The Magic of the Cup.

By Daniel Andruczyk

This weekend showed why the English and for that fact anyone who loved Rugby League loved the Challenge Cup. My time in England saw me grow to love a few teams, Catalans, Leeds and Barrow. This week all teams and a few others showed why knockout Rugby can be so good. Fiji Secondary schools had their semi finals, I managed to catch up with some of the Cronulla Sharks players and see their match against Brisbane. Also is the NRL in crisis?

England Youth Lose Two Test Series

Friday night the England Youth team played their second test against the France U16’s team in Entraigues. The French, having won the first match 19-16, were full of confidence and that is exactly they way things went for them. At the break the French were 23-0 up and the hill seemed like a mountain to the English boys. However a second half fight back showed some potential but it was not enough. France ended up winning it 29-14.

Fijian Secondary Schools Competition

So the Fiji Secondary Schools competition is finally into its last stages. The Semi-Finals were played over the weekend. In the U15 QVS Knight 34 defeated St Sukuna Dragons 12 and Lelean Bulldogs 20 beat Suva Grammar 8. In the U16 Lelean had another strong win over the Nabua Broncos 48-4 and Suva Grammar beat Gospel High School 12-2. The U17 saw QVS have a good win against Marist Brothers 20-14 and Suva Grammar lost to the Nasinu Panthers 2-10. Lelean once again showed their strength in the U18 beating John Wesley College 30-14 and Nasinu Panthers beat Gospel high 24-18. In the U19’s Nasinu Panthers 22 beat QVS 0 and Suva Grammar had a good win over Nabua 32-10.

The competition now goes into the finals this weekend and should be a great day out for all concerned. If you are in Fiji this weekend then do make sure you get out there and have a look at the great talent on display. You never know there may be a future NRL and Fiji National star!

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National Rugby League, Australia

The Cronulla Sharks now sit at the bottom of the table having gone down to the Brisbane broncos 44-16. Elsewhere the Melbourne Storm had a very slow start to Manly and just lost to the Sea Eagles 18-16. In other matches The Dragons beat Gold Coast 19-6, Canterbury absolutely thrashed Wests 24-4. Newcastle had a dominant display against the Cowboys 36-18 and the Chooks beat Canberra 26-6. Penrith got a good away win in Auckland against New Zealand 40-12 and Parramatta came back from a 8-2 half time deficit to win 22-8 against Souths.

Team P W D L PD Pt
St George/Illawarra 6 5 0 1 67 10
Penrith 6 4 0 2 58 8
Manly 6 4 0 2 54 8
Wests 6 4 0 2 23 8
Melbourne 6 4 0 2 23 8
Sydney City 6 4 0 2 19 8
Gold Coast 6 4 0 2 -16 8
South Sydney 6 3 0 3 21 6
New Zealand 6 3 0 3 10 6
Canterbury 6 2 0 4 14 4
Parramatta 6 2 0 4 -20 4
Newcastle 6 2 0 4 -25 4
North Queensland 6 2 0 4 -34 4
Brisbane 6 2 0 4 -41 4
Canberra 6 2 0 4 -63 4
Cronulla 6 1 0 5 -85 2

However all seems not to be well with the refereeing standards in the NRL. There were right through all the matches some absolute howler decision, culminating in the Souths – Parramatta match where the wrong player was sent off! Both teams seemed to be perplexed by that one and there is a call now for Refs boss Robert Finch to be sacked. It seems that despite the two ref system, the same mistakes if not worse are still being made. I was at the Sharks game and some of the decisions there, on both sides, were bizarre with even the Broncos fans admitting that the refs seemed to be playing to the home crowd. What is the solution, well who knows?

