The Rugby League Season Begins in the UK

By Daniel Andruczyk

This week has seen the Challenge Cup begin in the UK. Rugby Leagues crown jewel and the Oldest Rugby League competition in the world sees the Amateur and professional teams pitted against each other. Elsewhere Lebanon and France continue with their seasons.

United Kingdom

Aside from the warm up matches that Super League and Championship teams are having this week has seen the start of the Challenge Cup tournament. This is Rugby Leagues FA Cup and is the most prestigious and oldest competition in World Rugby League. Its a knock out competition that sees any rugby league team play in it, including professional and amateur clubs.

The first round saw some of the amateur clubs pitted against each other to move into the second round. On the 26th the draw for the second round was made.


  • Blackwood Bulldogs 42 – 16 Edge Hill University
  • York Acorn 18 – 12 Skirlaugh
  • Ergmont Rangers 08 – 36 Oulton Raiders
  • Orchard Park and Greenwood 00 – 72 Wath Brow Hornets
  • Sharlston Rovers 12 – 20 Leigh East

Second round draw:

  • Pool A
  • Stanningley or Wigan St Judes v Milford Marlins
  • Rochdale Mayfield v Leigh East
  • Castleford Panthers v Thatto Heath Crusaders
  • Ovenden v Myton Warriors or Halton Cross Simms
  • Wath Brow Hornets v East Hull
  • Siddal v Oulton
  • Drighlington or West Hull v Castleford Lock Lane
  • Normanton or Wigan St Pats v Hunslet Warriors
  • Hull Dockers or Pilkington Recs v Shaw Cross or Leigh Miners Rangers
  • Pool B
  • British Police v Leeds Met
  • RAF or Warrington Wizards v The Army
  • Edinburgh Eagles v Blackwood Bulldogs
  • The Navy v West London Sharks or Nottingham Outlaws


The weekend saw some of the round 10 matches that were postponed due to Snow played. Bottom dwellers Carpentras caused another upset as they beat Pia emphatically 32-8. Lezignan to form annihilated Villeneuve 52-12 and Limoux smashed St. Gaudens.

Team P W D L B PD PT
1. Lezignan 11 9 0 1 1 130 28
2. Pia 11 7 0 3 1 115 24
3. Limoux 11 6 0 4 1 125 22
4. Carcassonne 10 6 0 3 1 83 21
5. Villeneuve 11 4 1 5 1 -30 19
6. UTC 11 4 0 5 2 -29 17
7. Carpentras 11 3 0 6 2 -2 15
8. Avignion 10 2 1 6 1 -132 14
9. St Gaudens 11 1 0 9 1 -230 12

On the weekend two trial games were played as well. Les Catalans Dragons played against Toulouse. The Dragons came out with a good win 46-22 but Toulouse should be happy with them being able to penetrate the Super League teams defences. The other was Carcassonne against the Champion ship big-guns Widnes. Here Carcassonne showed that the best of the LER can compete at this level with the Canaries winning 32-14. The crowds were 4185 and 2850 respectively for the two matches.


The Bank of Beirut Championships continued this week. There was a rematch this week between the Wolves and Jounieh who played last week. Looks like the Wolves learnt something in that time as they cam out and absolutely hammered the Jounieh 34-4. In the other match LAU beat Balamand 34-6. The standings are:

Team P W D L B PD PT
1. LAU 5 5 0 0 0 304 10
2. Balamand 6 3 0 3 0 30 6
3. AUB 5 3 0 2 0 23 6
4. Jounieh 4 3 0 1 0 10 6
5. USJ 4 2 0 2 0 -58 4
6. Wolves 6 2 0 4 0 -83 4
7. AUST 6 0 0 6 0 -188 0

The Presidents XIII has been announced for the match against the Liban Espoir team:

  • Nayef Abisaid (LAU)
  • Mohamed Akkar (AUB)
  • Kamal Ali (AUB)
  • Jad Asmar (UOB)
  • Joe Safa (LAU)
  • Hanni Assi (LAU)
  • Ibrahim Ballout (LAU)
  • Najy Bassil (UOB)
  • Abdul Bekdache (UOB)
  • Ayman Bitar (Wolves)
  • Mohamed Chaker (UOB)
  • Darwich Darwich (UOB)
  • Ahmad Fadlallah (LAU)
  • Mounir Finan (Jounieh)
  • Gaby Abou Fayad (Wolves)
  • Talal Harmouche (Jounieh)
  • Mounib Ismael (UOB)
  • Aboud Karim Jameel (UOB)
  • Karim Jamal (LAU)
  • Yves Khoury (LAU)
  • Tarek Makhlouf (UOB)
  • Sami Mansour (UOB)
  • Najy Ramy (AUST)
  • Mohamed Tawil (AUB)

Some more great news is that the sport will get a big push in schools. The ministry for Education has asked the LRFL to do up an action plan for schools.


The NRL season is starting to get closer and teams are finalising their player rosters. Willie Mason is still without a club however Manly seem interested in him. Fuifui Moimoi has resigned for two more years with Parramatta which gives them a massive boost and will be one of the favourites for this years title again.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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2 Responses to “The Rugby League Season Begins in the UK”

  1. Jon says:

    What is the likelihood Mason will end up at the Cowboys Dan?

    • druzik says:

      Mmmmmmmmm …. I don’t know. He is starting to really run out of clubs. He might end up in Europe or Japan after all hey.

      Look Personally I think Mason has a bit too much thrown at him by everyone. A couple people that do know his say he is actually a really good guy. I mean the things he’s been canned for a really non-issues you know. Hands up anyone who hasn’t relieved themselves behind a pub or tree? You know it happens and what can you do.

      He still has a lot to offer and I think the Cowboys may offer him a bit more freedom to do his job. I always felt that at the Chooks he was stiffled a bit, and it didn’t help with the fact that they were running last either.

      But thats just my opinion. Time will tell.

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