A hat trick of tries from outstanding centre Joran Schoenmaker – the second a sensational solo effort – saw Netherlands claim the Euro D Championship, with a 36-10 win over Czechia at the Huseyin Akar Tesisler Stadium in Bodrum, Turkey.
The Orange Lions led 14-0 at the break, Auke Idzerda having kicked three early penalties, and though Czechia admirably kept going to the end with two consolation tries, Netherlands not only win promotion to Euro B but continue on the Rugby League World Cup 2025 qualifying road.
Head coach Kane Krlic, who is standing down after five years in charge, paid tribute to his side. “That showed a lot of what Dutch rugby league is about,” he said. “Working hard for each other, I’m just really proud. Now that we are increasing the domestic competition, this team is only going to get stronger and I can’t wait to see the growth.
The Netherlands, with Den Haag Knights prop Bonne Wilce also outstanding, were presented with the trophy by officials from the Bodrum Municipality, who supported the Championship, and the French Consul Genera
In the match for third place and world ranking points, hosts Turkey were too strong in the second half for Malta, winning 36-12, in 27 degree heat and in front of a partisan crowd that included professional Aiden Sezer, part of the Turkish staff, who flew in for the game.
The sides were level at the break, but with no available substitutes Malta struggled to contain the home pack in the second period. Turkey posted seven tries, all from different scorers, scrum half Behzad Bayram finishing with 12 points and Kadiköy Bulls’ Doruk Çeliktutan, returning from an early sinbinning, breaking the deadlock after the interval.
Julien Treu, Turkey head coach commented: “We are very happy with the result. We had to refocus after the loss to the Netherlands on Thursday and we had the right attitude to finish this tournament on a good, positive note. We want more international games, we showed that we can host and we want to reach a higher level soon, the guys are keen and we have a strong team on and off the pitch.”
Bodrum municipality hosted this international sports event with great success and many sports lovers joined in the field to celebrate the events.
The Turkish Rugbu league organized the event together with the Bodrum municipality and the marketing arm BOTAV. Among the sponsors who made it happen is also Blue Dreams Resort, BODER and BOTDO along with our climate awareness partners Bizim Dünyamız Vakfı.