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Cronulla Sharks

Saturday I went out to Langlands Stadium In Coorparoo Brisbane not just to catch the match but also some of the Cronulla Sharks Players were out doing a fans meet and greet. A big good on you and thanks needs to go out to the players and coach. I managed to get a bit of a chat with Trent Barrett and asked him about his time in the Super League. He said that it was a lot of fun and fantastic and for anyone who doesn’t have family commitments is a great place to be, but his family is what forced him back to Australia but did not regret being over there… Good on you Trent.

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I also had a quick chat with Rick before leaving, and we seemed confident that the team is very close to gelling and starting to put some big wins on the board. I also mentioned that we had met once before at Henson Park when he was Roosters coach… he had a chuckle saying, “Gee, that was a long time ago now…”. Some of the other players that came out were John Morris, Ben Pomeroy, Tim Smith, Luke Douglas and Isaac Gordon.

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Challenge Cup Magic

This weekend there was no Super League, but there was Challenge Cup! And oh what a great round it was. Round 4 had the Magic of the Cup come back and showed why the Knock out comp is so wonderful. Teams that are the bottom dwellers, that is Catalans and Harlequins managed to beat their fancier rivals to go through to the 5th round. But what was more remarkable were Barrow Raiders. Ok So they are top of the Co-operative Championships but hell to beat a Super League club, yes they beat Castleford, and away from home was momentous! A friend of mine from barrow was calling me at 6 am in the morning bragging about it. The other shock results was Whitehaven who are in the Co-operative Championships getting done by Blackpool who are in the Co-operative Championship 1! So here are the full results from the round. York 8-58 Crusaders, Hunslet 42-12 Oldham, Swinton 4-56 Halifax, Limoux 20-32 Leigh, Harlequins 23-16 Wakefield, St Helens 56-16 Toulouse, Catalans 30-8 Salford, Sheffield 34-50 Wigan, Siddal 2-34 Batley, Hull FC 24-48 Leeds, Castleford 28-34 Barrow, Warrington 48-24 Featherstone, Blackpool 24-18 Whitehaven, Hudersfield 40-12 Hull KR and Dewsbury 0-50 Bradford. The Lezignan Widnes match has been postponed because of the the Volcanic plume over Europe.

The 5th round (round of 16) draw has also been done and the match ups are: Halifax vs. Batley, Barrow vs. Hunslet, Bradfor vs. Leigh, Harlequins vs. St Helens, Crusaders vs. Catalans, Huddersfield vs. Warrington, Leeds vs. Blackpool and Widnes/Lezignan vs. Wigan. There is an incentive for the french to do well if I ever saw one, to have a challenge Cup match at home against a Super League team!

Cook Islands Championships

In the Cook Islands Championships, the few results I have been able to obtain are as follows. Titikaveka Bulldogs lost to the Avatiu Eels 62-16, The Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles just beat the Aitutaki Sharks 26-24 and the Avatiu Eels had another win against the Arorangi bears to seal top spot 27-20.

Team P W D L PD Pt
Avatiu 4 4 0 0 68 8
Tupapa 1 1 0 0 14 2
Ngatangiia/Matavera 2 1 0 1 -12 2
Arorangi 3 1 0 2 -13 2
Aitutaki 2 0 0 2 -5 0
Titikaveka 2 0 0 2 -52 0
Daniel Andruczyk’s email: daniel@rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com
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16 Responses to “The Magic of the Cup.”

  1. Jon says:

    Regularly astounded by how in depth, well researched and enjoyable to read your blog is Daniel.
    Keep up the great work.

    • druzik says:

      Cheers Jon

      Well the work I did with many nations when I was living in Europe allowed me to have good contacts and get news from the top… it also helps that unlike many other “news sources” who tend to look for a sensational scoop or something… I tend to just concentrate on the facts and promoting the facts… the rumour mill is dun and i use it hopefully in a positive way to show how nations are looking to spread the game…. speaking of which got a another one I need to write for tomorrow…

  2. C.T.SANDERS says:

    CUP COMPETITIONS DIDN’T WORK IN AUSTRALIA DANIEL.IT’S A WASTE OF TIME.

