I am back from my two weeks of travels. I would love to say that its been a nice relaxing time, but I have been hard at work the whole time both in my physics and also Rugby League. Much has been happening in the world of Rugby League, and so lets do a bit of a round up of the last two weeks.
First up I would like to extend my congratulations from RLIS to Simon Cooper and Katharina Schuette who tied the knot in Schneverdingen, south of Hamburg. I was privileged to be there to celebrate with them. Simon used to be the President of German Rugby League and a year ago stepped down to focus a bit more on family. It was also great to catch up with some old friends from my time when I was living in Germany. Ex-German Captain Leo Burngruber was there as well as current German Coach Dan Stocks. Also two of the Keinhorst brothers, Kristian and Nick were there. I was also able to meet the new German Rugby League President Max Schoengen. Not much Rugby League was discussed as it wasn’t the time except for a discussion on a possible Rugby League weekend between a German team and the New Polish Rugby League club in Łódź (pr. W-oo-j).
Speaking of German Rugby League though, the day before the wedding the wonderful news came through for the German national team that they were the 2011 European Shield
Russia has warmed up for October’s World Cup Euro Zone Qualifiers with a 36-4 away win over Ukraine in Kharkiv. The Ukrainians put up a good fight in the first half of the match only being behind 12-0 at the half time break. However the second stanza saw the Russian Bears use their experience to get the better of the Ukrainians. The Russians now are preparing for their World Cup Qualifiers, the first of which is against the Italians in Padua.
While in Poland I had the privilege to go and visit Łukasz Łucka in Łódź and Poland’s first first ever Rugby League Club; The Łódź Magpies. While there Łukasz and I had a Town meeting to promote the game in the city and try and entice new players. Łukasz and I also had a meeting with members of the RLEF via video conference as well and finally I was able to conduct a training session and a small game on the last day of my stay there. All in all it was a very successful weekend. I will be writing more of an article soon on it. Also we had some media coverage with two of the local radio stations coming out and covering the training session and doing interviews with Łukasz and myself.
In the return match of the Colonial Cup series, the Canadians have come back to win the second game in a tight one 18-16. On aggregate however it means that the USA still retain the Colonial Cup with a 34-20 aggregate win. In a huge boost for the sport in North America, the Canadians had the match shown live across Canada and even countries like Jamaica were able to watch the game live. Estimates put a big crowd of over 2000 turned out for the game.
Next up for Canada is another game against the South Africans on the 9th of October. The Wolverines look to maintain their perfect record at home in Canada. The Tomahawks now start their preparations for the World Cup Qualifiers.
The two biggest Rugby League Competitions are quickly approaching their climax. The NRL in Australia and ESL in the UK are now well into their play-off series.
In the NRL the final standings after 26 rounds was: Melbourne, Manly, Brisbane, Wests, St George/Illawarra, New Zealand, North Queensland and Newcastle. The first round of play offs saw Wests overcome the Dragons 21-12, Brisbane beat New Zealand 40-10, Manly defeated North Queensland 42-8 and Melbourne beat Newcastle 18-8. In the next round of the play offs saw Melbourne and Manly get the week off while Brisbane knocked out the defending champions 13-12. New Zealand though pulled off the surprise win by defeating the Tigers 22-20. This means that the Preliminary finals see Manly taking on Brisbane and Melbourne take on the New Zealand Warriors.
In the Super League the finals standings after 27 rounds were: Warrington, Wigan, St Helens, Huddersfield, Leeds, Catalans, Hull Kingston Rovers and Hull FC. The first round of the play offs has been played with Warrington annihilating the Huddersfield Giants 47-0 while Catalans thrashed Rovers 56-6, Wigan lost to St Helens 26-18 and Leeds 42-10 Hull FC. This means that Warrington will get to choose their opponents while St Helens will also get a week off. Next weeks games will be Leeds v Huddersfield and Wigan vs the Catalans Dragons.
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