Serbia defeat Montenegro in men's senior rugby league international

Serbia’s men came from behind to defeat Montenegro 52-34 in their men’s senior international at FC Arsenal, in Tivat.

The visitors took an early 12-0 lead, debutant fullback Bojan Cecaric with the first of his three tries, but Montenegro levelled when James Cullen posted the opening one of his eventual brace. Serbia edged ahead at half time but Marko Novakovic’s superb score four minutes into the second half gave the hosts the lead.

In a terrific contest, man of the match Cecaric’s third score, a superb long range effort, re-established Serbia’s hold on the game but Montenegro had the final say with Vladislav Dedic’s second try to cap a valiant effort from the international newcomers.

SRLF general secretary, Vladan Kikanovic, noted: “It was a great game, very tight for the first 55 minutes and I congratulate the team from Montenegro, they have been a very challenging side for us. Our young boys passed the test we asked of them and overall I am very satisfied.”

Montenegro head coach, Ian Giddings, commented: “It was a wonderful game, the crowd really enjoyed the athleticism and sportsmanship on show, every player gave their all and it can only be of benefit for rugby league in the Balkan region.”

MONTENEGRO 34

Marko Novakovic, James Cullen, Marko Andric, Edouard Hardy, Milos Dasic, Srdjan Popovic, Vladislav Dedic, Danilo Kosanovic, Ilija Ivanovic, Andrija Dakic, Elivs Cenaj, Redzep Baljaj, Balsa Zarkovic

Subs: Stevan Radonjic, Bojan Mizdalo, Burim Brahimi, Nermin Kovacevic

Tries: Ivanovic (13), Cullen (20, 72), Dedic (28, 80), M. Novakovic (44)

Goals: Popovic 5/6

SERBIA 52

Bojan Cecaric, Aleksa Zivojinovic, Luka Ilic, Aleksandar Markovic, Jovan Loncar, Silver Zenuni, Luka Stosic, Strahinja Stojiljkovic, Mihailo Tomic, Stefan Novakovic, Luka Trifunovic, Enis Bibic, Marko Cuk

Subs: Mihajlo Markovic, Luka Bojicic, Filip Nesic, Stevan Ivankovic

Tries: Cecaric (7, 56, 67), A. Markovic (10), Stosic (25), Bibic (33), Stoiljkovic (50), Ilic (64, 79)

Goals: Stoiljkovic 7/8 Cecaric 1/1

Half time: 18-22

Referee: Nenad Zujic (Serbia)