By Phil Caplan, Date: 22/10/13
After months of preparation the inaugural Hellenic Rugby League Championship kicked off at the weekend.
The opening match was played in Kifissos field, in western Athens, with the greater experience of visiting islanders Rhodes Knights overcame early resistance to defeat Pegasus Neos Kosmos 60-24.
The second game, in Pantelis Nikolaidis stadium in Nikaea, Piraeus, saw Promitheas Rendi score first and level 6-6 at the break but the second half belonged to Aris Petroupolis, who ran out 38-12 winners.
Tasos Pantazidis, President of the Hellenic Federation of Rugby League, commented, “After involving less than 50 people last year, we now have more than 200 players experiencing the sport. Rugby league has hit Greece, and it will make more noise in the near future”.
During the weekend a group of players, coaches and officials from Sydney’s Greek-Australian community were in Athens, delivering workshops and passing on their expertise. They attended the two matches and were delighted to see the passion and willingness of the new players.
National coaches Steve Georgallis and Jim Pizanias, plus players Braith Anasta and Michael Korkidas, will be part of the Greek team travelling to Budapest, where they will play in the country’s first official international against Hungary on Sunday 27th October.