Czech Republic hold out Poland in spirited international
Two early tries in four minutes from Vrchlabí Mad Squirrels winger Matej Schejbal set the platform for a 36-28 Czech Republic win against Poland at the Majkowski Wembley Stadium in Kalisz.
In a terrific contest, played in great spirit, Poland opened the scoring in the first minute, with fullback Fabian Glinkowski gliding over, but the Czech’s hit back with 22 unanswered points.
Schejbal scored in the 15th and 19th minutes, while David Belohlavek grabbed the first of his two tries and stand off Jakub Hudrlik, who kicked four goals, also crossed for the Czech Republic in the first half.
Local player Łukasz Kostecki, from Husaria Kalisz, replied on the stroke of half time to make it 22-10 at the break.
Jonathan Tutak and back rower Michał Krzypkowski narrowed the gap further in the second half, before late tries from Tomas Kasik and Barbarians Letohrad’s Josef Brynda - sandwiching one by Tomasz Zerbe for the hosts - sealed the win.
Poland joint head coach Colin Baker said: “We are very proud of the guys and especially with the team being entirely comprised of domestic players who gave it their all. It was a great experience for everyone involved and congratulations to our neighbours Czech Republic on the win in a wonderful contest.”
Czech Republic caretaker head coach, Tomas Adamec, noted: “Our main aim was to give opportunities to new players, and they showed their skills and gained the experience which is good.
"We started strongly and dominated early, a few mistakes and errors meant the score was closer, but we finished strongly in the final 20 minutes. Poland played very well and have improved a lot which is good for rugby league in central Europe.”
CZECH REPUBLIC 36 (Schejbal (15, 19), Belohlavek (18, 58), Hudrlik (29), Kasik (70), Brynda (76) tries; Hudrlik 4/7 goals) def POLAND 28 (Glinkowski (1), Kostecki (39), Tutak (51), Krzypkowski (60), Zerbe (74) tries; Mitek 4/5 goals).
Sin Bin - Jirman (50) - Punching
Referee: Misa Vakadranu (Fiji)
Half Time: 10–22
Fabian Glinkowski, Łukasz Wawrzyniak, Kamil Owoc, Jakub Zalewski, Mateusz Kłosiński, Łukasz Łucka, Jakub Mitek, Mateusz Dziąg, Tomasz Zerbe, Maciej Myszkowski, Michał Krzypkowski, Patryk Gabryś, Jonathan Tutak. Interchange: Dawid Krawczyński, Karol Myszkowski, Łukasz Kostecki, Mateusz Kowalewski
Roman Richtr, Adam Mikulas, Tomas Kasik, Daniel Rypl, Matej Schejbal, Jakub Hudrlik, Josef Brynda, David Belohlavek, Jakub Czermak, Kamil Havel, Vit Studecky, Jakub Jirman, Erik Schulz. Interchange: Marek Henzl, Adam Vrbata, Jaroslav Novotny, David Slivka.