Lokomotiva Beroun have gone through a second consecutive CZRLA 1st Division Championship undefeated. Beroun have not suffered a loss since being defeated by the Pardubice Jets in the 2011 Grand Final; this impressive run includes being undefeated both home and away in the 2012 & 2013 Championships, as well being undefeated in the 2012 & 2013 CZRLA pre-season 9s tourneys and having won the 2012 CZRLA Grand Final 50-0 against Prague Vikings. They will now play Zemni Stavby Vrchlabi in the 2013 CZRLA Grand Final.
Vrchlabi finished the season with 6 wins from their 8 1st Division matches and only 2 losses – both against Beroun – and also won the inaugural mid-season summer challenge comp hosted by the Chrudim Angels which included clubs from both the 1st & 2nd divisions of the CZRLA, while Teplice Dragons, Mikulov Roosters and Orli Havlickuv Brod exchanged wins and losses in what was, for all 3 clubs, their first full season in the Czech Rugby League’s 1st Division.
All 3 teams promoted to 1st Division in 2013 made solid debuts – Havlickuv Brod making rapid improvement in their displays on-field over the course of the season under dedicated coach Pavel Kubasta; Teplice also improved through the season notably – pushing both grand final teams very hard in the final two weeks of the Championship, dominating in the forwards for patches of both games with rugged defence and hard, straight running and the Dragons were only let down by a thin reserves bench in both matches; while Mikulov Roosters – 2nd Division Champions in 2012 – were solid at home, but, as the only team from Moravia in the CZRLA Championship, struggled to produce their best performances when travelling to away games.
Havlickuv Brod should also be congratulated for having in the latter half of 2013 initiated what is only the second field specifically designed to international standard Rugby League regulations in the Czech Republic, and very likely all of Europe outside of the UK and France.”
Thus, the scene is set for the 2 clubs who remained from the 4 who competed in the 2012 CZRLA Czech 1st Division Championship in 2013 to fight out the Grand Final. Lokomotiva Beroun, playing on home soil as a reward for winning the Championship, go into the match as heavy favourites. They will be strongly tested by Vrchlabi however, the 2 teams playing as recently as 3 weeks ago when Beroun came away with 28-20 win in a chilly Vrchlabi, although the cagily-selected teams who competed on that occasion will be quite different to the two teams that play this weekend, with several players having been rested from both teams due to injury and illness.
In the CZRLA 2nd Division, Chrudim Angels have just edged out RLC Slavia Hradec Kralove to secure the 2013 Championship. Both clubs are expected to move up into an expanded CZRLA 1st Division Championship in 2014.