Souths rising star Peter Mamouzelos's four tries for Greece in their 52 -26 win over Norway, has put the fledging Rugby League nation just one win away from playing in the 2021 World Cup.
The win against Norway in England last weekend, means Greece face Scotland and Russia in November and victory against either will secure their first ever spot in a Rugby League World Cup.
Mamouzelos, 18 plays for the Rabbitohs Jersey Flegg side and his tipped to be star in the NRL after signing a three year contract with Souths in 2017.
His father Theo is also a former South’s junior and speaking to Inside Sport about his man of the match performance, Mamouzelos was buzzing about Greece being one step closer to the World Cup in England.
“It’s a great achievement,” he said.
“Especially for all the boys who come from Greece, it’s not a big competition over there but there are a few teams and to see their development over there and how far we have come is great.
“We spent time training in Athens before the game and then getting over to England we played well as a team and we put in an excellent performance to get one step closer to the World Cup.
“With Greece never been to World Cup before to create history would be a great achievement.”
Mamouzelos played four games for Greece in last year’s emerging nations tournament that was held in Sydney, but last weekend’s qualifier against Norway was his first full senior international.
As well as Mamouzelos, Greece also fielded three other Aussies with Greek background including former New Zealand Warriors junior Jordan Meads who is team captain.
After beating Norway, the 18-year-old is confident Greece can get a win over Scotland or Russia and qualify for Next Year’s World Cup.
“After the game against Norway everyone was so excited,” Mamouzelos said.
“As a team we will come together later on in the year and just work on those connections again and hopefully put in some strong performances against two great teams.”
With Greece’s usual Head Coach Steve Georgalis unavailable due being on duty with the Canterbury Bulldogs, Newtown Jets assistant Jim Pizanias took charge of the Greeks against Norway.
Pizanias told Inside Sport that he hopes the November qualifiers will feature a stronger Greece team as they will be allowed to choose more Australian based players with Greek heritage.
Jim Pizanias left next to World Cup Trophy.
“Nathan Peats (Gold Coast Titans) is one, he told us that he was keen to play so we are hoping to have him on board," he said.
“We are also looking at Billy Magoulias (Cronulla Sharks) Billy and George Tsikrikas (Newtown Jets) who are playing in the NSW Cup and then we got a heaps of U-20 kids like Peter Mamouzelos and Lachlan Elias also at South Sydney and two or three also playing for Norths.
“So we have a fair few young boys coming through the systems at clubs and it will be interesting to see what sort of squad we can compile for these two games.
Pizanias added, “Scotland and Russia are ranked higher than us. Scotland especially will be tough as they have a lot of players playing in the English Super League.
"But like I said we have some young kids coming through and if we can mould them over the next three or four moths we can give those teams a run for their money.”
Photos source: Rugby League Review