Nine sides from six countries took to the field for the annual Rotterdam Nines tournament, held on 14th April with North Brussles Gorillas beating Eastern Rhinos into second place and Rotterdam Pitbulls into third.
Amsterdam Cobras, Harderwijk Dolphins and the hosts Rotterdam Pitbulls represented the Netherlands, North Brussels Gorillas joined from neighbours Belgium, TSV Karlshofen and Ost Westfalen came from Germany, Eastern Europe sides Krupka Dragons (Czech Republic) and Ragbi Klub Dorcol (Serbia) travelled the furthest, and Colchester-based Eastern Rhinos from England were hoping to emulate last year’s winners, Wests Warriors from London.
The original tournament was staged between 2004-06 and revived ten years later when New South Wales side Robertson Spuddies took the silverware to the southern hemisphere.
NRLB chairman, Thijs van der Zouwen, believes the tournament is a great advert for the sport, which helps to attract more Dutch players to rugby league. “This tournament gives us some good exposure and we hope to make it a permanent fixture in the international nines calendar,” he said. “It is a very attractive and entertaining format which a great way of engaging players and fans whilst also raising our profile.”