Red Star Belgrade Rugby League Club have continued their impressive form in all competitions in Serbia in 2017 with a high-scoring 51 points to 10 victory over Belgrade arch-rivals Dorcol in the Long Derby. This is Red Star’s 3rd win against Dorcol this season. While Dorcol hold the historical edge winning 24 of 33 matches, Red Star are now making a serious claim to be considered the strongest team in Serbia having scored 147 points in the last 3 matches to Dorcol’s 30. It’s a major changing of the guard.
The scoring for Red Star started early, with Denis Cengaj crossing in the 4th minute. After 7 minutes Voja Dedic picked up the first of his 3 tries for the afternoon, with Vlada Dedic taking the successful conversion. Red Star continued piling the pressure on the Dorcol defenders, and the result of this continued pressure saw Petar Milanovic crash over to make the score 14-0 after as many minutes. To cap off a sensational first quarter to the game, Denis Cengaj went over for his 2nd try with the conversion making it 20-0.
The next 10 minutes saw the game move in a tactical phase with both teams completing sets and aiming for field position. A Red Star error gave Dorcol a great attacking opportunity on the 29th minute and they duly obliged to make the scores 20- 6. At this point the game had its first real tension with both sides trading sets until the end of the half when Red Star struck 2 crucial blows. On the 38th minute Voja Dedic crossed for his second try of the match, making the scores 24-6. Red Star then rolled the ball up the field in the final set of 6 for the 1st half and fullback Vlada Dedic took the superb option of drilling the drop goal to make the lead 19 points at half time. The second half continued in similar vein to the start of the game with early tries to Daco Kosanovic and prop forward Nikola Vasic crossing for a brace, before Vuk Strbac crossed out wide and Vlada Dedic capped a wonderful personal game with his 3rd try in the dying minutes of the game.
In a game where any number of Red Star players could be mentioned for their performances, the try to Daca Kosanovic was a just reward for his efforts in the middle throughout the game. Red Star had great roll-on from their forwards in this match, with Nikola Vasic showing no regard for his membership of the prop forwards club by scoring 2 tries through the middle. Voja Dedic is usually at the heart of many good things that Red Star do. The halfback this week scored 3 tries in a fine performance, but the most pleasing thing for Red Star was that they handled this tie very well with an under-strength team.
The future bodes well for the red and whites as they aim to make 2017 the most successful year for the club.