Round Up and Worrying News From Estonia!

By Daniel Andruczyk

This week saw an amazing time in Rugby League. Jamaica’s whipping boys in the Uni championships got one back on their rivals, the World Club Challenge was played. Lebanon announced a tournament with a surprise contender, Super league powered on and over 100,000 fans turned out for NRL trials. All this pales to nothing when I read an email that came to me.

World Club Challenge

Sunday sees the annual match played between the Super League and National Rugby League champions. First up… Channel 9 what the hell are you doing not showing this live… at 1 am I don’t give a stuff about the Winter Olympics… it should be only Rugby League! I hope that some other channel will bid for this on FTA next year.

Anyway, the Melbourne Storm won the contest in a thriller of an encounter at Elland Road. It was a real arm wrestle up until the 48th minute. Scores at half time were 4-4 and wasn’t till early in the second half that the first try was scored by the Yorkshireman. Melbourne soon hit back to lock things up and then late in the match another try to Quinn got them their victory. A second World Club Challenge in the clubs history. It was a smaller crowd on previous years with 27,697 fans coming out.

As always the English fans are gracious on their defeats, after the game I got a whole flood of texts coming through congratulating me… don’t know why I was wanting a Leeds win! But thanks anyway.

Super League Results

This weekend 6 matches were played in the Super ‘Duper’ League, with some truly outstanding results. St. Helens had a close encounter with Wakefield winning 22-16. I think Wakey are showing that they are contenders this year. Hull smashed the London boys 28-4 while Bradford were reminded by Salford that they wont be the whipping boys this year, in a low scoring affair the Bulls won 7-0. In what has to be a truly worrying result for Catalans, they got absolutely pummelled by the Cherry and white. Wigan winning 58-0! Kingston Rovers got back to the winners Table with a hard fought out 24-20 victory over Castleford and Warrington just edged out Huddersfield 14-10. The points table stands as:

Team P W D L PD Pt
01. Wigan 4 4 0 0 118 8
02. Warrington 4 3 0 1 72 6
03. Hull FC 4 3 0 1 50 6
04. St. Helens 4 3 0 1 48 6
05. Wakefield 4 3 0 1 20 6
06. Huddersfield 4 2 0 2 30 4
07. Leeds 4 2 0 2 16 4
08. Bradford 4 2 0 2 -18 4
09. Hull KR 4 2 0 2 -34 4
10. Crusaders 4 2 0 2 -38 4
11. Castleford 4 1 0 3 -21 2
12. Harlequins 4 1 0 3 -78 2
13. Salford 4 0 0 4 -57 0
14. Catalans 4 0 0 4 -108 0

Jamaican University Championships

Round 4 of the University Championships were played last week. The University of West Indies getting up in a thriller over the University of Technology 38-17. GC Foster College had the Bye:

Team P W D L PD Pt
1. GC Foster College 4 2 0 0 20 4
2. Univesity of Technology 4 1 0 2 27 2
3. University of West Indies. 4 1 0 2 -27 2

There are three more rounds of matches remaining in the University Championships. On the 4th of March, The University of West Indies takes on GC Foster College and the 11th of March GC Foster College takes on the University of Technology. The week after that, 20th of March is the Grand Final.

Lebanon just gets better

The Mena U16’s Championships were announced last week as well. This is an initiative by Lebanon Rugby League where the Junior Cedars will take on the Saudi Arabians and also a Palestinian XIII… yes you read right, the Palestinians are now playing rugby league. Now imagine if Israel takes up the sport! State of Origin eat your heart out!

Three more matches were played in the Bank of Beirut Championships over the weekend. Balamand took on USJ, Wolves against LAU and Jouneih up against AUB, however no scores have come through yet.

NRL trials – Wow, Wow, Wow!

This week saw something amazing in the NRL. We are still in the trials period but obviously people were bored with the summer and could not wait till the footy season came round. This week Nearly 100,000 people came out to see Rugby League being played.

South Sydney vs. St George (Charity Shield, ANZ Stadium, AUS) 27,221
Manly vs. New Zealand (North Harbour Stadium Hamilton NZ) 17,262
North Queensland vs. Gold Coast (Richardson Park Darwin, AUS 10,000
Cantebury vs. Canberra (Apex Oval Dubbo, AUS) 8,050
West Tigers vs. Cronulla, Parramatta vs. Roosters (Blue Tongue Stadium Gosford, AUS) 18,511
Melbourne Storm vs. Leeds Rhinos (World Club Challenge, UK) 27,697
Total 108,741

Worrying News from Estonia!

Over the weekend I was having a chat with John in the Estonian Rugby League. They were interested in what was happening with some of the other European countries since they have not heard anything from the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) in a very long time. The conversation went something along the lines is there any good news in Norway, I said yes that there are plans on the domestic and international front and that Estonia and Norway should look to have an international maybe. His response was:

“I have been getting nothing from RLEF only wait and see. We are doing our best to get money for the Swedish 9s which is my priority for April. I feel its make or break this year, unless more help is provided its back to union. They are being given money/kits/tours we cant compete with this.”

I have been aware of Estonians frustration in the past, actually a few of the nations have frustrations that ever since Kevin Rudd left the RLEF had been quiet and no one knows anything. Apparently the new ‘Kevin Rudd’ is  ex-Bradford Bulls CEO Gary Tasker… anyone see or hear that announcement made? I certainly didn’t.

I am hoping that things do not come to such a place that Estonia drops out. They have been great in promoting Rugby League in that region despite their limited resources. Having been to Tallinn and seen them play twice I can assure you they provide a very unique game and time in the sport, certainly some good time were had with the Estonians. Maybe there is a club out there that can help the Estonians with something? If so please contact me.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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