The Serbian First Division continues at the high octane pace set in the first round, with the second encounter of the season between Dorcol and Red Star Belgrade, on Sunday at 4pm at BASK Arena. While Dorcol had a more comfortable 1st round victory over Radnicki Nis, Red Star and Partizan played out a tension and drama-packed derby which included Red Star sprinting away with a 22-0 lead in as many minutes, followed by an ugly brawl with 3 Partizan players and 1 Red Star player sin-binned and finishing with Partizan scoring late to tie the match at 30-30.
The Dorcol vs Red Star Rivalry
Two weeks ago, Red Star and Dorcol fought out a close encounter in the Serbian Super Cup, with Dorcol winning 32-30, with the winning try scored in the final seconds by Dorcol’s Sasa Mitrovic. This will be the 31st encounter in this Belgrade Derby, with Dorcol having a strong advantage at 24-6, but in the last 10 games between the two teams the wins stand at 5 apiece, showing just how much the gap has closed since 2014.
What Have We Learned So Far in 2017?
The home side, Dorcol is always the team to beat in the Serbian Rugby League. They clinically worked over Radnicki Nis for a secure 42-10 victory, while Red Star again had to withstand a comeback in the last minutes of the game against Partizan, with 30 points being enough for each team to take 1 point from the match.
The Men to Watch
For Dorcol, Boris Lazin had a big game in the centres scoring 4 of his sides 9 tries in their win over Radnicki Nis. For Red Star, fullback Milos Zogovic crossed the line twice. The game looks certain to be a shoot-out amongst the backs with the forwards of both sides capable of laying on great platforms for the wide men to reap the rewards against retreating defences.
The Lucky Numbers
The big question this week is if 30 points is enough to win a game in the Serbian Rugby League for Red Star? In both the Super Cup Final and in the 1st Round Eternal Derby with Partizan, 30 points has been the final tally for Red Star, but they missed out on the silverware in the Super Cup and only got the 1 point last week. A close second in the “lucky number” stakes this week has to be 80 – as in 80 minutes. It’s been proven two weeks running, Red Star have lost leads in the 80th minute of the game, so finishing the game strongly should be high on Red Star’s agenda this week. Dorcol have had no such problem, scoring 32 and 42 points respectively, although they did let in a late try last week at home to Radnicki Nis.
Good Luck Tipping a Winner
It will be interesting to see how close the Serbian Second Division will be when they start playing from next weekend, but the contests between the 3 Belgrade teams in Serbian First Division are going to be enticing, all season long. It is highly likely there will be around 60 points scored again, with both sides showing how dangerous they can be once they get a roll-on and dominate possession. Given recent form, perhaps Red Star are due for a win, having lost their last 2 against Dorcol, but Dorcol can never be underestimated – they are definitely the pride of the Serbian Rugby League when it comes to their record in the last 15 years.
In the other game this weekend, Partizan make the journey south to Nis on the A1 Highway.