By Andy Mulhall, Date: 6/11/12
Lokomotiva Beroun have finished the 2013 CZRLA season undefeated with a comprehensive 44-22 away defeat of Prague Vikings in the final round of the Championship. The victory will give Beroun even more confidence in this weekendâ€™s Grand Final when they again face the Vikings in an effort to become the first Czech Rugby League Club to go through a full season winning every game they contested.
The final round match, with both clubs knowing that they would meet in the Grand Final regardless of the outcome, was played without any great passion, the visitors starting much the stronger with 4 tries to 1 in the 1st half, before easing off in the second half as Prague came back with 3 more tries of their own. Leading Beroun forward, Vitezslav Drazka, was philisophical about the result, stating the Beroun, â€œtreated this game as an opportunity to give extra game time to some of our rookie players and to try a few different combinations. We are satisfied with the resultâ€.
In the other final round CZRLA 1st Division match, 2011 premiers, the Pardubice Jets, defeated a gallant Vrchlabi Mad Squirrels outfit 12-6 on home turf. Both clubs will look at 2012 as having been a season of expansion in terms of playing numbers, and an opportunity to give their players much needed further rugby league experience, before contesting an expanded 2013 CZRLA 1st Division Champioship.
Mikulov Roosters have won the inaugural Czech Rugby League 2nd Division Championship. The Moravian-based club travelled to Slatinany with the 4 other Czech 2nd Division clubs and won 3 of their 4 matches on a snow covered field that was a veritable bog by the end of the dayâ€™s tournament. The Czech 2nd Division â€“ contested by 5 new Czech clubs in 2012 â€“ unlike the 1st Division which is played on a standard home & away basis, required each of the 5 competing clubs to host 1 round each, in which each club played all others on the same day in matches of 2 x 15 minute halves.
Mikulov went into the 5th & final round sitting equal 2nd with Usti nad Labem behind Havlickuv Brod. Havlickuv Brod started the season in a blaze, but have spluttered through the last 2 rounds of the Championship, being unable to record a single win, and dropping from 1st to 3rd for the season after the final round in Slatinany. Mikulov will now face Usti nad Labem in the 2nd Division Grand Final, a stand-alone game that will be played over 2
30 minute halves as the preliminary to the 1st Division Grand Final in Beroun this weekend.
While the final 2nd Division tournament for the season was most notable for both Mikulov and Usti leapfrogging Havlickuv Brod into the Grand Final, it also underlined the vast improvement in Chrudim, the host club, who were undefeated on the day, and Hradec Kralove who were the only team to deny Chrudim a victory in the final round tournament, holding them to a 4 all draw in the 1st match of the day. Indeed, CZRLA President, John Anderson, has been very pleased with the progress of domestic Czech Rugby League in 2012, and particularly with the strength in depth, and performances, of the 2nd Division clubs. â€œThe physicality of the 2nd Division teams has been equal to, and at times even superior, to that displayed by the teams in the Czech 1st Division Championship in 2012, and promises to provide teams who will hit the ground running when called up into the 1st Division in 2013, as well as further depth of talent for the national team when the Czech Republic competes in international fixtures in 2013â€.
Czech national team captain, and Mikulov founder, Pettr Sedina, was pleased with the Roosters 2012 results thus far, but is looking forward to an intense Grand Final encounter with Usti. â€˜The guys have worked really hard in training and improved gradually over the season with every game. We now look forward to a tough game with Usti in the Grand Final, and beyond that to competing in the 2013 Czech 1st Divisionâ€™.
Praha Slavia: Beroun 44 (Hora 3, Suchopar 2, Grubner, Joukl, Zitek, David, Smotek; Cernohorsky, Suchopar goals) Prague 22 (Nekut 2, Dupoy, Bzoch, Sherrington; Sedina goal
Drazkovice: Pardubice 12 (Bohm, Valek, Caslavka tries) Vrchlabi 6 (David Lahr try and a goal)
Slatinany: CZRLA 2nd Division Results #5 – Chrudim 4-4 Hradec Kralove; Havlickuv Brod 4-8 Mikulov; Hradec Kralove 0-10 Usti nad Labem: Chrudim 12-4 Havlickuv Brod; Mikulov 12-6 Usti nad Labem; Hradec Kralove 8-0 Havlickuv Brod; Chrudim 10-6 Mikulov; Havlickuv Brod 4-18 Usti nad Labem; Mikulov 8-4 Hradec Kralove; Chrudim 20-0 Usti nad Labem.