Steve Georgallis was an emotional head coach following Greece’s 94-4 defeat to England, marking the end of their first-ever World Cup.
It’s been a long road for the sport in Greece, having only gained official recognition in the country ahead of the World Cup tournament.
England ran in 17 tries at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane, but Georgallis remained upbeat and shared his pride in his post-match press conference.
The Australian coach, whose father was born in Greece, also hopes the legacy of the World Cup will lead to schools being taught the sport in the country.
Steve Georgallis: We’re hoping to get into schools and start from the grassroots
“I’m proud and happy and a little bit emotional,” said Georgallis.
“I don’t think you get to walk around the field after being beaten by 90 and have the crowd cheering and calling out the name of your country, Greece.
“I think that just goes to show the effort the players put in.
“We had four domestic players all on at once, which is amazing. Those players only started playing at 18 or 19 and probably play four or five games a year. To play on that stage against one of the best teams in the world is an awesome feeling.
“I thought for the first 20 minutes we gave England a bit of a show. We scored early, which is a change for us. I just think they clicked into another gear and class shone. But the players never gave up.
“With the World Cup and the game now being legal, we’re hoping to get into schools and start from the grassroots and try and get that as part of sport in the country.”
Georgallis also predicted a bright tournament for Shaun Wane’s England, who will play at the DW Stadium next Saturday in the quarter-finals.
“England scored some really good tries,” Georgallis said. “They have a lot of class.
“From what I’ve seen today, I think they’ve got the team to go all the way.”
More World Cup content
FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast
The article “Proud, happy and emotional” – Greece coach Steve Georgallis reflects on inaugural World Cup campaign appeared first on Loverugbyleague.com.