A Topsy Turvey Week

By Various

This week has seen some good and bad news in the world of Rugby League. As it is this is the way it goes sometimes. News about Larrat stepping down in France, the Bradford Bulls going into administration and the State of Origin Selection farce rears its head once more, these are never good, but there also have been some great positives. Lebanon are preparing for their tour of Canada, BARLA had a successful tour in Jamaica and the Jamaican domestic Season has kicked off.

Larrat to Step Down in October

Nicolas Larrat announced on Saturday to the French general assembly he will not seek re-election to the post of President of the FFRXIII this October. With illness keeping him away from the congress, it was left to vice president Pascale Laroche to read out the statement which confirmed that he will not stand for a  third term.

‘I’ve been supported by some extraordinary men and women over the past eight years,’ said the missive which went on to outline some of the achievements of his time in charge including the promising performances of the national side at senior and youth levels, especially under-16s, and commercial support obtained from sponsors Mutuelle des Remparts, Axa and Puma.

In an emotional address, FFRXIII Director Sabine Foghin paid fulsome tribute to the memory of Hervé Guiraud, who passed away in April and pledged, on behalf of the executive committee, to “ensure the growth of the treiziste movement.”

In other business, the congress discussed the reorganisation of the Elite Championship, envisioned for 2014, while Avignon and Carcassonne applied to host Magic Weekends, on the first and final regular rounds next season.

Francine Meny, the President of the Women’s Rugby League Commission, reported an eight per cent increase in registered players with two new teams, Lyon and Paris Charenton, set to participate in the 2012-13 season.

The Elite 2 season was confirmed with 11 clubs participating; Sauveterre de Comminges (promoted), Saint-Gaudens, Carpentras, Tonneins, Cavaillon, Lyon-Villeurbanne, Palau, Baho, Albi, Toulouse Jules-Julien, Villefranche de Rouergue.

Underneath that, National Division 1 has been reconstituted with both of last season’s divisions amalgamating to form three regional groups of seven clubs each:

A : La Réole, Trentels, Réalmont, Ramonville, Lescure II, Clairac, Villeneuve de la Rivière.

B : Paris, Montgeron, Roanne, Apt, Salon, Entraigues, Marseille.

C: Ornaisons, Baroudeurs de Pia, Salses, Villegailhenc-Aragon, Le Soler, Saint-Laurent de la Salanque, Ferrals.

JAMAICAN RUGBY LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP OFF TO GOOD START

By Romeo Monteith

The Jamaica Rugby League Association’s 2012 national club championship kicked off this weekend, with eight teams challenging for supremacy.

The sides will face each other in a round robin format that will last over two and a half months. The top four will then advance to the semi-finals, with the two winners playing for the title on September 8th.

In the opening week of the competition, defending champions DUHANEY PARK RED SHARKS edged GC FOSTER COLLEGE 20-18 in a tense match at the GC Foster College grounds. GC Foster put in a solid effort with their tries coming from Othneil Holness with two, Marlando Anderson and Ryan Spence who also added a goal. The Red Sharks showed their mettle as touchdowns from Fabion Turner with a brace, Jermaine Pinnock and Nathan Campbell were enough to see them home, Kemoy Whyte kicking two conversions.

In the second game played at GC Foster College, the JAMAICA DEFENCE defeated PORTMORE SUNS 26-14. The Suns had several opportunities to spring a major upset but were let down by two many errors from their young charges.

In games played at Campion College, last year’s beaten finalists VAUXHALL OLD BOYS showed they mean business with an 82-8 demolition of debutants ST. ANDREW RENEGADES. Vauxhall were lead by Tyronie Rowe who smashed his way to five tries. The Renegades were encouraged after getting on the score board through their Bahamian winger Jordon Issaacs and local flyer Troy Hinds but they squandered five other clear cut chances.

In the second game at Campion, MAXFIELD STAR STEPPERS powered their way to a 46-17 victory over a spirited SPANISH TOWN VIKINGS outfit. The Star Steppers were led by Renaldo Wade with four tries, while for Spanish Town, veteran scrum half Smeathan Tapper crossed twice.

Jamaica A Improves, but Great Britain Still Best

From Romeo Monteith

The BARLA Great Britain U23 national team ended their Jubilee Tour of Jamaica with a hard fought 56-28 victory over an improved Jamaica A side at the GC Foster College on Saturday. Jamaica A played superbly for large portions of the game and were level with their more accomplished opponents 16-16 at half time. However, any thoughts of another famous victory such as the one accomplished by the senior national team against South Africa in the World Cup qualifiers last November, were dispelled by a furious second half rally by the British team who outmuscled the local lads in the final 40 minutes.

