Greece lost their debut World Cup match but gained respect through entrepreneurial play, including this AMAZING chip kick from an NRL cult hero to score a try – and here’s how he did it before
He was once compared to former NRL forward Paul Gallen, but cult rugby league star Billy Magoulias could now draw comparisons to Johnathan Thurston after his Rugby League World Cup debut for Greece.
The former Cronulla forward has so far made one of the tournament’s moves to hit the ball to his left wing and find teammate and Rabbitohs reserve grader Nick Mougious, who put the in-and-out step on the French fullback to to score.
“They’re going to chip over the top here and Mougious is going to catch it, there’s a moment of brilliance,” the commenter bellowed.
“He goes in and out, oh my word, what an effort. Taste of the tournament so far.’
While France claimed the 34-12 result, it was a win in itself for the rugby league minnows who made their first appearance at a World Cup.
But for those who have followed Magoulias’ career, the trick shot is something the attacker has used not once, but twice before in hugely important games.
Billy Magoulias from Greece is tackled by Benjamin Jullien and Tony Gigot from France
In the 2019 New South Wales Cup grand final against the Wentworthville Magpies, Magoulias used the same trick to win the decider in extra time.
“Magoulias finds Mulitalo, back on the inside to Kennedy, he’s going to sprint away to win the game for Newtown,” the commentator said.
“Oh, they needed something special and they found it. That’s an incredible piece of play.’
When the Jets played the Queensland Cup winner Burleigh in the State Championship, he did it again.
The same kick, right at the death of the game to steal the victory.
“They’ve stacked the short side, a kick over the top for Mulitalo and Ferris, Ferris has the bounce, Jackson Ferris has the bounce, he’ll score a great try,” the commentator said at the time.
“The Jets will steal the State Championship. They were gone. They were gone.’
Limited opportunities in the NRL saw Magoulias move to the UK in late 2019 to sign the Warrington Wolves in the Engliah Super League.
However, in June of this year, he returned to Australia on compassionate grounds. He is currently out of an NRL contract and will be back in line for the Jets in 2023, although his World Cup form could put him on the radar of some NRL clubs.
Greek coach Steve Georgallis was extremely proud of his side for being on the big stage.
“I couldn’t be prouder than the boys and the effort they’ve put into it,” he said.
“I asked them to really give their best and I think it was 14-12 in the second half, so I’m really proud of the way they played.
“You’ve seen how much it meant to them, it’s a stepping stone for rugby league in Greece… They love to play the game – now that they can – I think it’s only from here.”