OK, so am continuing to catch up on the news from around the world. This is the last of the press releases and I will do a commentary in my next article. There is a lot to discuss and think about in the world of Rugby League.
The Jamaica Rugby League Association’s 2012 national club championship continued on Saturday with Maxfield and Duhaney Park posting comprehensive wins.
Maxfield Star Teppers took care of Portmore Suns with a comfortable 30-8 victory at the GC Foster College grounds. Kenneth Walker scored his first of two tries after 5 minutes when he made a scorching 20m run and touched down in the right hand corner. Joseph Shae and Andre Mignott then got on the score sheet in the 10th and 14th minute respectively to give the Star Stepper a comfortable 12-0 lead. Portmore Suns finally got off the mark when Ryan Hall powered his way to score on 20 minutes and Rageem Mclean made it 12-8 as he scored on 32 minutes. The Star Steppers made it 16-8 at half time when Gifford Byfield bullied his way to a try at center field.
In the second half the Maxfield dominated the proceedings with superior ball handling skills and stifling defense. A high tackle by the Suns on fleet footed scrum half Kennth Walker just before the try line saw Referee Ricardo Bramwell award a penalty try. Walker then went over for his second try 3 minutes later after poor defending by the Suns. Joseph Shae ended the game with 3 conversions for the Star Steppers.
Playing at home, defending champions Duhaney Park Red Sharks overpowered the St. Andrew Renegades 80-0. Stifling defence from the Renegades and countless handling errors saw the Red Sharks manage only 16 points through Stephon Lounds, and Roy Calvert who had a hat trick. The Renegades kept purposeful in attack though hooker Shannon Harris and Sidonite Jeannite playing at center, however, they could find no way through the Red Sharks solid defensive pattern,
Duhaney Park had more purpose in the second 40 minutes and scored at will as they amassed an incredible 64 points. They were led by hooker Marvin Thompson who scored 3 tries, Cleveland Yap (2), Jermaine Pinnock (2), Fabion Turner (1), Kemoy Whyte (1), Peter Tapper (1), Andre Reid (1) and Stephen Hamilton (1). Converted kicks came from Roy Calvert (1), kemoy Whyte (3), Marvin Thompson (3).
The JDF vs GC Foster game was postponed due to the Milatry Tattoo and the Vauxhall vs Spanish Town was rescheduled to July 21st.
The competition continues on Saturday July 7 when the St. Andrew Reneagdes host GC Foster College at Campion (4pm) and Vauxhall entertain Portmore Suns at Vauxhall high school (4pm)
There is no time to rest for the Lebanese-based players that have been chosen for the train-on squad that will tour Canada later this summer. With their Championship Grand Final played last week, the players have been put through some rigorous training sessions and this level will remain until the squad is finalized and flies out to Toronto in late August.
The local players will be met in Canada by Cedars Head Coach David Bayssari and the Australian-based members of the touring party.
The domestic players have been under the watchful eye of tour manager Remond Safi. “It’s great to see a lot of new young faces moving up in the ranks our international squad. This will be a stern test as the Canadians have plenty of big match experience to fall back on,” he said. “We will have our work cut out.”
Lebanon Head Coach David Bayssari commented,” The squad that will land in Toronto should provide a stiff test for Canada. We are under no illusions. The Canadians are an extremely tough side and will be hard to handle, but I now our boys will be ready by game time and I look forward to having all the players under the one roof again. I can’t wait.”
Lebanese-based players in train on squad:
Ahmad Fadallah, Robin Hachache, Adam Itani, Mazen Knio, ( Immortals RLFC) , Michael Khoury, Youssef Helou, Pierre Nasr, ( Jounieh RLFC), Mohamed Akar , Kamel Ali, Adib Kahi, Paul Khauli, (Redbacks RLFC) , Michael Elias, Jonathon Fenianos, Riad Khoury, Sami Mansur, Michael Moubarak, Samer Nehme, Gaeton Osman, Aziz Smaily , Allen Soultan, ( Tripoli RLFC), Raymond Finan, Monir Finan, Nemer Saliba,
The Iowa City Crash have made a promising start on debut in the American National Rugby League Midwest Conference with a spirited performance before going down 32-14 to the Chicago Stockyarders at Winnemac Park in Chicago Sunday in Round 2 of the Conference schedule.
The Crash raced to an early 8-0 lead with unconverted tries by Irish import Tom Lenihan, after good work from standout Nick Young, and player/coach Brad Fuhrmann to stun the home side.
The more established Chicago team was soon on the board though with an opportunistic try from hardworking Chris Togni on his Stockyarders debut. Further scores just before halftime by Mike Featherstone and Nick Letizia, after a jinking run, gave the Yarders a 14-8 lead at the break.
The home team made a strong start to the second half when Featherstone bagged his second try early on followed by a barnstormer by prop David Kim that put the game beyond the Crash’s reach.
There was a glimmer of hope for the Iowa boys, however, when Fuhrmann notched his second score with a powerful effort midway through the half, but the visitors couldn’t add to their try tally. Young converted one of Iowa’s three tries.
The Yarders sealed the deal through late scores by substitute Jack Chambers on his return to the Stockyarders with on a long-range kick return and a cheeky effort from Nick Letizia that gave the scoreline a more one-sided look than was deserved for a hardworking Iowa side in which youngster Alex Pacha also stood out.
“Game was a fantastic learning curve,” said Iowa City Crash player/coach Fuhrmann. “Our lack of experience showed around the play the ball, but the guys made up for that with enthusiasm and effort.”
Midwest Conference standings:
Western Storm (1-0) 5pts
Chicago Stockyarders (1-1) 5pts
Iowa City Crash (0-1) 0pts
EUROPEAN SHIELD 2012-13, GAME 4 – Italy 72 Germany 10
Italy head the standings in the tightly congested European Shield after an irresistible twelve-try rout of Germany in Piacenza that leaves all four competing nations on two points.