James Delaney struck the first blow for BARLA when poor defensive work by the Jamaicans on the right edge saw the propr crash over unchallenged for 4 points after only 5 minutes. The Jamaicans made it 4-2 when Kemoy Whyte kicked a penalty 2 minutes later, but Delaney scored again when Jamaica failed to hold on to the ball from the ensuing restart. Skipper John Brocklebank then kicked the extra two points to make it 10-2 in favour of the tourists’.
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Danny Lynch then scored for the visitors on 32 minutes and Brocklebank again slotted over the conversion as BARLA took a comfortable 16-2 lead. Jamaica A then rallied when Ryan Grant playing at centre stepped his way through the British defence on 36 minutes and dived over for a try with Whyte converting. Three minutes later BARLA conceded another penalty in front of goal and Whyte punished them with another 2 pointer. Marvin Thompson then sent the home crowd wild with celebrations when he intercepted a BARLA pass and sprinted 50 metres to tie the game at 16 all just before half time.

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Jamaica A failed to capitalize on their momentum as they allowed the visitors to score first in the second half when Dan Sayle crashed over on 42 minutes for a 20-16 lead. Jamaica A should have evened the score when flying winger Ryan Spence broke free on the right side, but he knocked on the ball near the try line, relieving the pressure on the visitors. James Delaney then made Jamaica pay when he scored 2 minutes later with Broklebank kicking the conversion.

Jamaica A showed determination when Tyronie Rowe got the ball from a scrum and musled his way to a 80m try, swatting defenders from his path and showing good foot speed. Whyte kicked the conversion and the home side seemed poised to spring the upset.

The game turned when the British forwards began to dominate the centre of the field. Further tries from Tom Saunders (2), Delaney, Lyndon Robertson and Broklebank killed off the resistance of the locals as BARLA pushed their points to 56.
Jamaica A sent the fans home happy when an incredible passing sequence saw them move the ball from their own goal line to midfield where Claude Yen spiraled a 20m pass to Roy Calvert who out sprinted the defence to leave the locals feeling proud with a good 28 points tally.

BARLA Chairman Spen Allison, commenting on the tour and game said,
“The tour has been exceptional although we did win Jamaica A will get great credit that it was all level at half time , I think the Jamaican guys gave us a fantastic contest and I think the winner is certainly rugby league.
“I am pleased that BARLA have yet again crossed foreign soil to promote the game and help develop this great sport, I would also like to thank the Jamaican guys for the hospitality towards us.”

Singing the praises of the tour Jamaica National team coach Romeo Monteith said, “The players competed better today and could have won this game, it’s encouraging because it is clear to everyone that Jamaica can be world beaters at rugby league. We may lack local sponsors and great facilities, but our players are very good and will only get better, especially if we get support.

We thank BARLA Great Britain for coming here to help develop the game and we hope to have them again soon.”

Jamaica A 28

Scorers

Tries: Ryan Grant , Marvin Thompson, Rowe, Roy Calvert
Goals: Kemoy Whyte 6/6

BARLA Great Britain U23s 56

Scorers

Tries: James Delaney 4, Danny Lynch, Dan Sayle, Saunders 2, James Brocklebank, Robertson
Goals: Brocklebank 8/10

THE EMERGING LIONS CZECH OUT

By Steve Manning

The BARLA Emerging Lions, the first step on the BARLA International pathway are to embark on an eight day tour on the Czech Republic on the 26th June were they will play in two games as well as taking part in a Nines competition before returning home on the 3rd July.

They are to play the Czech Youth on the 28th, Czech University Students on the 1st July and 24 hours earlier compete in the Pardubice Nines.

Stuart Prior BARLA Emerging Lions Manager said,

“BARLA has always been ground breaking and having setup new protocols with the RLEF the BARLA Emerging Lions have been invited to play in the Czech Republic against the Czech National Youth team, Czech Students and compete in the Pardubice Nines.

“With this credible invitation I am intrigued to see how they have progressed in this short period of time. The shear fact that they now have a national youth team and university team is testament to the hardwork put in by the RLEF officers based in Prague.

“ As is the case with any BARLA tour the cost is fully funded by the individual but this year we have been fortunate to bring in a few partners who recognise the importance, and sense of wellbeing, that this can bring to our amateur youth system. I would personally like to thank Keel Supply, FS Nuclear Consultants, Unison, CMS Medical Supplies, BARLA and the Rugby League Foundation.

“Some of our players this year come from some of the toughest backgrounds in the UK and these very special companies and organisations have made it possible for these lads to fulfil ambitions they may never get the opportunity to do again. The lads will have some spare time to go and shop but this is a rugby tour for promotion of the game so sadly it’s no holiday.”

