Historic Day, Rugby League Season in Full Swing, Rumours and RLIS redesign.

By Daniel Andruczyk

There is so much news from this last week to get through. First a redesign of the site. There have been announcements of games in Japan and the knockout comps in France and the UK in full swing. Cook Islands have had their opening round of games while the NRL is about to embark on what is the most exciting season yet. The USA grows with an extra team and splits into two conferences and news of a international in Europe. AND the rumour mill is back!

NRL About to Explode

Well for all the Aussie Rugby league Fans the NRL is almost here. Tonight the first two matches kick off with sell out crowds in Brisbane and in Sydney. The Broncos take on the Cowboys while Saint George and Parramatta go head to head. Bulldogs take on Newcastle with the Panthers and Canberra fighting it out. Cronulla and Melbourne have a grudge match as it seems every year Gold Coast and the Warriors I predict will have some spite in it the old feud between South Sydney and Sydney will also come to a head. Finally Wests Tigers and Manly reignite the Fibros versus Silvertails rivalry.

But with this come more great news that the NRL will finally get an independent commission, with the full support of the ARL throwing its weight behind a News Limited proposal.

Other news in Australia, the Tasmanian State Championships came to a close with the Hobart Tigers taking out the grand final against the Eastern Thunder. The Tigers outclassed the Thunder 54-14 in front of a decent crowd of 1200. Despite the 4 team comp it gave all teams a shot at the title in the semis and the Thunder despite being last gave a good account of them selves.

Team P W D L Pt
Northern Broncos 12 7 1 4 15
Hobart Tigers 12 7 1 4 15
Southern Rabbitohs 12 6 1 5 13
Eastern Thunder 12 2 1 9 5
  • Semi Finals
  • Hobart Tigers 30 – 18 Southern Rabbitohs
  • Eastern Thunder 38 – 18 Northern Broncos
  • Final
  • Hobart Tigers 54 – 14 Eastern Thunder

Japan-ANZAC Series Announced

The Japan-ANZAC series of matches have been announced. This is the local based Tokyo Warriors and the Japanese based ANZAC’s made up of ex-pat Aussies and Kiwis. This is Japans domestic comp of sorts.

JapANZAC Series 2010
Tokyo XIII Warriors vs JapANZACs

Game 1: 24th April, Katsushika Stadium, 6:40pm K.O
Game 2: 2nd May, Katsushika Stadium, 6:40pm K.O
Game 3: 22nd May, Katsushika Stadium, 6:40pm K.O

Challenge Cup 4th Round Ties

The 4th round of ties for the Challenge Cup have been announced. In this round the Super League clubs finally come in and so the full league is now involved. The ties are: York City v Crusaders, Hunslet v Oldham, Swinton v Halifax, Limoux v Leigh, Harlequins v Wakefield, St Helens v Toulouse, Widnes v Lezignan, Catalans v Salford, Sheffield v Wigan, Siddal v Batley, Hull FC v Leeds, Castleford v Barrow, Warrington v Featherstone, Blackpool v Whitehaven, Huddersfield v Hull KR and Dewsbury v Bradford.

I predict a few upsets here. I think Barrow can pip Castleford in a very tight one as they almost did Wigan last year. Limoux and Lezignan should get through as well as will Catalans to 3 French teams should be in the Challenge Cup 5th round.

Cook Island Championships

The Cook Island Championships have kicked off as well last week. Round 1 has seen the Arorangi Bears holding of the Titikaveka Bulldogs 26-24, Avatiu Eels beat Aitutaki Sharks 26-23 and Tupapa- Maraerenga Panthers beat the Ngatangiia-Matavera Sea Eagles 22-8

In the only round 2 result I have the Eels beat the Bears 34-24. The points table stands as

Team P W D L PD Pt
Avaitiu Eels 2 2 0 0 11 4
Tupapa Panthers 1 1 0 0 14 2
Arorangi Bears 2 1 0 1 -6 2
Titikaveka Bulldogs 1 0 0 1 -2 0
Aitutaki Sharks 1 0 0 1 -3 0
Ngatangiia Sea Eagles 1 0 0 1 -14 0

Lord Derby Cup Results

The quarter finals in the Lord Derby Cup have been played in France. There have been no real surprises with the power houses of the game in France making it through to the Semis. Can Carcassonne Retain their title or will Lezignan, Carpentras or last years finalists Limoux take it out? Results were: Lezignan defeated UTC 32 to 28 in a tight contest, Carcassonne thumped the only division 2 hopefuls Lescure 36-11. Carpentras also beat Villeneuve in a tight one 26-22 and Limoux and Pia fought out a thriller 32-24 with Limoux winning.

In other French news, there is a consortium of the seven French clubs in the Aude region looking at getting a 3rd Club into the English Championship competition. It will be called XIII Aude Cathar. Be interesting to see what come of this. They are aiming for a 2012 start.

News a plenty in North America

The AMNRL has a new team joining it this season, The Pittsburgh Vipers, goodness I love some of the American names. This has forced the AMNRL to revert to a two conference system once again. The two Conferences are:

Connecticut Wildcats
New York Knights
Boston 13s
Northern Raiders
New Haven Warriors
Pittsburgh Vipers
Philadelphia Fight
Buck County Sharks
Washington DC Slayers
Jacksonville Axeman
Aston Bulls
Fairfax Eagles

Canada seems to be getting back into Rugby League with ex-South London Storm and Hunslet Hawks player Jamie Lester looking to establish a team in Toronto that will join the AMNRL next year as well as compete in the Jamaican 9s comp next year. Anyone interested in playing for Canada or helping out, you can contact Jamie on jamielester@hotmail.com

Denmark to Play Latvia and other internationals

Looks like in May there will be an international between Denmark and Latvia in Copenhagen. Also rumours that Norway and Estonia may play a match and Norway and Japan may also look to do a match. Italy when they tour the USA will play their International in new York on Columbus Day.

Fantastic News in the Middle East.

The recent success of the u16 MENA championships has shown a few nice things. Out of 18 players they KSA team had 6 Saudis in the squad which is a terrific achievement especially when in the context of Gulf Rugby League, where entire national teams since the 1950s have been exclusively expatriate. The crowd was about 150 and the general director of the education ministry, Fadi Yarak, attended and pledged to back all Lebanese Rugby Leagues expansion initiatives nationwide.

Rumour Mill

So the rumour this time round involves the lower tier European tournaments. Word is that they will switch to six nations. So the European Cup as I reported in this months Rugby League Review will consist of four nations, Ireland, France, Scotland and Wales. The European Shield will be made up of two groups of three. No nations have been confirmed as of yet but most likely the Shield will have Italy, Serbia, The Czechs, Russia (who seem to be still playing), Germany and the Ukraine.

There is also talk of the Russians bringing back the Victory Cup. This again seems to be a Russian initiative. For those that don’t remember, the Victory Cup concept lasted for a few years about 10 years back where the Nations that were involved in the Allies during World War two came together for a tournament. It involved Russia, USA, France, New Zealand representative team and Great Britain representative team. With this new initiative there is still no word on which countries would be involved but Estonia seems likely to be one of them. We wait to see what happens here.

Finally, the regional partners in the Middle East are discussing a MENA Championship in Dubai for October. There’s a lot of interest and its been looked into if its viable. Also looks like Kuwait is ready to step up to the RL plate and start playing later this year at the schoolboy level.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email: daniel@rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com
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