Serbia: 0
England: 0

Match report


English-Midlands U18s defeated Serbia to win the Youth Festival held in Belgrade from 17th to 19th August. The RFL’s Midlands selection scored two tries in the early minutes of both halves which proved too much for the game hosts, who nevertheless battled hard. Perfect kicking by fullback Nick Tasker and halfback Ben Lewis only made the victory more convincing.

Hershall Ward, who was a constant threat for the Serbian defence, scored the first try of the game in 3rd minute. In the very next set Tasker broke the line and marked under the posts. Serbia then doubled their efforts and began to play with more fighting spirit, holding the English from further scores for the remainder of the half.

The English start to the second period was a carbon copy of the first, with two quick tries by Jack Pearce and Chris Needham. Ben Lewis converted on the both occasions. Both teams had their chances in the following period, but only the tourists managed to extend their lead in the dying minutes. David Wilson broke through the tired Serbian line and Tasker added the conversion, kicking a hat-trick for the final 30-0 victory.

RLEF Central and Eastern Europe Regional Director Jovan Vujošević was satisfied with the festival’s outcomes, in terms of organisation and the participants’ standard of performance: “This  Youth Festival was successfully organised and entertained three nations with different cultural backgrounds. What was important is that they all spoke the unique language of our sport and it was really great to watch under-18 players fighting for their colours in a rugby league friendly environment.

"Credit goes to everyone involved: Lebanon, who managed to come to Belgrade despite almost impossible conditions back home, then played two matches in two days; England, who convincingly won both games; and Serbia, who again proved their hosting capabilities and good progress in youth development.”

Serbia's Under-16 national team travels to Germany later this month for a two-match series with their central European rivals.

Zdravko Stikić, Nemanja Zlatanović, Branko Ćorić, Uroš Radulović, Gavrilo Cvetković, Filip Stošić, Nemanja Petrović, Pero Madžarević, Slavko Marković, Srdjan ÄŒetnik, Vasilije Jovanović, Miloš Djordjević, Stefan Vidaković. Subs: Nikola Stojmenović, Sergej Devetak, Nik Ramišvili, Nemanja Bajić, Mladen Randjić, Vukašin Rajšić, Jan Kulik

Nick Tasker, Will Cox, Connor Slater, David Wilson, Hershall Ward, Alasdair McDougall-Stone, Ben Lewis, Alex Heath, Tom Hughes, Ryan Home, Michael Bennett, Myles Turner, Reece Needham. Subs: Chris Zaric, Adam Bromley, Harry Marks, Denham Samuels, Oliver Sankey, Jack Pearce, Dan Hyams, Joe Frobisher