Andy Mulhall, CZECH Rugby League Development Officer,

“The tour of the BARLA Youth team provides the Czech Rugby League Association with an ideal opportunity to test its strategy of grass roots RL development against some of the best young players from the home of RL. The CZRLA is honoured to be hosting BARLA, a representative team from Great Britain with such an immensely strong & proud tradition of not only playing the highest quality of RL, but also of being diligent &enthusiastic cultivators of the game’s international growth.

“Czech domestic RL development has made magnificent incremental strides over the last 3 years, and this has been largely on the back of the concentration on a legitimate 7 month domestic competition – which now includes 10 teams & 2 Divisions – in which the vast majority of player participants are young Czechs who represent clubs that are wholly community-based, financed & supported.

“The opportunity to field a CZRLA Youth & a Czech Universities Student teams, as well as a full national team for a European Bowl match in July, is an accurate reflection of both the domestic development of RL in the Czech Republic, and the demographic in which that development has most noticeably taken place.

“It is also a marvellous opportunity not just for abrader spectrum of Czech RL players to earn a national team appearance – 3squads of 20 players each will be announced prior to the BARLA tour commencing- but also provides further chances for Czech RL supporters to attend matches of a high standard. The CZRLA look forward to hosting BARLA Youth, and to providing such a high quality representative team with keen and motivated local opposition.”

The BARLA Emerging Lions Squad:

Reece Parker (Shaw Cross Sharks), Matty Heaton (Dalton),Jack Connor (Saddleworth Rangers), Sean Mumberson (Cockermouth Titans), Lennox Green(West Hull), Danny Carney (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Matty Henson (CockermouthTitans), Travis Jones (Skirlaugh), Connor Holiday (Kells), Connor Johnson (Leigh East), Anthony Hutton (Wigan St Pats), Tom Goffatt (Askam), Ryan Hickman (Latchford Albion Unicorns), Josh Adu-Dwamaa (Leigh East), Alex Addy (Dewsbury Celtic), Ben Milburn(Kells), Will Gaunt (Shaw Cross Sharks), Alex Rudd (West Hull), Sean Kenny (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Jamie Phillips (Wath Brow Hornets), Brad Delaney (Dewsbury Moor), Tom Battye (Castleford Panthers), Mathew Gee (Orrell St James), Charlie Tomlinson (Wath Brow Hornets). Management: Stuart Prior (Tour Manager), Michael Johnson (Team Manager), Jackie Reid BARLA Vice Chair, Kevin Johnson Head Coach, Christopher Fisher Assistant Coach, Warren Turley (Referee), Laura Wilson Physio, James Stephenson Media Manager

Demise of the Bulls

This week has seen the demise of the Bradford Bulls. A once mighty club in English Rugby League, it has extensive tax bills that it needs to pay. It has gone into administration and need a buyer or to raise One Million pounds soon not to go under. There has been shock from many corners of the league and world at this revelation and there are some that are asking weather the current system works or if the RFL should step in and help them out.

Well, this may be a bit of a sacrilegious thing to say, but why not let them go? We have seen in Australia in the with the Newtown Jest when they basically had the same issue. They were cast off and let die, only to be resurrected later and be a successful club in the NSW Cup competition and be a feeder club into the Roosters. Why not let something similar happen here. The bulls go into administration or what ever, let things get sorted out and then a few years down the line bring them back up through the championship ranks. The great thing is that at least in England you still have that three year chance to get into the top flight.

Stop the Farce

OK it really is starting to become a joke. I have gone on a lot about how State of Origin is basically killing international and National League, in particular in the Pacific with its farcical selection criteria. The whole Kassiano affair just shows what is wrong with the SoO concept. Something that was originally designed to even the playing field now has done the exact opposite where the best players are all flocking to get an artificial pay day and leaving the rest with table scraps.

We will see New Zealand, after all the great hard work come to a demise again because of this poaching. The really only good solution is to kill origin in its current format. If people truly want to use it as a promotionala nd development tool then do so. Origin has done nothing to grow the sport anywhere else in the country. We do not see and Victorian youngsters or Origin team, we aren’t seeing anyone from the other states in the NRL. Kiwis and Pacific islanders are looking to jump left right and center to get the $50k pay day.

Players can take some of the blame, but its the Fans, administrators and media that deserve 90% of it. They are the ones that have truly abandoned the sport internationally in Australia and only care about the NRL.

Remember my prediction that soon we will not have Rugby league in Australia. This is another step closer to that.

 

Daniel Andruczyk’s email: daniel@rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com
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