Netherlands pull off famous win over Serbia in rugby league international

In their third senior men’s international of their autumn fixture programme, Netherlands maintained their unbeaten run recording a famous 40-10 win over world tenth-ranked Serbia in Zwolle.

Harry Mulligan, Mitch Donnelly and Tom Van Bokhoven led the Oranje attack and they dominated the early stages racing to a 22-0 lead at the break. Tries from James Adams, Mike Prins following up his hat trick against Albania and Paul Kuijpers gave them an early lead, and right on half time centre Rowan Schuiling went over and the visitors never recovered.

Netherlands head coach Dave Hunter commented: “It was the kind of performance we were looking for. Our attitude in defence was particularly good, we knew what the Serbs were going to throw at us and we responded well. I’m extremely proud of the boys, we are building something.”

Serbia named a squad based on domestic talent with only Vlado Kusic and Valdica Nikolic playing in the French leagues, but head coach Darren Fisher was disappointed in a disjointed performance. “We were chasing the game and when things started going against us didn’t handle the pressure,” he said.

“A few players from the Netherlands really made the difference and we couldn’t control them, we were poor in the first 30 minutes and I’m not sure there’s one area of the game that we can say we were better, which is a lesson for us.”

Netherlands now prepare to go to Germany to play in the annual Griffin Cup at the weekend.


Harry Mulligan, Isaac Ngirubiu, Rowan Schuiling, Mike Prins, Lars Mudde, Laury Renac, Damon Koolstra, Mauricio Gomez-Pazos, James Adams, Tom Turnock, Paul Kuijpers, Lucas Thomson, Tom Van Bokhoven. Interchanges: Mitch Donnelly, Soren Van Der Linden, Frank Longhurst, Bonne Wilce

Tries: Adams (2), Prins (16), Kuijpers (22), Schuiling (40), Ngiribiu (55), Mulligan (64), Mudde (70)

Goals: Mulligan 1/2, Thomson 5/6


Dzavid Jasari, Rajko Trifunovic, Stefan Arsic, Aleksandar Pavlovic, Marko Cuk, Nikola Djuric, Vojislav Dedic, Marko Jankovic, Vuk Strbac, Milos Calic, Miodrag Tomic, Strahinja Stoijljkovic, Enis Bibic.

Interchanges: Luka Illic, Denis Cengaj, Vladica Nikolic, Vlado Kusic

Tries: Pavlovic (59), Trifunovic (80).

Goals: Jasari ½

Referee: Moray Gilland (Scotland)

Half Time: 22-0