    • druzik says:

      Well, they did, but the demographic changed in the late 80’s and the clubs felt that with a professional competition it was too much of a risk playing games twice a week.

      But a pre season cup comp would be much better than what we have at the moment with the pre-season games.

  3. C.T.SANDERS says:

    IT’S A WASTE OF TIME DANIEL.YOU ARE ONLY SAYING THAT BECAUSE YOUR BELOVED SHARKS HAVE ONLY EVER WON ONE THING IN THE GAME AND THAT WAS THE PANASONIC CUP IN ABOUT 1985.BIG DEAL.WHAT DO YOU WANT DANIEL?AN INTERNATIONAL GAME OR A CLUB COMPETITION THAT CONTINUES TO GO NO WHERE LIKE THE NRL AND SUPERLEAGUE.

  4. C.T.SANDERS says:

    TOURS SHOULD BE TAKING PLACE IN THE PRE SEASON ESPECIALLY IN REGUARDS TO THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE.I BELIEVE THAT THE KANGAROOS SHOULD BE TOURING GB AND FRANCE IN JANUARY,FEBRUARY AND MARCH 2012, A 3 MONTH TOUR THAT IS WELL OVERDUE AND TOO HELL WITH BOTH THE SL AND THE NRL.

    • druzik says:

      That is an insane idea. December – January is the dead set winter in the Northern hemisphere. Snow, grounds frozen over, wet and raining – why would you inflict that on anyone?!

  5. C.T.SANDERS says:

    WHEN ARE THE RUSSIAN SIDES COMING BACK INTO THE CHALLEGE CUP COMPETITIONS.IN 2110?

  6. C.T.SANDERS says:

    WHY IS IT INSANE.I KNOW THE POMS HAVE NEVER HEARD OF ARTIFICAL TURF OR INDOOR STADIUMS[THEY GOT ONE IN KAZAN] BUT PLAYING THE POMS ON MUDDY PITCHES IN SNOW AND SLEET PRESENTS THEIR BEST CHANCES OF ACTUALLY WINING AN ASHES SERIES FOR THE FIRST TIME ON BRITISH SOIL SINCE 1959. AFTER ALL IT’S A WINTER GAME.THROW IN CLUB GAMES PLUS THE USUAL MID WEEK GAMES AS WELL THE TOUR WOULD BE ANOTHER FINANCIAL BONANZA.AT LEAST IT MAKES A CHANGE FROM WATCHING BORING OLD NRL PRE SEASON NONSENSE AND THE EQUALLY BORING SL GAMES.VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE.

    • druzik says:

      The reason for the switch was to get away from the muddy pitches and snow and cold weather. There is only 1 indoor stadium I know of and that is Millenium in Cardiff. It also makes sense, like in soccer, to have seasons aligned in a common time so that tournaments can be scheduled and proper off seasons for players done.

      The fans certainly would not want the sport to go back to winter in the UK, they much prefer the summer. As it is the season now begins in February where you srtill get some games getting snowed out as happened this year.

      And am sure the Aussies these wont want to tour in the European Winter either.

  7. C.T.SANDERS says:

    SINCE 2001 THE POMS HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB PROMOTING RUGY UNION IN RUSSIA;ALL THE RUSSIAN CLUBS THAT HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE CHALLENGE CUP COMPETITION,LOCOMOTIVE,STRELA KAZAN AND DYNAMO MOSCOW HAVE ALL DEFLECTED BACK TO RUGBY UNION.WELL DONE RICHARD LEWIS.NO WONDER KOPIEV AND HIS CRONIES AT RUSSIAN RUGBY UNION IN MOSCOW ARE LAUGHING THEIR HEADS OFF AT RUGBY LEAGUE’S EXPENSE.TALK ABOUT AMATEURS RUNING A PROFESSIONAL SPORT.THE POMS DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND THE AUSSIES COULDN’T CARE LESS AND PEOPLE ON BOTH THE NZRL AND ARL WOULDN’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON.THIS IS JUST TYPICAL OF RUGBY LEAGUE.

