A Tragic Week in the Rugby League World.

By Daniel Andruczyk

Though there were many results from around the world it was the tragic news that the rugby league world awoke to this week. One of Great Britain’s hard men was found dead in his Orrell home.

Terry Newton of course was no stranger to controversy. The Hooker tested positive for Human Growth Hormone. He subsequently was banned by the RFL for two years and then was sacked by Wakefield. Despite this I think its important to realise that people do make mistakes. Terry in interviews showed remorse for his actions and unfortunately the guilt of the whole incident got to him. No one will ever know for sure what pushed him over the edge, but its a stark reminder for not only players but also the fans, that we revere these players and when they leave the sport there is a gap there that many players struggle to fill.

I’d like to pass on my condolences to the Newton and family and hope that they can overcome this tragedy.

NRL

The Preliminary finals saw the Gold Coasts magic run finally come to an end at the hands of the Sydney City Roosters. The Chooks beating the Titans in a lob sided match 26-6. While the St George/Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers played out an absolute thrilling match. The Dragons managed to pull through 13-12 to set up a dream Grand Final. With this match the NRL has announced that the Grand Final is a sell out. The first time in many years that it has sold out so early. My pick for the weekend is Sydney City to win.

England

The Preliminary finals in the Super League were also played over the weekend with Saint Helens booking their fourth straight final appearance winning convincingly 44-22 over Huddersfield. Though for a change it won’t be Leeds that will be their opponents as Wigan defeated the Rhinos 26-6. So Manchester will see two of the powerhouses of the sport fight it out. My tip, Wigan. They have been the most consistent all year.

In the Championships Grand Finals played out at Warrington, Halifax came from behind to beat Featherstone Rovers 23-22 in extra time. This was a thrilling game, but the day will be known also for one of the stands catching fire! In the Championship 1 Grand Final, it was pretty one sided with York beating Oldham 25-4.

ELITE 1

The French season got under way, this season there are ten teams with Montpellier stepping up to the plate from the second division. Also Toulouse make a comeback by fielding a merged team with St Gaudens. This will allow them to have a team in the Championship and LER 1. Results are Lezignan 26-20 Carcassonne, Limoux 28-20 Pia, Montpellier 28-40 St Gaudens/Toulouse, Avignion 10-30 Villeneuve, UTC 30-30 Carpentras.

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Villeneuve 1 1 0 0 0 20 3
2 St Gaudens/Toulouse 1 1 0 0 0 12 3
3 PIa 1 1 0 0 0 8 3
4 Lezignan 1 1 0 0 0 6 3
5 UTC 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
6 Carpentras 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
7 Carcassonne 1 0 0 1 0 -6 0
8 Limoux 1 0 0 1 0 -8 0
9 Montpellier 1 0 0 1 0 -12 0
10 Avignion 1 0 0 1 0 -20 0

New Zealand

Round 5 in the New Zealand Provincial championships was played on the weekend with three teams all sitting on the same points. Results are Auckland 28-4 South Island, Waicoa Bay 72-8 Northern, Counties Manuka 34-30 Wellington, Heartland Bye

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Wellington 5 4 0 1 0 240.00 8
2 Counties Manuka 5 3 0 1 1 255.50 8
3 Auckland 5 3 0 1 1 168.97 8
4 South Island 5 2 0 2 1 151.16 6
5 Waicoa Bay 5 3 0 2 0 132.26 6
6 Heartland 5 0 0 4 1 45.28 2
7 Northern 5 0 0 4 1 11.49 2

Serbia

In Serbia the last match of their “State of Origin” was played with Belgrade emphatically trouncing the South Region team 52-6. So Belgrade end up being the Origin champions.

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Belgrade 3 2 0 0 1 110 4
2 South Region 3 1 0 1 1 -22 2
3 Vojvodina 3 0 0 2 1 -88 0

Internationals

Lebanon had their 2 game tour of Italy last week. In the first match in Monselice, they had a close battle with the Cedars winning 16-8, But the win cam at a price with many injuries. These played a role in the Cedars loss to Italy in the second match in Padova with the Azzuri winning 24-16. In the other International the Australian PMXIII had a very tough match in Port Moresby against Papua New Guinea in the end winning 30-18.

This weekend there are three matches scheduled, Lebanon v Pakistan in Tripoli, Lebanon, England vs. Cumbria in Whitehaven, England and Wales vs. Italy in Wrexham, Wales.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email: daniel@rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com
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