Neapoli Lakonia became the first Division B champions in Greece after beating Pegasus Neos Kosmos ‘B’, 28-24 on their home field in Vatika, Lakonia.
The match, played close to the ancient city of Sparta in southern Greece, drew over 600 fans, the vast majority of whom were watching rugby league for the first time in what the Hellenic Federation of Rugby League consider a public relations coup.
Afterwards, children were playing rugby league in the playgrounds and schoolyards of the town.
The home side turned in their best performance of the season, which began last November, overcoming an early Pegasus try to lead 18-12 at halftime.
Konstantinos Lambrakis, captain and founder of Neapoli, was overjoyed at the welcome given to the sport by the locals. “Although the players have little experience, we performed really well,” he said. “I strongly believe that this will be the start of a big future for our team.”
This year, the first of the Greek championship, six matches were staged in Division B on an invitational format.
Following its success, the federation has decided that next year an official B Division Championship will take place, with home and away games, involving four clubs.