By Andy Mulhall, Date: 7/11/13
Chrudim Angels secured their second trophy of the CZRLA season when, after having already won the 2013 CZRLA 2nd Division Championship, they won the 2nd Division Grand Final against Hradec Kralove, 28-0. The match was played in chilly conditions in Chrudim, in front of special guests, South Sydney Rabbitohs CEO, Shane Richardson, and his wife, Kate. Richardson had also been a special guest at the 2013 CZRLA Awards night the previous evening, where he presented awards and took questions from an enthralled audience.
Chrudim scored 7 tries on their way to the win, with Marek Pluhar and Viteslav Caslavka topping the list with 2 each, and the latter also being awarded the John Anderson Medal for being judged the Man of the Match. Hradec Kralove worked hard throughout the game – which started physically but dropped in standard as both teams large squad’s fitness levels were sorely tested – but in contrast to their opposition they were unable to convert the several half-chances created by playmaker, Lada Cintler, and some strong runs from their forwards, into tries. Chrudim conversely, had more varied sources of creativity and momentum and – despite the game being more competitive than the scoreline may suggest and Hradec Kralove actually looking the more fluid attacking team for significant patches of the match – used a more direct approach to bash their way through the defensive line on enough occasions to always look as though they were on their way to a win from the time they started to lead in the 10th minute. Both clubs are expected to accept an invitation to step-up to the CZRLA 1st Division in 2014.
The CZRLA Awards, with Shane Richardson presenting, saw Petr Sedina – player-coach of the Mikulov Roosters & national team captain – awarded the International Czech Player of the Year Award, while Jan Buben – the captain-coach of the 2013 undefeated CZRLA 1st Division Champions, Lokomotiva Beroun – was awarded the 2013 Czech Championship Player of the Year Award. Ladislav Cintler, who made his Czech national team debut, this season was awarded the CZRLA 2nd Division Player of the Year trophy. All 3 awards are calculated on the basis of votes tallied from opposition players and Match Officials after each round of the CZRLA Championships.
The 2013 CZRLA Awards evening was also significant for the presentation of inaugural CZRLA Life Memberships to the ‘founding father’ of Czech Rugby League, Milan Mrtynek, and the man who has been President of the CZRLA since its inception in 2006, John Anderson. As well as receiving this honour, both men also have Grand Final Man of the Match Awards named after them – Marcel Novak being awarded the Milan Mrtynek Medal in 2013, despite being on the losing team, for his outstanding effort with Vrchlabi against Beroun in the 2013 CZRLA 1st Division Grand Final.
Shane Richardson was enthusiastic in his participation in the two CZRLA events he attended over the weekend, stating that: “Despite the cold weather, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing some local footy played by a group of keen young Czechs embracing the Greatest Game of All, and I felt honoured to be given the opportunity to present awards in a country which seems to be progressing so well in the grassroots development of Rugby League.”
Richardson’s participation was equally well received by the local Czech community, who were privileged to have such a high-profile Rugby League figure involved in the country’s domestic activity. Said Chrudim Angels player and Club Manager, Lukas Hergott: “Having Shane & Kate attend both the CZRLA Awards night and the 2nd Division Grand Final was very exciting for everyone in Czech Rugby League, and I know that the Chrudim lads were very keen to impress in front of him. We hope that he enjoyed being involved in this weekend’s domestic activity as much as we enjoyed having him, and that we will see him visit us again sometime soon!”
CZRLA 2013 Individual Player of the Year Awards
CZRLA International Player of the Year: Petr Sedina
CZRLA 1st Division Championship Player of the Year: Jan Buben
CZRLA 1st Division Championship Player of the Year 2nd Place: Venca Fiser
CZRLA 2nd Division Player of the Year: Ladislav Cintler
Milan Mrtynek Medal – 1st Division Grand Final Man of the Match: Marcel Novak
John Anderson Medal – 2nd Division Grand Final Man of the Match: Viteslav Caslavka
CZRLA Life Membership: Milan Mrtynek
CZRLA Life Membership: John Anderson
CZRLA pre-season 9s winners: Lokomotiva Beroun
CZRLA 1st Division Champions & Grand Final Winners: Lokomotiva Beroun
CZRLA 2nd Division Champions & Grand Final Winners: Chrudim Angels