Controversy Reigns in the NRL

By Daniel Andruczyk

This week saw some absolute howler referee decision in the NRL that has brought into question the standard of refs. Super league continues to draw the surprises, Lezignan powers on to the minor premiership in France and Lebanon has some surprise results as well. The Jamaican University Championships came to a close as well.

National Rugby League

As we have seen in previous years teams that do well one year, tend to have a slow start the next and vice versa. This certainly has been the case this year with the likes of Sydney City and Manly in reverse. The weekends results were as follows: The dragons beating the Doggies 26-6. Souths lost in a rugby union match to Gold Coast 19-18. The Sharks woes continued with a loss in Auckland to the Warriors 30-16, Melbourne held off a spirited Newcastle 20-14 and Nth Queensland beat not only the Panthers but the oncoming cyclone 28-20. In another terrible refereeing match Parramatta had a controversial win against Manly 24-20 while the Roosters great start continued with a win over Wests 44-32. Brisbane’s bad run in Canberra continued with a gutsy loss to the Raiders 22-14.

Team P W D L PD Pt
Sydney City 2 2 0 0 38 4
St George 2 2 0 0 26 4
Melbourne 2 2 0 0 10 4
Gold Coast 2 2 0 0 7 4
Penrith 2 1 0 1 10 2
New Zealand 2 1 0 1 8 2
Nth Queensland 2 1 0 1 2 2
Brisbane 2 1 0 1 -2 2
Parramatta 2 1 0 1 -2 2
Newcastle 2 1 0 1 -2 2
Wests 2 1 0 1 -8 2
Canberra 2 1 0 1 -10 2
Manly 2 0 0 2 -8 0
Cronulla 2 0 0 2 -18 0
Canterbury 2 0 0 2 -24 0
South Sydney 2 0 0 2 -27 0

On a more controversial note, the refereeing standard in the NRL has been pretty appalling so far. Two games of note in particular have surfaced. On Friday night the Souths and Titans match descended into what only can be described as a Rugby Union Match. The number of stoppages for what were nothing incidents was just unacceptable. Penalties that weren’t were rife and one got the feeling the Refs were there to make a name for them selves. The Parramatta and Manly match also say a NFL pass go unanswered. There are 4 refs on the field how the hell did they not see this! This clearly effected the match result and if I were a Manly fan I would be fuming.

One thing is for sure, Finch has got to go. He has not done a good job with the refs. The two ref system in my opinion is just not working. The same mistakes are being made and if anything the game is over policed. Watching the Super League on the weekend one could see much more flowing games of rugby League where teams actually ended up having room to play some nice flowing, and spontaneous attacking football.

Estonian Rugby League

In Estonia, there has been some good news with Michael Williams winning the Inaugural Rugby League Regional Development award. Here is some back ground on him from John Slade:

“Michael Williams is the first to be awarded this new development award, and it couldn’t have gone to a better person.

He arrived in Estonia to take up a job with a youth program in Saku approx 30 km’s from Tallinn the capital of Estonia.

Michael hails from Cornwall were he played RU for his local town, but on arriving joined the Tallinn Tigers RL side and quickly found that this was for him, and has played against Latvia and the Ukraine having been in Estonia almost three years.

Working with youngsters aged from 13-19 he felt the need to set up a school side, and with the help of the Estonian RL coaching team started the hard task of introducing RL.

Without any financial support and the occasional confrontation from the other sports clubs all chasing for players Michael has developed a hard core of youngsters who could become good players. They have no kit or even enough balls but during this extreme cold spell still turn up Tuesday and Thursday nights and put in 2 hours of tough work.

They have notched up their first win against the Tigers youth side over two games winning with 13 tries against 10, admittedly both games were in snow making for poor playing conditions.

His time is up in April and will be heading back too England and will be missed by everyone involved in developing RL in Estonia.”

best pick of coach.JPGMichael Williams winning the Regional Rugby League Development award.

Also this week the annual Rugby League snow competition was played in Tallinn. I don’t have any results as yet but some nice photos. Looks like a hell of a lot of fun.

