Thank the Maker for the Ditch!

By Daniel Andruczyk

Well those of us who are Antipodeans will know what the title refers to, and no its not some mass grave somewhere. I offcourse refer to the Tasman Sea and that it separates us and the Eastern Territory – New Zealand. I say this with love, I don’t say it with anything against our brothers, I only say it because its the only thing that keeps us from continually sending our sporting teams over to wage war! Yes ladies and gentleman and beings from other planets Its that time of year – ANZAC Test time, when the Kiwis come over here and try to bash the crap out of the Kangaroos. They may not always get the win on the board but damn it they beat us up on the field… oh and I pretty sure there is some other rugby league happening somewhere in the world?

ANZAC Test sides.

The teams for Friday nights test match have been named. Both teams are a bit slim with some of the regulars out due to injuries and also not qualifying. However christening the new Stadium in Melbourne should see a cracker night and crowd for the match and some real fireworks will be on the field. Watch Benji Marshall to weave his magic while I look forward to see Billy Slater be at his explosive best. I am torn as who will won, Australia has the better record but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Kiwis will just pip us.

Billy Slater (Melbourne), Brett Morris (St George Illawarra), Greg Inglis (Melbourne), Jamie Lyon (Manly), Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta), Darren Lockyer (c) (Brisbane), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne), Petero Civoniceva (Penrith), Cameron Smith (Melbourne), David Shillington (Canberra), Luke Lewis (Penrith), Sam Thaiday (Brisbane), Paul Gallen (Cronulla), Kurt Gidley (Newcastle), Josh Perry (Manly), Anthony Watmough (Manly), Michael Weyman (St George Illawarra)

New Zealand
Adam Blair (Melbourne), Kieran Foran (Manly), Alex Glenn (Brisbane), Bronson Harrison (Canberra), Aaron Heremaia (New Zealand), Lance Hohaia (New Zealand), Issac Luke (South Sydney), Sika Manu (Melbourne), Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers), Steve Matai (Manly), Ben Matulino (New Zealand), Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra), Frank-Paul Nuuausala (Sydney), Sam Perrett (Sydney), Sam Rapira (New Zealand), Junior Sa’u (Newcastle), Zeb Taia (Newcastle), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney)

City Country Origin

The other match on Friday night is the City Country Origin. The first of the domestic rep games for NSW. This game has will go a long way for some players for thei selection in the Blues for the State of Origin. The teams are:

City Origin Team
Lachlan Coote (Penrith), Anthony Minichiello (Sydney), Beau Champion (South Sydney), Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers), Michael Jennings (Penrith), Kris Keating (Parramatta), Trent Hodkinson (Manly), Bryce Gibbs (Wests Tigers), Robbie Farah (c) (Wests Tigers), Keith Galloway (Wests Tigers), Trent Waterhouse (Penrith), Mark Minichiello (Gold Coast), Luke O’Donnell (North Queensland), Tim Mannah (Parramatta), Tim Grant (Penrith), Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne), Joel Reddy (Parramatta), Liam Fulton (Wests Tigers)

Country Origin Team
Josh Dugan (Canberra), Michael Robertson (Manly), Jamal Idris (Bulldogs), Timana Tahu (Parramatta), Luke Burt (Parramatta), Greg Bird (Gold Coast), Brett Kimmorley (c) (Bulldogs), Kade Snowden (Cronulla), Michael Ennis (Bulldogs), Brett White (Melbourne), Ben Creagh (St George Illawarra), Glenn Stewart (Manly)    , Anthony Laffranchi (Gold Coast), Todd Carney (Sydney), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Canberra), Willie Mason (North Queensland), Dean Young (St George Illawarra), Joel Thompson (Raiders)

Fijian Championships

The Fijian Domestic season kicked off on the weekend. Two conferences again this year, the Eastern and Western conference. In the Eastern Conference Makoi 28 defeated Davuilevu 22 while Nadera went down to Nabua 4 – 12. Namatakula lost to the Police 12-30 and City had the Bye.

