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Lebanese yield to Dorcol & cancel Red Star game

Mark Pullen RSS / 10.04.2012. u 22:56

10th April 2012 - this morning we had our hopes of a competitive fixture dashed when the team from Lebanon's American University of Beirut cancelled after having been unable to recover from their devastating 106-0 loss to Serbia's indomitable champions Dorcol RLFC.

Since Dorcol recently demolished us 106-6, we figured this one was ours 6-0 for sure ;)

Dorcol sent six of their players to hospital and completely demolished and demoralised them, just as they've done to every other club team not from France or the UK since around 2009.

Judging by reports, we would probably also have beaten the AUB team comfortably, though probably with less bloodshed.

In my opinion, there probably isn't a rugby league team in the northern hemisphere (beyond the UK & France... and maybe Russia) that could take on the might of Dorcol at this moment.

Red Star and the other teams in Dorcol's league (let's face it, it is ‘their' league from top to bottom) are in the best position to close the gap...


This all comes on the back of an excellent Red Star team ‘jolly' in Budapest: - six hours on the bus from Belgrade Friday evening, hostel in the city centre, Saturday afternoon friendly (but really friendly) game with a bunch of union-convert expats and Irish hurlers (with a smattering of young Hungarian talent that was nice to see) - 72-8 to us; hot grub and beer, night on the razzle, back to Belgrade on the Sunday.

We had a great time and the bonding experience certainly made the trip worthwhile, but competing against teams that are 40-80 points beneath us does not prepare us for the intensity of the dreaded Dorcol (cue Star Wars Imperial March).

In all honesty, the only solution is probably for us to play Dorcol more often...maybe 6 times a year, but that would entail one of two things to happen: 1.) for us to start physically kicking ten bells out of each other at training and systematising our foul play and provocative urban tribalism, or for Dorcol to stop doing those things.

Dorcol has a key role to play and a responsibility as the benchmark rugby league club in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. The Rugby League European Federation has a duty of care to ensure that Dorcol continues setting a benchmark for the sport in this region, but Dorcol's players and coaches simply have to clean up their game! Tackles slip high, that's fair enough; ball carriers fall into shoulders, its true; ankles and knees get twisted all the time, though usually by accident; stray fists accidentally hit jaws from time to time, but this has gone beyond a joke.

"rugby league's blend of brutality, skill and endurance is what makes it great".

Big hits are fine and we want them in the game; intimidating the opponent psychologically is also part and parcel of the game, within reason, but systematised foul play and excessive, often seemingly uncontrolled violence is not the way forward for our game. And besides, the Dorcol boys don't even need it! They're fitter, stronger, better trained, game-plan conscious, passionate, aggressive, loyal, have the referees in their pockets... why do they also need to be a gang of fouling madmen on the field? - even though they're almost all great guys off the field.

Komentari (8)

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Krugolina Borup Krugolina Borup 09:54 11.04.2012


One day I woke up, and we were good in tennis.
Are you saying this has now happened with rugby, too?
Mark Pullen Mark Pullen 10:02 11.04.2012

Re: Rugby?

Kind of, yes -- Serbia has made massive progress since the reinstatement of the Serbian Rugby League in 2001 and is currently ranked 8th in the wider European region (it would be 6th if Italy and Lebanon didn't have so many 'heritage' players from Australia and instead relied on domestic talent like we do), but the gulf between the top three nations in Europe (England, Wales and France) and the rest is massive, while the gulf between the next two levels (say between Serbia's level and Germany's level) is also massive. So, for instance, Serbia could easily get beaten 100-0 by Wales, but still managed to beat Germany 96-6 last year. The road is long, but the Serbs are strong.
antioksidant antioksidant 10:51 11.04.2012

Re: Rugby?

The road is long, but the Serbs are strong.

Krugolina Borup Krugolina Borup 12:00 11.04.2012

Re: Rugby?

Kind of, yes

Gee... what's next... cricket?

Nice to learn you are landing a helping hand in us mastering the sports that are non-traditional for the region. Thanks for the effort.
antioksidant antioksidant 12:07 11.04.2012

Re: Rugby?

sports that are non-traditional for the region

running with the "ball" (or "egg" and hitting others?
what's non-traditional in that?
BigBadWolf BigBadWolf 15:21 11.04.2012

Re: Rugby?

I can totally see it, in 5 to 10 years, when New Zealand's haka is confronted with Moravac at Rugby World Cup. It will be a bloodbath
Mark Pullen Mark Pullen 15:44 11.04.2012

Re: Rugby?

The nearest thing we have to a haka in Serbia at the moment is the pre-match challenge song performed on the halfway line by the players of Tsar Lazar Krusevac, which goes something like "ja sam iz carskog grada, i to je moja snaga itd."
Mark Pullen Mark Pullen 16:34 11.04.2012


Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh on Dorcol, but only after being kind of forced to use (blood) inexperienced young players against Dorcol and seeing the shock/fear/rage on their faces... playing Dorcol has turned more would-be players away from rugby than it has enticed - some of them rightly so, but not all (thankfully the club's work off the field has more than made up for that).

No rugby league match in this region can prepare a new player to face Dorcol (cue the Star Wars Imperial March again).

But maybe if the league was policed properly then Dorcol's game would automatically become cleaner. So, to Serbian referees (and the linesmen who should also be watching what's going on at the point of tackle!) I say:
1. any head contact should be penalised and the incident placed on disciplinary report,
2. any late contact should be penalised,
3. any targeted, late reverse joint contact around the knees/elbows/shoulders should be penalised and the incident placed on disciplinary report,
4. any badly aimed shoulder charge (bodicek) that connects with the neck or head should be penalised and the incident placed on disciplinary report
5. any player backchat should be penalised (only the captain may address the referee ... as 'sir')
6. repeat/malicious/dangerous offenders should be sent off &/or suspended.
oh and 7. there is no such thing as a deliberate knock-on in rugby league... stop penalising it! It's just a poor interception knock-on.



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