Al Mina RLFC have played their first game at youth level, as new North Lebanon development officer Mohamed Mohsen seeks to rebuild the club game in the region. Mohsen, who replaced Nader Mgheit following his emigration to the USA, has been delivering to six schools and a number of the children played in the historic first match for Al Mina who went down 24-12 to the more experienced Tripoli Kings.
It was the first youth club match in Lebanon, with all previous fixtures part of the schools competitions.
“We have been working with the schools and clubs in north Lebanon for several months now to develop the sport,” Mohsen said. “The kids are loving the game. It was great atmosphere in Tripoli stadium where parents, fans and players all enjoyed a great day of rugby league.”
Al Mina captain Mohamad Hussein added: “It’s a great game and we can all benefit from it, we can really express ourselves in this sport and we all have hopes of progressing in rugby league.”
Tripoli skipper, Hussein Assad, concurred: “We all love rugby league, it’s different to what we are used to in Lebanon and with further training we hope to get to reach the national team and maybe one day play for Lebanon.”
The LRLF’s plan is to introduce a club youth championship in a separate part of the 2018-19 calendar to the schools competition which continues in Beirut, with St Joseph’s topping the table at the mid-point, ahead of Antonine and Notre Dame de Louaize.
The senior season is drawing to an end, with the college second division won by Beirut Arab University at the weekend, defeating AUB Junior Varsity 16-12. The CRL division one semi-final is on Friday when AUB take on NDU for the right to face defending champions Balamand, in the north, next Wednesday.