Two visiting sides, London Anzacs and German development outfit Alpenstoff Deutschland, contested the inaugural Scandinavian Rugby League Cup, the Anzacs coming up with a 34-16 success to take the trophy.
In superb conditions, six sides took the field at Ekeberg in Oslo and in a series of close games played under 9’s rules, the Londoners captured the silverware after a total of nine exciting encounters.
President of Rugby League Norway Warren Heilig was delighted with the event. He said: “I thought the competition went really well. It helped that the weather was perfect for the day,but I really think it was a success by the number of people who turned up just randomly and now believe they would like to watch more of this brutal sport called rugby league haha. I had to laugh at how many people came upto me and said that it was way more fun than watching or even playing union.”
The tournament was a great success for RLN and attracted a number of locals and new faces.
“As with anything new you are always going to get guys who are automatically great at it and guys who need a little more time to adjust, but even the guys who didn’t pick it up right away showed alot of enthusiasm especially in defence. The naturally gifted guys were what you would expect – awesome.The Norwegians have some freakishly naturely gifted athletes, and they really did put on a show!”
Player of the tournament was 17 years old German scrum half Philipp Wuest and the final classification was; London Anzacs, Alpenstoff Deutschland, Oslo Rugby Club, Nordic Barbarians – made up of players from the host country and Sweden, Wild Geese Oslo and Oslo University.
RLN now hope to take the event around Scandinavia, and Heilig believes they can help out the development of rugby league in Sweden.
He added: “If you ask the locals who showed up, there is definitely scope to make this an annual tournament! But RLN are looking more towards the growth of the sport and the tournament so will be looking to take the show on the road to somewhere else around Norway plus maybe even help out our neighbours in Sweden by letting them host the event.”
A crowd of over 250 attended and afterwards Rugby League Norway selectors met to pick a squad to face the incoming GB Student Chairman’s XIII, known as the ‘Pioneers’, who will play a Test in the capital on the 5th July.
Heilig continued: “After that we are going to work with a few union clubs from around Norway and 1 club from Gothemborg in Sweden to have a few friendly matches to see if we can attract more players to try league. Hopefully if the feeling is good amongst the players we can start a small domestic competition here and see where it takes us.
“We really need to find a major sponsor firstly so as to make the awareness of RL alot easier. If we could find a company who is willing to grow with us I am totally convinced we could have a competitive competition here and in Sweden within 4 years.”