  8. C.T.SANDERS says:

    I WANT THE GAME TO GO BACK TO WINTER SO THAT WE CAN GET THE CYCLE OF TOURS BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN BECAUSE SUMMER RUGBY HAS BEEN ONE GIGANTIC BORE SINCE 1996.PEOPLE HAVE WALKED AWAY FROM RUGBY LEAGUE IN THEIR DROVES IN THE UK BECAUSE OF THE DECISION TO SWITCH TO SUMMER.IT’S ABSOLUTE CRAP.THERE IS A INDOOR STADIUM BEING BUILT IN KAZAN THE CAPITAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF TATARSTAN A PLACE WHERE A SUPERLEAGUE FRANCHISE SHOULD GO TO FOR THE GOOD OF THE GAME.

    • druzik says:

      Um… crowds have increased in the super league era. Not sure where you are getting you ides from. The sport has grown and is finally played ina ll parts of the UK!

      You have no idea of the costs involved in having to send team around Europe, a super league team Russia is as disastrous as one in the USA.

      Kazan at the moment are better off getting a team back in their own comp, strengthen that. A super league franchise will give neither party anything.

  9. C.T.SANDERS says:

    WHAT ABOUT THE CROWDS THAT WIGAN GOT JUST AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR THAT AVERAGED 43,000 UP TO 1951 AT CENTRAL PARK WHEN CES MOUNTFORD WENT TO WARRINGTON AS PLAYER-MANAGER-COACH WHERE THE GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL TIME THE AUSTRALIAN BRIAN BEVAN WEAVED HIS PARTICULAR BRAND OF MAGIC.SUPERLEAGUE HAVEN’T GOT ANYWHERE NEAR THOSE SORT OF CROWDS IN THE SUMMER ERA BECAUSE RUGBY LEAGUE’S GOLDEN ERA WAS BETWEEN 1946 TO 1967 DURING THE PERIOD OF UNLIMITED TACKLES WHICH WAS THE BEST FOOTBALL OF ALL.THE 1959 WIGAN vST HELENS GOOD FRIDAY MATCH DREW A RECORD 47,747 CROWD AT CENTRAL PARK WHICH IS STILL A LEAGUE RECORD.AGAIN SL DOESN’T GET THOSE GET ANYWHERE NEAR THAT YET PEOPLE GO ON ABOUT SUMMER RUGBY AS THE GREATEST THING SINCE SLICE BREAD.IT’S A BIG BORE AND A TOTAL DISASTER.
    IN REGUARDS TO RUSSIA AND AMERICA,IT’S A WELL KNOWN FACT THAT THE RUGBY LEAGUE COMMUNITY DON’T WANT EITHER COUNTRY INVOLVED IN THE GAME.THAT’S THE GUTS OF IT ALL YET WHEN RUSSIA HAD MONEY COMING OUT OF ITS’EARS FROM 2002 TO 2005 THEY ALL WANTED TO KNOW ESPECIALLY WHEN KAMALDINOV WAS INVOLVED AND OF COURSE THE NZRL USED RUSSIAN RUGBY LEAGUE AS A BACKDOOR TO GET THEIR GRUBBY HANDS ON THE MONEY.
    A SUPER LEAGUE SIDE COULD EASILY WORK IN RUSSIA IF PEOPLE WITH BIG MONEY WERE INVOLVED IN THE SPORT AND I BELIEVE THIS COULD BE JUST AROUND THE CORNER.IT’S ONLY A 4 HOUR TRIP FROM MANCHESTER TO KAZAN.

  10. C.T.SANDERS says:

    DANIEL DID YOU READ WHAT MARK GRAHAM SAID ABOUT RUGBY LEAGUE ADMINISTRATORS IN THE LATEST RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK.GRAB A COPY?

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