The national rugby league side have failed to defend the Nordic Cup title they won in 2011.
Denmark’s 122-8 defeat of the Swedes in April boded well for their chances, but they knew that the more powerful Norwegians (19 in the world, eight places above Denmark), on home soil, would be a different proposition.
And Norway quickly scored to delight the crowd at the 15,000-capacity Bislett Stadium, who were already in good spirits due to an unusually hot, sunny day.
Denmark responded well, though. Strong runs by props Uraia Vucago and Loic Poulain presented a try-scoring opportunity to Mark Hojelsen, who duly converted.
Still, Norway continued to dominate, and only some last gasp defence kept the score down to 12-6 at half-time. And the one-way traffic continued in the second half, with the Danes failing to score and the Norwegians sealing a 36-6 victory.
“I was very proud of the boys’ effort today.” said team captain Martin Pedersen-Scott. “We came to Norway missing a few players and feeling slightly undercooked and I thought in parts we were pretty decent.” “The individual will and tenacity of the players is outstanding, and it’s just inexperience at key points that lets us down and puts us under pressure.”
While rugby league has only been played in Scandinavia for a few years, Norway already has a well established domestic league and its Nordic Cup title underlines its top dog status in
“A big well done to Norway. They were very physical and well drilled and they are worthy Nordic champions. Their domestic competition is something we aspire to and it’s clearly paid dividends for them.”
Denmark’s next match is a home tie against Malta at Gladsaxe Stadion on 29 September.