In the lead up to their crucial European Championship B clash with Italy this weekend, the Serbian Rugby League Federation held their annual Origin Cup and Test trial, with Belgrade City beating Serbia Country 24-22, at the Heroj stadium in the capital.
Country’s Dragan Janković broke the deadlock in the sixth minute with an unconverted try in the right corner, Belgrade levelling through Djordje Gak’s touchdown and taking the lead when Andrej Mora crossed, Stefan Nikolić adding the extras.
Country hit back with a Nikola Stanišić solo try, but in form Stevan Stevanović, playing at stand off, scored his first four-pointer in 36th minute, Nikolić converting.
A minute before the break, Country hooker Mile Podkoljnjak reduced the deficit, Džavid Jašari successful with the goal to level matters at 14-all.
The second half started with a quick converted try by Stevanović but again Serbia Country struck back almost instantly when Janković also claimed his second score.
Defences dominated until Miloš Ćalić broke free and gave Belgrade a six points advantage with 13 minutes to go, Nikolić’s miss at goal giving Country a chance to draw level.
In the final minute, full back Vladislav Dedić went over to make it five tries each but his conversion just went wide and Belgrade hung on for a second succive win in the series which they now lead overall.
Serbia’s national team coach Marko Janković was satisfied with the form of potential candidates for the match in Italy.
Djordje Gak, Andrej Mora, Aleksa Radić, Miodrag Tomić, Denis Čengaj, Stevan Stevanović (capt.), Stefan Nikolić, Vlado Kušić, Dimitris Dajč, Stefan Ilić, Miloš Ćalić, Milan Čobanović, Slobodan Manak
Subs: Adam Pavlović, Ivan Ivanović, Boban Janković
Tries: Gak (15’), Mora (18’), Stevanović (36’, 44’), Ćalić (67’)
Goals: Nikolić 2/5
SERBIA COUNTRY: 22
Vladislav Dedić, Dragan Janković, Filip Stošić, Miloš Djurković, Dragan Vasiljević, Džavid Jašari, Lazar Živković (capt.), Vuk Štrbac, Mile Podkoljnjak, Žarko Kovačević, Marko Ćuk, Pero Madžarević.
Subs: Stefan Jovanović, Igor Vratnjan, Nikola Stanišić, Nemanja Bajić.
Tries; Janković (6’, 50’), Stanišić (30’), Podkoljnjak (39’), Dedić (79’)
Goals: Dedić 0/3, Jašari 1/2