Team P W D L B PD Pt
Police 1 1 0 0 0 18 2
Nabua 1 1 0 0 0 8 2
Makoi 1 1 0 0 0 6 2
City 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Davuilevu 1 0 0 1 0 -6 0
Nadera 1 0 0 1 0 -8 0
Namatakula 1 0 0 1 0 -18 0

In the western conference there are 4 teams this year. Nadi drew 18 – 18 with Lautoka and Saru defeated 26-12 Sabeto.

Team P W D L PD Pt
Saru 1 1 0 0 14 2
Nadi 1 0 1 0 0 1
Lautoka 1 0 1 0 0 1
Sabeto 1 0 0 1 -14 0

Tonga Championships

Some results from the Vava’u Island competition. This is one of the 4 islands that have a separate competition before the winners come together to play for the national championship. The last round 5 results are: Holonga 22-20 Toa ko Pouono, Kameli 12-10 Falaleu, Mataika 34-26 Ta’anea.

Team P W D L PD Pt
Holonga 5 5 0 0 44 10
Mataika 5 3 0 2 20 6
Falaleu 5 2 0 3 0 4
Kameli 5 2 0 3 -40 4
Ta’anea 4 1 0 3 -6 2
Yoa ka Pouono 4 1 0 3 -18 2

Lebanon – Bank of Beirut Championships

The Semi-Finals of the Bank of Beirut Championships have been playes as well as the last of the regular season matches. Jounieh v USJ did not have any effect on the final 4. The Wolves took on AUB in the first semi. This has been a very successful season for the Wolves, in their first season and making it through to the Semis. Unfortunately they went down to AUB 34-18. In the second Semi-Final …

France – Lord Derby Cup Final.

If any of you were on twitter following me you would have seen me post a link to the Lord Derby Cup final being streamed live on Orange TV. It was a great gritty game. Limoux and Lezignan, the old rivals took each other on and Lezignan seemed to have it in the bag. But as is with French Rugby League Limoux managed to find the flair to come back and up until 10 minutes to go was locked at 14 – 14. But 8 minutes from the end Lezignan got their try to seal the deal 18-14. But The most amazing thing was seeing Chris “Beetroot” Beattie still playing. It was also great to see that Lezignan went back to their traditional Green and white colours rather than the pink they had the last few years.

The Storm has developed into a Cyclone!

So the second week after the Storm Salary Cap incident and they faced North Queensland in Townsville. I think the residents in Townsvulle were given no warning that a Category 5 Cyclone was about to hit. Melbourne showed that they were going to have fun and so clinically dispatched the Cowboys 34-6. Parramatta beat the Bulldogs 26-10. Brisbane were beaten by Newcastle 30-22. Canberra held out the Warriors in Auckland 23-16. Gold Coast beat Penrith 38-24, St George walloped the Gummy Sharks 38-0. Wests were beatedn by the Roosters 12-8 and a late surge by Souths was not enough to beat Manly losing 22-30.

Team P W D L B PD Pt
St George 8 7 0 1 0 129 14
Gold Coast 8 6 0 2 0 20 12
Manly 8 5 0 3 0 60 10
Penrith 8 5 0 3 0 52 10
Sydney City 8 5 0 3 0 1 10
South Sydney 8 4 0 4 0 15 8
Parramatta 8 4 0 4 0 2 8
Wests 8 4 0 4 0 -9 8
Canterbury 8 3 0 5 0 16 6
New Zealand 8 3 0 5 0 -31 6
Newcastle 8 3 0 5 0 -42 6
Canberra 8 3 0 5 0 -58 6
North Queensland 8 2 0 6 0 -68 4
Brisbane 8 2 0 6 0 -69 4
Cronulla 8 2 0 6 0 -103 4
Melbourne 8 6 0 2 0 85 0

Murrayfield Magic

The first of the RFL and Super Leagues crown jewels was played this weekend. Of course I refer to the Murrayfield Magic weekend. This is where a full round is played in Murrayfield in Edinburgh over the weekend. Some real surprise results: Harlequins beat Hull 25-4 and the Crusaders help Bradford to nil winning 19-0. Salford was beaten by Warrington 68-16. Wakefield held off Wakefield 34-30, Wigan defeated Huddersfield 28-10. St Helens thrashed Rovers 54-0 and Castleford 34 beat Catalans 18.

