super League and NRL player Michael Korkidas led Greece A to a
record 90-0 demolition of Thailand in Bangkok.
While Korkidas led by example, it was former Penrith Under 20s player
Jamie Theoharous who was the star of the show, scoring four tries and
having a hand in just as many as well as being ruthless in defence.
The Greeks opened the scoring after just two minutes of play when
full-back Adam Bouris scored out wide.
Matt Constantinou followed soon after and it was 16-0 after a quarter
of the game when Blake Lazarus scored after Theoharous burst through
the middle to create the gap.
The Thailand side, playing their first full international with Thai
heritage players, tried hard to break through for a try but were met
by strong defence.
Jake Vrahnos scooted away from dummy half before sending Nathan
Hughes on his way to a 40-metre try. It was followed by another try to
Lazarus after lead up work from Bouris and Constantinou. Lazarus
converted his own try to give Greece a 28-0 lead after 26 minutes of
Korkidas split the defence and then off-loaded the ball. It was
allowed to roll around the ground before Vrahnos collected the spoils
and raced away to score under the posts.
Despite the hot and humid conditions, the Greeks continued their
attacking flair with Lazarus putting away Theoharous to score. Lazarus
was spot on with the conversion and the visitors were cruising at 40-0
at the interval.
Korkidas barged over just two minutes into the second half to plant
the ball adjacent to the posts before Theoharous raced over to score
in the 51st minute after he raced down the sideline and then stepped
back inside to plant the ball under the sticks.
Three minutes later, Terry Constantinou went over in the corner and
when Theoharous recorded his hat trick, Greece led 62-0.
Thailand were struggling and were met by some ferocious tackling from
Greece. Thailand centre Narong Khamluechai had to be assisted off the
ground after being crushed in a tackle from Matt Constantinou and
Kristian Aroutsidis raced 60 metres down the sideline and then palmed
off Thailand full-back Kevin Hucker to score in the 62nd minute. Three
minutes later, Liam Sue-Tin raced 30 metres to score after a great
off-load from Adam Kambouris.
Theoharous recorded his fourth try when, from a a scrum win, he beat
four defenders before running 30 metres to score under the posts.
With three minutes remaining, Liam Sue-Tin Katrotis carved up the
opposition up the middle. He bounced off an attempted tackle and then
sent Khan Salamalikis over for the four pointer. Sue-Tin Katrotis
failed to add the extras but Greece were ahead 84-0.
It looked like that would be the final score after the Thai boys held
out another attack from Greece. But they knocked on close to the line,
giving the Greeks one final chance to add more points.
And that’s exactly what transpired. From the scrum win, Theoharous
put in a well executed short kick that sat up perfectly for Lazarus to
score under the posts. Sue-Tin Katrotis had no trouble with the
conversion to finish the scoring for the game.
Thailand tried hard to break through for their first ever
international Rugby League try but couldn’t break through the rock
solid Greek defence.
It didn’t help matters that Thailand played the game with just 14
players after a number of participants did not show up. That was
partly due to the fact that the Thai Rugby Union scheduled a play-off
match at the same time.
Greece A 90 (Jamie Theoharous 4, Blake Lazarus 3, Adam Bouris, Matt
Constantinou, Kristian Aroutsidis, Nathan Hughes, Terry Constantinou,
Khan Salamalikis, Liam Sue-Tin, Michael Korkidas, Jake Vrahnos tries;
Lazarus 8, Sue-Tin 5 goals) d. Thailand 0 at Krabang Rugby Stadium,
King Mongkut Institute of Technology, October 12. Referee: Peter
Anton. Penalties: Thailand 6-4. Half-time: Greece 40-0. Crowd: 183.
Goal-kickers: Blake Lazarus (Greece) 8 from 9, Liam Sue-Tin (Greece) 5
from 7. Man of the match: Jamie Theoharous (Greece).