It was never a promising season for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
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CZECH REPUBLIC 28 SERBIA XIII 36
at RC Slavia Praha, Vladivostocka, Prague
Serbia withstood a spirited rearguard action from the rapidly improving Czech Republic to take the inaugural Slavic Cup in Prague.
Taking advantage of a disappointing start by the hosts, and inspired by man of the match Mate Granic, Serbia scored 18 unanswered points in the opening spell, capitalizing on the home team's handling errors.
Down 24-4 at the break, the Czechs gave a much improved performance in the second half, inspired by tough-tackling Andrew Mulhall, an Australian-born Czech resident, and Michal Kucera, who the Czech RL association named as their outstanding player.
Thanks to three late tries, two of them to Kucera, the gap was eventually reduced to eight points, as the visitors began to tire.
Delighted Serbia RL official Jovan Vujosevic commented, ?I am delighted with the victory as we blooded several new players to build up our strength in depth.?
?It has been the most challenging year yet for Serbia RL but we have competed successfully at a number of levels and we hope to start further work at under 16?s next year.?
CZECH REP. 28: Tries: Ku?era M.-2, Priputen, Paukner, Brabec.
Goals: Ku?era M.-4.
SERBIA 36: Tries: Pe?i?-2, Novakovi?, Jankovi?, Grani?, Anti?, Vojvodi?.
Goals: Grani?-3, Novakovi?-1.
Sent-off: Novakovi? (Serbia)
CZECH REP.: Priputen, Ciporanov, Mana, Mulhall, Paukner, Ku?era M., Poledna, Br?dle, St??brn?, Holovsk?, Verbich, Kurka, Prokep. Subs (all used): Hencl, Benda, Ku?era J., Brabec.
SERBIA: Miti?, Vojvodi?, Milinkovi?, Anti?, Rakovi?, Grani?, Vujo?evi?, Novakovi?, Pe?i?, Jevti?, Jankovi?, Tom?i?, ?ebeljan. Sub (used): Risti?.