In the deciding game of this season’s Euro Med Challenge, played at the Stade de la Meditérrannée in Beziers before the Super League clash between Catalans and Hull, Morocco XIII defeated a Belgian XIII 46-12 in searing heat.
The Moroccans greater experience of regular competition in France proved too much for an enthusiastic Belgian outfit to contain although they were in contention for an hour.
Three unanswered touchdowns in the final quarter settled the outcome in favour of the Moroccans, who were captained by former Catalans Dragon Younes Khattabi.
The Belgians, who have made encouraging strides in the competition, had an extremely hardworking front row and scored three unconverted tries while also missing out on another two when losing the ball in sight of the try line.
Coach Marc Delreux said, “I was proud of my players' efforts, ability to keep their cool and to give a good show in front of a more experienced team of regular French elite players. The experience will do us good.”
A new name, a new structure, a new knockout tournament and the same trailblazing reputation for expanded horizons will be common themes for Kingstone Press League 1 in 2015.
Coventry Bears have added to their squad for their first season in semi-professional rugby league by signing former St Helens winger Ben Parry.