The Domestic Season Ski’s on!

By Daniel Andruczyk

This week sees three nations having continued with their domestic competitions over the Christmas and New Years period. France played out their catch up matches and had a round postponed with the recent heavy snow. Malta and Lebanon also continued with their domestic comps though no snow to worry about there. Unfortunate news too on the years first international.

Domestic Competitions


The Maltese Rugby League had their second round played just before Christmas with the North team running out winners this time 44-34. The points table thus looks as such:

Team P W D L PD PT
1 South 2 1 0 1 4 2
2 North 2 1 0 1 -4 2


The next two rounds of the Bank of Beirut Championships have been played with the two new teams still struggling to come to terms of the week in week out grind that comes to playing a season of the toughest sport on earth. Just before the Christmas break round 5 was played with Jounieh defeating Balamand 26-20, AUB having a comfortable win against the wolves 24-9 and USJ beating AUST 22-18. Last weekend round 6 saw two matches with LAU thrashing AUB 44-2 and the battle for the wooden spoon seeing the wolves edge out AUST 24-18. The points table thus is:

Team P W D L PD PT
1 LAU 4 4 0 0 276 8
2 Balamand 5 3 0 2 58 6
3 Jounieh 2 2 0 0 20 4
4 AUB 4 2 0 2 -7 4
5 USJ 4 2 0 2 -58 4
6 Wolves 4 1 0 3 -93 2
7 AUST 5 0 0 5 -158 0

Also good news to come from Lebanon over the Christmas break, the Sport has been recognised and given full federation status in Lebanon. This means that the sport can have access to sports grants form the government and should see the continued development of the Tripoli RLFC into a full club. Read more here.


France just had their three catch up games played over the break and their round 10 match postponed due to the heavy snow in Europe recently. The Catch up matches had one upset with Carpentras who are having a disastrous year this year beating the Lord Derby Champions Carcassonne 54-16. Limoux on form defeated UTC 24-12 and Carcassonne also defeated UTC 32 –24. The points table at the half way mark now stands at:

Team P W D L B PD PT
1 Lezignan 9 8 0 0 1 112 24
2 Pia 9 6 0 2 1 99 20
3 Carcassonne 9 5 0 3 1 55 18
4 Limoux 9 4 0 4 1 49 16
5 UTC 9 4 0 4 1 -24 16
6 Villeneuve 9 3 1 4 1 9 15
7 Avignion 9 2 1 5 1 -92 13
8 Carpentras 9 2 0 6 1 -26 12
9 St. Gaudens 9 1 0 7 1 -172 10

Papua New Guinea

Looks like the Bemobile Cup will expand this season too with the inclusion two new teams. Teams that have shown interest in joing the semi-professional compatition are the Hela Wigman (Tari), Porgera Nuggets (Enga) Gulf Siapea (Kerema), Simbu Warriors (Simbu), Rigo Roosters and Waghi Tumbe (Western Highlands). Full article here.

International News

News has filtered through from the Portuguese Rugby League that the international laid down for early in February against Japan has been cancelled and also further tours this year also have been postponed. No reason as to why yet. HOWEVER the Japanese are still coming to Australia on a 1 week tour and so am awaiting to find out what their itinerary will be for that week.

Rugby League World Rankings

A sneak peak at the Rugby League World magazines rankings that come out in the next issue.

  • 01. Australia
  • 09. Tonga
  • 10. Scotland
  • 11. Samoa
  • 19. Russia
  • 20. Czech Rep.
  • 21. South Africa
  • 29. Spain (Catalonia)
  • 30. Portugal
  • 31. Japan
  • 39. Niue
  • 40. Sweden
  • 41. Solomon Islands

Central Queensland bid

This week the CEO of the Central Queensland NRL bid, Denis Keeffe, came out claiming that the venture would be worth $75 Million to the local economy. I don’t have a problem with the CQ bid, I think if there is going to be another franchise in the NRL it should be there before another Brisbane team. But the biggest hurdle Denis outlines is

“Our biggest hurdle is convincing people here that they deserve a team.”

Personally I think the biggest hurdle is to get the splinter brigade to actually get off the fence and say that we will have two extra (or more) teams in 2013. Well I say good luck to them it would be great to see them and the Western Australian team in there.


A couple of rumours this week that have come through Rugby League International Scores. The first is that there is movement on the Poland Rugby League front with interest in Poland to establish it as well as a group in Australia ready to work with them.

Also there is talk that there may be a new Rugby League business venture with an ex-NRL player looking at overseas player placement with clubs in Australia, mainly players from the developing Rugby League Nations.

Interesting responses

Last blog I had a guest writer on, Keith Whitelock, whom posts on several forums. He had an interesting take on the NRL and splitting it into a conference style system like the USA. It drew many responses and the vast majority were praising it and seems to have people thinking. So A big Thanks to Keith and his blog. For the record, though its a different take on the system I came up with, I think the conference system could work also. I guess it all just comes down to economics in the end.

