This is the 34th edition of the “long derby.” It’s the oldest derby in Belgrade Rugby League.
The Dorcol vs Red Star Rivalry
Dorcol won the super cup in February with a last-minute try, but Red Star have avenged that defeat three times in style this year. The final score in the Round 2 Serbian Rugby League contest was an amazing 50-20, especially considering Dorcol led well into the second half by 16 to 14. In the first ever Balkan Super League match, Red Star continued that amazing second half and put the sword to their illustrious opponents winning 46-0. In the second meeting in the Serbian Premiership Red Star dominated for a 51-10 win. Dorcol now hold a 24-9 record in the 33 matches played between the clubs, Red Star’s record is now 8-4 in the last 12 and 3-1 in 2017. Red Star have scored 147 points to 30 against Dorcol since the Super Cup. It’s an unthinkable statistic given the history between the two clubs.
What Have We Learned So Far in 2017?
Dorcol are not the same team that has dominated Serbian Rugby League and Red Star and Partizan are the dominant forces in rugby league in 2017 in Serbia. Dorcol have been well beaten in each match they have played against Partizan and Red Star, apart from the season opening Super Cup. Both Red Star and Dorcol have had easy wins in the Balkan Super League against lower quality opposition. The key for all sides in this level of rugby league is getting their best 17’s onto the park, and then sticking to the game plans. Simply, Red Star and Partizan have done that better.
The Men to Watch
Milos Calic is a Serbian International. He is a superb runner of the ball and loves operating on the right side of the field. He has a superb fend and can put in a great “don’t argue”. At the other end of the field for Red Star, Milos Zogovic is another Serbian International playing at fullback. A talented runner of the ball who loves backing up a break in the middle.
The Magic Numbers
The last time Red Star and Dorcol played in a cup, it was an absolute thriller. But given the scorelines in the last 3 matches, it is hard to see anything other than a strong win for Red Star on the proviso that they pay the opposition full respect and have a strong squad with good rotation off the bench. My magic numbers this week are 34 for the number of points scored by Red Star and 20 for the margin.