By Daniel Andruczyk
Polska XIII 0 – 158 GB Pioneers
Saturday saw the first ever representative match of Rugby League played in Poland. The Polska XIII took on the GB Pioneers in the third and final match of their tour. In what was a physical match, the Pioneers over ran the poles in a big score 158 to 0.
Despite the score Polska XIII produced some great attacking Rugby League with a near perfect example of an attacking set completed by a spiral bomb to the GB Full Back. The Polish defence had improved massively forcing the GB Pioneers to play some complex Rugby to find their way through the polish lines. One tackle in particular could be described as a big hit knocking the GB centre in to touch.
Its clear that in the week the Pioneers have been here the Polish players have learnt a lot and have been quick to use what they learn in play. The Polish have developed a sense of understanding for Rugby League and their structure, organisation and communication was very good through the match and it all was centred around Rugby League techniques they had learnt from the Pioneers.
Bernard Marusik had a fantastic game in his new position of Loose forward with plenty of hard running and a tenacious effort in defence and as a reward was awarded the Man of the Match for the Poles. Polska XIII were lifted by the introduction of James Szymik for the last 15minutes, the Polish came very close to scoring in the dying minutes and even tried for drop goal attempt in the dying seconds.
Over all the Pioneers tour has been hailed a great success. With the players not only getting much valued instruction in the finer points of the sport but also being able to promote the game. By the third game, many more potential players were inquiring to Lukasz about playing and the crowds slowly grew.
Lukasz said “This tour has been so valuable for us. To see how players that have grown up with the sport approach and play it and to teach it to us has been fantastic. Our guys are so enthusiastic to continue with this now.”
As good as the tour was for the Polish players it has also been great for the British boys. Getting to see and help out a new country on the frontiers of the sport as well as see some history. The Pioneers during this trip had the opportunity to see Auschwitz and Krakow. They also have made life long friends in the Poles.
Polska Rugby XIII wishes all the Pioneers all the best in the trip back home and their future careers and endevours in Rugby League.