Dorćol continued their domination in the Serbian Rugby League Federation Cup with an eleventh consecutive win, remaining unbeaten in the modern era, but they had to come from behind to see off the challenge of rivals Red Star, 38-34, in a thriller at the Makiš stadium in Belgrade.
The lead changed hands multiple times to keep the crowd on their feet throughout, with winner decided two minutes from time with a try and conversion by inspirational Serbian captain Dalibor Vukanović, as Red Star’s late indiscipline cost them.
Red Star, the reigning Serbian champions, raced in to a 24-4 lead, Miloš Ćalić with two tries, Vladislav Dedić and Denis Čengaj one each, Vojislav Dedić with the goals to them all.
Stevan Stevanović got Dorćol on the board and they dominated the final ten minutes of the opening half, with tries from Aleksa Radić, Milan Avramović and Vukanović who kicked two conversions to make it 24-20 at the break.
Dorćol took the lead in the 46th minute with Stevanović’s second try and a Vukanović goal.
Red Star responded when Serbian international Vladica Nikolić got on the score sheet, Vojislav Dedić with the extras but again Dorćol hit back just after the hour mark when Stevanović completed his hat-trick and Vukanović again converted.
Red Star established an advantage again with six minutes to go through an unconverted Miloš Zogović try but Vukanović had the decisive say.
Both clubs will now continue their chase of Partizan, who have emerged as the leaders after the first half of national championship.
In a double-header, Radnički Nova Pazova won the Serbian Shield, 58-32, against Soko.
DORĆOL: 38 (20)
Andrej Mora, Milan Avramović, Relja Petrović, Aleksa Radić, Stefan Vukanović, Dimitris Dajč, Dalibor Vukanović (capt.), Miloš Aleksić, Milan Čobanović, Stevan Stevanović, Stefan Nedeljković.
Subs: Nikola Pavlović, Mirko Božović, Rade Spajić, Sergej Devetak.
Tries: Stevanović (6′, 46′, 62′), Radić (33′), Vukanović (39′, 78′), Avramović (40′).
Goals: Vukanović 5/7.
RED STAR: 34 (24)
Miloš Zogović, Nenad Žujić, Aleksandar Predojević, Rajko Trifunović, Zoran Perić, Denis Čengaj, Nikola Đurić, Miloš Ćalić, Nikola Đurić, Vuk Štrbac, Dragan Vukosavljević, Vojislav Dedić, Vojislav Dedić (capt.), Nikola Vulić.
Subs: Slobodan Manak, Miodrag Tomić, Miloš Kostandinović, Vladica Nikolić.
Tries: Vladislav Dedić (3′), Ćalić (18′, 28′), Čengaj (20′), Nikolić (55′), Zogović (74′).
Goals: Vojislav Dedić 5/6.