Greece women beat Serbia 32-4 in 2026 Rugby League World Cup qualifier

Dimitra Papoutsi and Maria-Anna Lamprou both scored two tries as Greece defeated Serbia 32-4 in Group B of the 2026 Women’s World Cup European qualifiers, at the Agios Dimitrios Stadium in Athens.

 

The result means that if favourites France win in Belgrade next month, they will qualify for the tournament proper in the southern hemisphere, with Greece heading for a play off with the runners up in Group A for the chance to partake in the inaugural repechage World Series in 2025.

 

“I’m extremely happy with the result, the girls did exactly what I asked,” said Greece women’s head coach, Jim Minadakis. “They hit hard, ran hard and got their rewards. We are back training on Tuesday for whoever we play next, and we will be ready for them come October.”

 

Attica Rhinos centre Papoutsi burrowed over from close range in the third minute to open the scoring after Velissaria Koutsioumpa went close, Serbia further hampered when Karolina Blizanac was sinbinned for a high tackle.

 

In her absence, Lamprou scored from a scrum play and Ourania Koutsikou broke through from 10 metres out to go over to the right side of posts, Myrsini Pappa goaling to make it 14-0 at the break.

 

Stand off Natalija Simić gave Serbia hope carrying three defenders over the line to score in the corner at the start of the second half, but Georgia Foteini Koutsimpogeorgou’s try out wide after another penalty for a high tackle effectively settled the outcome.

 

Late on, Papoutsi claimed her second and Lamprou capitalised on a 50-metre break by Sotiria Skouroliakou, Velissaria Koutsioumpa with the seventh home try after Simić had been yellow carded for a hair pull.

 

Greece prop Maria-Eleni Gkirlemi was voted player of the match, their captain Koutsikou commenting: “It was a great day, we stuck to the plan, played our game and kept going. We were very happy to play in front of our family and friends, scored some good tries and are now very excited for the next step.”

 

Serbia women’s head coach, Slobodan Manak, said: “Congratulations to Greece for their great performance. My girls played well until the closing stages when they ran out of physicality and that was pretty much it from our side.”

 

GREECE 32

Kleopatra Velmachou, Velissaria Koutsioumpa, Dimitra Papoutsi, Christina Macris, Magdalini Stavrianou, Asimina Mastoraki, Sofia-Margarita Kitsaneli, Maria-Anna Lamprou, Chrysi Lymperidi, Maria-Eleni Gkirlemi, Myrsini Pappa, Anna Limperi, Ourania Koutsikou

Subs: Sofia Anagnostopoulou, Marianna Chali, Georgia Foteini Koutsimpogeorgou, Sotiria Skouroliakou

 

Tries: Papoutsi (3, 70), Lamprou (18, 74), Koutsikou (25), Koutsimpogeorgou (60”), Koutsioumpa (75)

Goals: Velmachou 0/2, Pappa 2/4

 

SERBIA 4

Tamara Bosnjak, Katarina Veljanoski, Teodora Micic, Anastasija Karanovic, Jelena Stojiljkovic, Nataša Kovačević, Lea Milošević , ⁠Marija Maslaković, Karolina Blizanac, ⁠Anna Liuter, Sanja Starčević, ⁠Natalija Simić , Cleopatra Carreno

Subs: ⁠Jovana Fridl, Nika Bajić, Uma Čengaj, ⁠Dunja Stojiljković

 

Try: Simić 54’

Goal: Bosnjak 0/1

 

Sin bin: Blizanac (10 – high tackle), Simić (76 – hair pull)

 

Half time: 14-0

Referee: James Jones (Wales)