After what many international rugby league fans considered to be a surprise 40-16 victory over Malta, Czechia Head Coach David Lahr is not giving anything away prior to the Euro D Final against the Netherlands in Bodrum, Turkey on Sunday.
“I can’t say it now. I need to analyse the game video and find out the weaknesses and strengths,” Lahr replied when Everything Rugby League enquired about tactics against a Netherlands side which had a 40-18 win against hosts Turkey on Thursday.
While the victory against 2018 Emerging Nations tournament champions Malta may have surprised some pundits, Lahr had total confidence in his team despite losing a player with a broken leg in the sixteenth minute and being down 16-6 at half time.
“I was not surprised. I knew we brought to Turkey a very young but experienced team with some older leaders. This team comes from our domestic competition. They play rugby league a lot. They know each other from our national team camps. The Czech domestic competition has grown up a lot in the last 3 years.”
“We made two stupid mistakes at the edge in the first 10 minutes and Malta scored but we were winning the ruck every single minute,”
Victory always means a lot to us. It (a win in the final) would mean our domestic development is going in the right direction.
The Czech Republic domestic league boasts 10 clubs playing in two divisions of five teams each. There is a strong focus on junior participation and development.
Lahr has been impressed with the hospitality and organisation in Turkey and wished to thank the host federation.
“I would like to say thanks to the Turkish Rugby League. We are staying in a 5 star hotel with awesome service.
“The tournament is well prepared. They treat us like professional players. It’s a big motivation for our players here and at home.”