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Austria claimed its first victory on the international stage after a convincing win over spirited Estonians.
Partenion, outstanding Alpine resort in austria, was a rather unusual venue to hold this first international rugby league fixture played on the Austrian soil. They actually have the one and only full time rugby pitch in the country. Herr Eder Major of Parternion was obviously delighted to welcome both teams as well as the curious crowd who gathered for the occasion. The Estonian were eager to kick off after driving 36 hours through 7 European countries. However, the locals got the better start in the first half, storming through the estonians defence via powerful runs by prop Andreas Raunigger and center Christoph Kaltenb?ck. Man of the match local winger Mathias Genser giving the visitors the last blow with his devastating runs through the middle of the pitch. The Estonians kept afloat thanks to their skipper Petrik Mottus and prop Anton Sevastjanov who both crossed the line.
The visitors fought back in the second half with greater determination. The Estonian player of the day prop Taavi Ermel and back row Rain Kurg led their team to match the locals in a very tense contest. But the Austrians had the final word in the dying minutes, Mathias Genser crossing the line again for a hat-trick.
?We are very proud to have organized such a great event. It?s been a wonderful day for the crowd and rugby league in Austria. There is plenty to look forward to in the future.? Said delighted organiser of the event Volker Mannheim and chairman of the Carinthian Rugby Club. The area is defenitely a great place to hold more sporting events.
?It?s a great satisfaction for the RLEF and Rugby league in Europe to see this Development Tri Nation completed. It?s fantastic to have passionate people and novice crowd coming together to enjoy meaningful Rugby League competition.? added RLEF representative Benjamin Araud.
Saturday 2nd September, Paternion Stadium, Austria
Austria 56 ? 32 Estonia Austria 11 T, 6C Estonia 6 T, 4C Att: 237 Men of Match: Mathias Genser (Austria) Taavi Ermel (Estonia)