Picture 021 Picture 016 Picture 019

Super League

I feel its safe to say that finally the salary cap in the Super League is starting to do its job. After so many years of dominance by Leeds and St Helens, other teams have finally stepped up to the plate. Some fantastic results this week in the Super League. Friday night saw St Helens play out a classic with Warrington in front of 17,500. The Bernard’s winning a tight contest 28-18. Crusaders in front of over 6000 fans showed that their wins this season have been no fluke beating the Catalans Dragons 14-6. At Hull 14,466 people watched FC beat Bradford 18-6 and Hull KR caused the upset of the round by beating Leeds at home 17-10. Quins got thrashed 32–18 by Huddersfield who have showed that last years form was no off chance and that Browns attacking style can work in the ESL. Front runners Wigan beat Castleford 36-22 and Wakefield continued Salford’s woes 36-6. The table standings are:

Team P W D L PD Pt
Wigan 7 6 0 1 154 12
Warrington 7 5 0 2 121 10
Huddersfield 7 5 0 2 102 10
St Helens 7 5 0 2 61 10
Hull FC 7 5 0 2 58 10
Wakefield 7 5 0 2 11 10
Hull KR 7 4 0 3 -36 8
Leeds 7 3 0 4 61 6
Bradford 7 3 0 4 -53 6
Crusaders 7 3 0 4 -71 6
Castleford 7 2 0 5 -51 4
Salford 7 1 0 6 -95 2
Catalans 7 1 0 6 -108 2
Harlequins 7 1 0 6 -154 2

Carcassonne Jump to Second

The Elite season is slowly coming to its climax. Round 16 sees the jostling for positions of teams from 2 to 8. Leziganan is destined to take the minor premiership. Even if they lost the next two round they will take the top spot. But to have still 7 teams in a shot of the finals is saying something for the closeness of the french competition. What can be said is that Carcassonne, Pia and Limoux have guaranteed spots but Carpentras, Villeneuve, UTC and Avignion certainly can still make the top 5. Results were: UTC 41 upset Pia 14, Carcassonne took second spot by beating bottom St Gaudens 52-18, Lezignan beat Avignion 44-22 and Carpentras had an upset win over Limoux 34-18. Villeneuve had the bye.

Team P W D L PD Pt
Lezignan 16 14 0 1 244 43
Carcassonne 14 9 0 4 150 31
Limoux 16 8 0 6 109 30
Pia 15 8 0 5 103 29
Carpentras 15 6 0 7 -2 25
Villeneuve 16 5 1 8 -77 25
UTC 15 5 0 8 -25 23
Avignion 16 4 1 9 -184 23
St Gaudens 15 1 0 12 -304 15

Jamaican University Championships

Jamaica saw the final of the Jamaican University Championships played out last Thursday. With GC Foster College taking on the University of Technology. GC had a fantastic win, coming from behind to take the title 24-20. They were the dominant team all season and congratulations go out to them for the win.

image010 Presentation of the Trophy in Jamaica


Round 14 of the Bank of Beirut Championships was played out. This was a battle of the titans with Jounieh and Balamand fighting out a 28-28 draw while the Wolves had an upset win over AUB 20-18. This takes the new team into 3rd position. How good is that!

Team P W D L PD Pt
LAU 8 8 0 0 424 16
Jounieh 9 5 1 3 38 11
Wolves 9 5 0 4 -51 10
Balamand 8 4 1 3 56 9
AUB 8 4 0 4 -9 8
USJ 8 2 0 6 -170 4
AUST 8 0 0 8 -262 0


Some news coming from Japan that there is a new third team joining the ANZACS and Tokyo Warriors. The Tokyo Gaijin Bulldogs which I assume also has a foreigner base to it (Gaijin is the name for a non native). So the Japanese Domestic comp will have 3 teams this season.

Rumour Mill

Word is that this weekend will see the RLEF meet and finalise the years tournaments and announce them next week.

I am told that the interview with Warren Heilig will finally be published in the April issue of Rugby League Magazine. Also I am hot on the trail of some news from the Middle East and Russia that should appear in RL Review soon too.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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