The first-ever rugby league game has been played in Montenegro, in the first round of the 2021 Serbian First Division. Local side RLC South Region played host to Radnicki Belgrarde in the city of Bar on the Adriatic coast, the visitors travelling over 500km and winning 42-18.
For RLC South Region it was their sixth competitive game, having participated in the last two Balkan Super League competitions but first at home having joined the Serbian domestic competition this season. They are scheduled to play another five home fixtures before the start of the 2021 Balkan Super League. The Rugby League Association of Montenegro is now expected to be established.
Jovan Petrovic, president of Rugby League Club South Region said: “I would like to thank the guys from Belgrade who, despite the pandemic and long trip, managed to play a game against us. For me, this was a very emotional day because my father passed away on Tuesday because of the Covid-19 virus, and this match in the sport I love sends the message that life will win.”
ERL regional director Jovan Vujosevic, added: “It is very important that rugby league continues to expand across Europe despite the effects of the pandemic. I am personally emotionally attached to Montenegro, it is the country of my ancestors and I always dreamed that the rugby league would be played there – now that day has come.”
South Region vs Radnički New Belgrade 18-42
Montenegro Bar. Referee: Vladan Kikanović (Belgrade).
Points for South Region: 3 tries – Marko Andrić 2 min, Marko Novaković 44 i 47 min. Goals: Srđan Popović 3/3.
Points for Radnički New Belgrade: 8 tries – Vuk Tomić 7 min, Marko Jugović 28 min, Erdem Čagdaš 32 and 70 min, Marko Jakovljević 39 min, Aleksandar Cvetković 59 min, Stefan Novaković 76 min, Mihailo Tomić 79 min. Goals: Vuk Tomić 2/4, Stefan Novaković 2/3, Lazar Nastić 1/1.
South Region: Lazar Luketa, Vuk Vukčević, Zoran Delibašić, Marko Kovačević, Ivan Čolaković, Nikola Lagator, Marko Andrić, Srđan Popović, Bojan Miždalo, Mitar Bošković, Vladan Čelebić, Marko Novaković, Burom Brahimi. Substitutions: Mihajlo Dašić, Redžo Balkan.
Radnički New Belgrade: Kan Gunersi, Aleksandar Marković, Marko Jakovljević, Aleksandar Cvetković, Marko Jugović, Vuk Tomić, Stefan Novaković, Aleksa Milinković, Mihailo Tomić, Jasmin Bibić, Dušan Ćirković, Erdem Čagdaš, Lazar Nastić.