“We can’t get too carried away,” said a clearly satisfied Italy coach, Paul Broadbent. “We reviewed the Serbia game, fixed up the areas we weren’t good enough in and the guys really took on board the things we said we wanted to try and improve.”
Eleven different try-scorers illustrated a total team performance from the Azzurri which overwhelmed the Germans from the opening set of six, which ended in second rower Davide Rancati’s try.
That it was going to be a long day for the Germans, and one made more uncomfortable by the unforgiving Italian summer sun, was evident from the earliest exchanges.
In the opening eleven minutes the visitors were starved of possession, incredibly playing the ball only once. In that time they were already 18-0 down as the Italians adroitly carved them open around the ruck.
When the Germans did manage to mount their first attack, a dropped ball led to Italy’s debutant prop Nourou Bance racing 80-metres downfield, only to be brought down inches from the line after an outstanding chase by German winger Mawuli Amefia. A forward pass on the next play saved the visitors from further punishment.
Germany centre Nick Keinhorst closed the gap to 18-4 on 18 minutes but the Italians were too well drilled and motivated to allow the visitors back into the match, and three more tries in a lightning five-minute spell put the result beyond doubt.
Scrum half Remi Fontana grabbed a double and the best of the touchdowns saw South Wales Scorpions loose forward Chris Vitalini cleverly put him through a gap as the half ended 42-4.
Stand-off Gert Peens bagged a total of 24-points, with a perfect ten goals from as many attempts and a try, while Fontana chipped in with two goals to cap an influential day in midfield.
“We started really well which gave us a lot of confidence and it was a really credible performance,” continued Broadbent. “Tactically, we tried to move them away from playing sideways and get them playing forward. We wanted them to use little short passes, and play at the line in numbers, and I think we did that brilliantly today.”
Downbeat Germany coach Dan Stocks was barely able to mask his frustration after the capitulation. “I’m disappointed, obviously, especially by the manner which we lost,” he said. The previous two games saw us play some really good rugby league and today we moved away from the plan and didn’t do what we were supposed to.”
“A few people questioned whether Germany could play at this level and said we’d lose by blow-out scores in every match. Yes, this was a big score, but we’ve won one and were competitive with Russia so overall I’m pretty happy with the way 2012 went and looking forward to getting back into the competition next year.”
Italy and Serbia both travel to Russia in September to complete the first half of the biennial competition.
TRIES : Rancati (1), Barani (5), Marchesi (19), Fontana (24,29), De Mayer (27), Peens (39), Cardella (42), Prizzon (57), Alfonsi (62), Muyodi (67), Ciaurro (76)
GOALS : Peens 10/10, Fontana 2/2
TRIES : N. Keinhorst (18), Lortz (70)
GOALS : McLean 1/2
Fabrizio Ciaurro, Drake Muyodi, Rodrigo Marchesi, Ivan Barani, Giacomo Alfonsi, Gert Peens, Remi Fontana, Cedric Prizzon, Mario Marcinczak, Nourou Bance, Davide Rancati, Giovanni Franchi, Chris Vitalini. Subs: Fabio Berzieri, Thomas Piscitelli, Chris De Mayer, Stefano Cardella
Christoph Huber, Mawuli Amefia, Daniel Lortz, Nick Keinhorst, Ali Surer, Andy McLean, Kristian Keinhorst, Ben Behr-Heyder, Joshua Danzey, Fabrice Fehlmann, Sebastian Roczyn, Jerome Himmer, Florian Stockert. Subs: Markus Bender, Vincent Speiss, Liam Doughton, Dan Stocks
On a warm evening in the beautiful setting of the Tre Fontane dell Eur in Rome on Saturday, June 30 the Federazione Italiana RFL held the r-Evolution League Finals, the only national based rugby league championship in Italy. The best teams from the Northern and Southern Groups met in the morning semi-final clashes, until the third place playoff and Grand Final began from 6pm.
In the morning, the Spartans Catania (Sicilia) and the Magnifici Firenze (Toscano) both failed to overturn the odds placed against them and beat the top sides and last years finalists, Rex Albinea (Reggio Emilia) and Gladiators Roma. The Islanders lead by Massimo Nicotra (Director) against the Reggio Emilian lost 24 to 12, while the Florentines coached by Luigi Ferraro were overwhelmed by Roman armor 28 to 6. After a scheduled break to avoid the scorching heat that enveloped the capital, the Finals began later in the evening.
The third place playoff match was again won by Spartans Catania against Magnifici Firenze, only thanks to an extra conversion in winning a demanding game, 22 to 18.
Luigi Ferraro, technician and founder of Magnifici said: “I am very pleased with how the boys played, none of them has ever given up during the two matches and I want to thank all the Magnifici who took to the field in the 2012 edition and our sponsors EMCW Engineering and Vigna Vittoria, who have supported us for 3 years and without their precious help we wouldn’t be finalists for the 2 seasons.”
In the Grand Final, 2 times champions Gladiators sweated more than a little against the Rex team led by renowned Samoan rugby union 15 and 13 player, Silao Leaega..
The first half remained tight ending 12 to 4 for the Romans, with tries from man of the match Rotella and Brasca for the Romans, and Carbone for the Rex.
The second half started with the Rex going on the attack in an attempt to overturn the deficit with a siege in the first 10 minutes that lead to a try resulting from an offload through Leaega to 12 to 10.
Despite 3 injuries for the Romans, they didn’t allow the Rex any room to move with the Gladiators advancing with two tries to Gori and one to Sirbu that sealed the historic romano “triplete” at 28 to 12 – three consecutive titles for the Campioni d’Italia, Gladiators Roma.
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