Gallant Crusaders Go Down to the Champions

By Daniel Andruczyk

This Weekend saw the Engage Super League season start off. These were a 3rd and 4th round match where Leeds and Harlequins could have time to play Melbourne for the World Club Challenge in a few weeks. Leeds playing the Crusaders produced an outstanding night. Internationally the 9’s schedule was released and France continued with their seasons as well as the Challenge cup matches in the UK and Jamaica had their invitational 9s tournament.

United Kingdom

The Super League season kicked off with the Crusaders at their new home in Wrexham taking on Leeds in what was a throw back to the old days of winter Rugby League. Snow covered the pitch. The match is a 4th round match since that weekend Leeds will be taking part in the World Club Challenge against the Australian Champions Melbourne Storm. Similarly a 3rd round match between Quins and the Wildcats was played in London.

In a great opening 60 minutes the Crusaders showed that they can match it with the best of them with scores locked at 6-6. But a few dodgy decisions seemed to break the camels back and Leeds ran in 28 unanswered points in the last 20 minutes to seal the victory 34-6 and go to the top of the ladder. However the biggest success of the night had to be the crowd with over 10,000 packing out the stadium in what has to be Wales’ biggest crowd for a domestic Rugby League match

On Sunday London Harlequins hosted the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. Over 3000 turned out to see a competitive match between the two teams and the Wildcats won 8-10 in the end, with many of the Wakey fans on forums already happy that their team is in the top two. So the ladder stands as:

Team P W D L PD PT
01. Leeds 1 1 0 0 28 2
02. Wakefield 1 1 0 0 10 2
03. Bradford 0 0 0 0 0 0
04. Castleford 0 0 0 0 0 0
05. Catalans 0 0 0 0 0 0
06. Huddersfield 0 0 0 0 0 0
07. Hull FC 0 0 0 0 0 0
08. Hull KR 0 0 0 0 0 0
09. Salford 0 0 0 0 0 0
10. St. Helens 0 0 0 0 0 0
11. Warrington 0 0 0 0 0 0
12. Wigan 0 0 0 0 0 0
13. Harlequins 1 0 0 1 -10 0
14. Crusaders 1 0 0 1 -28 0

One more matches in round one of the Challenge Cup matches were also played this last weekend: Warrington Wizards defeated the Royal Air Force 28-24.

Also the Northern Rail Cup was meant to kick off but with the freezing weather that is in Europe some of the matches have been delayed. Matches that were played results are: Leigh Centurions beat Oldham Rougheuyed 24-12, London Skolars woes continued being thumped by Dewsbury Rams 50-4. Leon Pryces favourite beach place, Blackpool panthers had a close shave against the Keighley cougars 24-22.

The GB Community Lions will be playing France Juniors on the 17th of February at Blackwood RFC. Seven Welsh players have been selected for the squad.


The Elite 1 in France continued with round 12 being completed. This is the last round before a break is taken for the Lord Derby Cup round 2 to be played next week. Results saw no real surprises with Lezignan walloping Carpentras 60-26, Carcassonne and UTC played out a thriller with the Canaries flying out on top 23-20, Pia defeated Villeneuve quite predictably 54 – 34 and Avignion won the battle of the spoon 40-20 against St. Gaudens. Linoux had the bye. Table standings are:

Team P W D L PD PT
1. Lezignan 12 10 0 1 164 31
2. Pia 12 8 0 3 135 27
3. Carcassonne 11 7 0 3 86 24
4. Limoux 12 6 0 4 125 22
5. Villeneuve 12 4 1 6 -50 20
6. UTC 12 4 0 6 -32 18
7. Avignion 11 3 1 6 -112 17
8. Carpentras 12 3 0 7 -36 16
9. St. Gaudens 12 1 0 10 -250 13

There is still one match from round 10 left to play and that is Avignion versus Carcassonne. This will most probably be played next week.


The GC Foster Invitational 9s was played on the 31st of January. 10 teams and 150 players participated in the event and has been hailed as a great success. The winners of the divisions were:

  • University Division: GC Foster College won the University Division by defeating UWI 14-10 in sudden death overtime. It was heartbreak for the UWI team who had gone undefeated throughout the day.
  • St Catherine Division: The GC Foster Angels ( community-based team) scraped a 4-0 victory over the Portmore Eliminators who had also gone through the day undefeated.
  • Kingston Division: The Duhaney Park Sharks defeated the JDF Warriors 24-20. The powerful army team matched skills with their cross-town rivals in a game that produced some massive tackles and explosive sprinting by both teams.
  • Fastest Man Race: Utech flying winger Manning Marsh won the fastest man race.

Poland and Germany

Recently there has been some news and rumours about rugby league coming out of Poland. Having some interest in this I recently received and email with regards to some details. There Polish Governments is being petitioned to recognise Rugby League as a sport so that it can be registered and funded. Again this is just a formality that needs to be done and has nothing to do with any blocks placed on the sport from outside parties. Thus Polish Rugby League is asking people withy Polish heritage and interest to sign the petition. It can be found here:

This week also saw an announcement from German Rugby League President Simon Cooper that the annual Heidelberg 9’s this year will take place on the 19th of June. This is a great little tournament and in 2008 Rugby League International Scores own Daniel Andruczyk played in the Inaugural event with the Beroun Black Panthers from the Czech Republic.

Teams that are confirmed so far are: Southgate College (2 Teams), Heidelberg Lions, Rohrbach Hornets, German Anzacs, Blau Weiss Bayern, Calbach Raccoons and Kaiserslautern. For further information and if interested to play in this tournament then contact Uwe Jansen at .

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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