Netherlands: 0
Belgium: 0

    Frank Kraal (23)
    Idriss Tioguim (6), Raphael Mathot (52), Salvatore Liga (72), Youssef Zoubir (79)

    Auke Idzerda 1/1
    Iliass Laachiri 3/4

Match report

In a historic day, the Netherlands & Belgium met for the first time on a scorching Saturday afternoon in Delft, in between The Hague and Rotterdam. Although Belgium briefly had an active rugby league operation in 2008 and 2009 the country has never before fielded a national team according to international regulations.

Belgium took the spoils in an evenly contested match which was locked at 6-all at the break. Cameroonian-born centre Idriss Tioguim scored Belgium’s historic first ever try in the fourth minute, while his opposite number, Frank Kraal, levelled matters on 24 minutes for a Dutch side fielding 10 debutants.

Substitute Raphael Mathot broke the deadlock on 52 minutes, and 20 minutes later wing Salvatore Liga gave the visitors a comfortable margin, with fullback Iliass Laarichi converting his third goal. Youssef Zoubir’s goal on the stroke of fulltime ended the scoring.

Netherlands coach Jason Bruygoms said, ”It was a great day for rugby league in our part of the world, with two neighboring & developing nations helping each other grow. On the day Belgium were more hungry for the win and too many basic mistakes were made by the Dutch, but we will go away from this match with eyes wide open as we move toward building from the experience”.

The match was preceded by an under-21 exhibition game, won 16-14 by the Dutch.

Gerbert van Bochove, Jaco Pattikawa, Koen Maaijen, Frank Kraal, Marcel Koorevaar, Auke Idzerda, Ben Dommershuijsen, Rogier Baakman, Marvin Slingerland, Emerson do Rosario de Werk, Tom van Gorkum, Taco de Boer, Patrick Funk. Subs: Vincent Edelkoort, Jorge Vazquez, Geil-Jan Bogaert, Alex Moller

Illiass Laachiri, Seif Abdelkefi, Mohamed Belakhdar, Idriss Tioguim, Salvatore Liga, Karim Hammadat, Zakaria Zoubir, Youssef Zoubir, Christopher Eyns, Suleyman Demirkapu, Younes Hammadat, Marco Moraschi, Jalil Hrim. Subs: Amin Abdelkefi, Gaetan Petermans, Raphael Mathot, Yves-Michael Kazadi