On the flip side my blog on the world ranking drew a lot of criticism, Mainly from the fact that New Zealand were ranked at number ten. This is fair enough people will always agree to disagree with what ever you write, some were more constructive than others, but all I will say is that the list is a measure of not just performances but the relative strengths of nations in Rugby league. Its not just the win loss ratio, but the domestic comp, the levels that the teams play how many matches are played what they do to help develop the sport internationally.  Unfortunately last year New Zealand played very very few games internationally and what they did play they did not do so well at. So based on the facts hard facts, rather than whimsical opinion, I still feel the list is a good indicator of where things are. Lets hope the RLIF comes up with something official soon.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:

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12 Responses to “The Domestic Season Ski’s on!”

  1. Joel says:

    Interesting news from all comps.
    Agreed, CQ are a must for the NRL, we’ve produced some of the Greats and Legends of the game.

    • druzik says:

      Yes, Its a bit frustrating that the South Africans don’t update or let people know whats happening more often… but I will get info out of them one way or another lol.

      Also I forgot to mention that the NRLUS is back in the headlines still aiming for a 2010 start… but no real new news and most fans are still scheptical since the website is not changing at all.

      Some news on Portugal… seems that many of their players were not released from clubs for the match and so had to call it off due to this… I hope that Japan will get a match or two in their tour and also I hear will play an international 9’s tournament somewhere… details to come.

      I do think CQ is a better bet, them and perth have to increase the TV audiences, but again what needs to happen is that CH9 have to show all the games live, not do what they do in Melbourne which is just a travesty.

  2. sportsmad says:

    thanks for the praise dan.
    great blog today, love the rumours part especially.
    i cant belive the japan/portuagal game is cancelled!! i planned my first trip to cabramatta that day!! please let me know of any info on rescheduling.
    my only scheptisism on the CQ bid is that it represents a region. people will have to be very commited to the club to travel from far an wide like they do to cowboys games. monday night footy would be a no go for the team.
    i too hope for perth (after my wellington support of course) but as i said, i think CC are a shoe in.

    • druzik says:

      Your was a very good blog sportsmad… thanks for the comment.

      Yes it is a shame about the Japan v Portugal match, but its preseason and so clubs will be reluctant to release players. I think this is why we need to have the season really split into well defined parts so that these things can be avoided.

      I am in contact with the Japanese so will find out what I can.

      Yes CQ is prepresenting a region, but in reality all the clubs do that. Brisbane is a “region”, so is the Gold coast, Newcastle is more than just a city but represents that whole hunter region (at the momnet) Same with Canberra and the ACT and the warriors and NZ… so the precedent is there really… even Wests tigers is representing a large region within Sydney.

  3. Joel says:

    Even though im from CQ and bias haha. CQ has the most to gain from a NRL club, its so boring here that most people in their right mind will want to go to the games even from an hour of few away and the economic benefit will also strengthen the region, we would have passionate fans and most of the other more serious bids already National sporting teams, so would be a bit more special for a RL mad CQ.

    We have a stack of juniors, passionate fans, the CEO, the history, the players, just need the team!

    Players like: Mal Meninga, PJ Marsh, Duncan Hall, John Wittenberg, Alan McIndoe, Kaufusi, Rod Reddy, Cyril Connell Jnr (24+ games for QLD), Rhys Wesser, Matt Sing, David Taylor, Ben Hunt, Jamie Simpson, Steve Bell, Hetherington, Larson and many many more are all from CQ.

    If Mackay were to be included this list would largely increase, (they do have a couple of Mackay bid people on board, but they may stay with NQLD), instead of getting a possible chance to get 1 NRL game a season or preseason trials.

  4. Robbo says:

    Great blog Druzik, I didn’t realise that Malta had a domestic comp, albeit 2 sides but it is a foundation to build on. And interesting news on Poland, hopefully the rumours turn out to be true and we can add another country to the ever growing list of RL playing nations.

    The rumour about a venture to place overseas players from developing nations is an interesting one and would love to see it come to fruition.

    • druzik says:

      Yes this year its the first year its been using loicals. in 2007 and 2008 they had a “domestic comp” which was a mixture of OS players and a few local Union players to promote and set up the sport, but this is the first year of just locals playing. Like you say its only 2 teams but at least its a start.

      Poland I am hoping to be involved in in some way (being of Polish parentage and all) I have in the past looked at it myself but the rumour is that there is someone in Poland that actually wants to get it going, haven’t heard any more than that for now.

      The player placement would be an interesting proposition… it will be interesting to see how the talent scouting would be done and how many teams would be willing to come on board. From what I know the target is not NRL clubs but other pro/semi-pro clubs in the CRL and lower tier leagues.

    • druzik says:

      Jon I think you live out there no? So you prob have the best idea on how things are with calling them But I think because Catalonia is not a separate country then for classification purposes its been called Spain.

      For those that don’t know there is a fairly strong local RL comp based around Barcelona and surrounding towns and also a University competition.

  5. Jon says:

    After a long and sometimes worrying silence some news from the Catalan Rugby League.
    They were recognised for the work ‘to reward their efforts to defend our selections and promotion of sport in our country’ by the Catalan government.

  6. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Catalonia coming in as a separate idenity just like the maoris would be a dream come true for us rugby league folks.Music to my ears.

    • druzik says:

      They are not separate countries… what do you not understand here. What bamboozled me is that a NZ Maori side with quality talent can be chosen yet the Kiwis resort to Pacific Islanders.

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