Team P W D L PD Pt
Wigan 13 11 0 2 242 22
Warrington 13 10 0 3 252 20
St Helens 13 10 0 3 188 20
Huddersfield 13 8 0 5 148 16
Bradford 13 7 1 5 -3 15
Hull FC 13 7 0 6 7 14
Leeds 13 6 1 6 50 13
Wakefield 13 6 0 7 -50 12
Hull KR 13 6 0 7 -76 12
Crusaders 12 5 0 7 -80 10
Castleford 13 5 0 8 -82 10
Harlequins 12 3 0 9 -180 6
Salford 13 3 0 10 -190 6
Catalans 13 2 0 11 -226 4

Czech Republic pre season comp

The Pardubice Jets won the 1st ever Czech Rugby League 5aside beach rugby league competition with a thrilling 7-4 victory in extra time against the reigning Czech 5aside touch champions the Beroun Panthers. Clubs that participated in the 1 day tournament hosted by Pardubice & organized by Jets management Jiri Paula & Carlos Andres Barona Arevalo.

The surprise packet of the day was the magnificent performances of the Vrchlabi team, coached by Czech international David Lahr, who were competing in their very 1st Rugby League competition. Their tenacious, disciplined performances saw them finish in 3rd place ahead of much more experienced competition made up of the reigning Czech Rugby League Champions Praslavice, the Prague-based Canza team, & the victorious Jets support team, the Barbarians.

If the quality of play displayed at the Pardubice Beach Rugby tourney is any indication then the Czech Rugby League are set for a terrific 2nd domestic season which will include all of last season’s inaugural teams competing for the domestic Championship as well as new guys Vrchlabi, international matches against traditional rivals Serbia & Germany, & a range of Rugby League development programs in & around the Pardubice-Moravia region.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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13 Responses to “Thank the Maker for the Ditch!”

  1. Joel M says:

    Where do you think they should hold the Magic Weekend in the next 10 years, Dan?

    • druzik says:

      Well, any place really, I don’t think there should be a place or size restriction on where it should be played. I don’t see why you cant have Paris or even say Dublin host it one day. But at the same time we should allow some of the heartland cities to also have it. Nothing wrong with every couple of years having it in Hull or even Huddersfield! London would be the only place I would not take it since the CC final is already there or Manchester with the ESLGF. So I would have the rotation something like this
      2011 – Murrayfield
      2012 – Newcastle,
      2013 – Huddersfield
      2014 – Birmingham
      2015 – Dublin
      2016 – Hull
      2017 – Paris
      2018 – Cardiff
      2019 – Liverpool
      2020 – Murrayfield

  2. Joel M says:

    or 2020 – Padova / Milano / Roma 😉

    • druzik says:

      Certainly anything is possible… there are many ways it could be done… but one issue need to remember is the ease that fans can have to travel.

      Having been to Padua, its not the easiest of places to get, since you need to fly into Venice, then get a bus to Venice then a train out to Padua…. Rome would be a possibility I suppose, but there are also costs to be thought of.

      It depends if you want to view MM as something to promote in the UK or Europe.

      Personally I see it for the UK and would use international tournaments as a way to progress the sport in Europe… make the tournaments worth something for all the teams.

  3. Stu says:

    Is the Lezignan v Limoux available to watch anywhere online?

  4. Jon says:

    The problem with having the Magic Weekend at places like Liverpool, Birmingham and Newcastle is that the football clubs who own the stadiums are not going to want 7 matches in two days on their pitch at the business end of the football season.
    Can’t really see the point of having the event in Edinburgh, Newcastle or Birmingham as there aren’t any significant rugby league clubs in those areas. Hull and Huddersfield have 25k capacity stadiums and the event needs to be looking at bigger crowds than that.
    Dublin could be an option if the recently revamped domestic competition is looking for a boost, but it isn’t the best option in terms of over 50,000 people getting there.

    Australia -14.5 looks a steal to me as I just can’t see the young Kiwis going the full 80 minutes. Really looking forward to seeing Keiran Foran in action.

    • druzik says:

      Those are fair points Jon.

      Isn’t the point of the Magic Weekend to give exposure to the sport in non heartland areas? So why not take it to the midlands, have the conference leagues kick off that weekend and give some exposure.

  5. Jon says:

    To be honest Dan I think it’s a lame duck. It had its day and I really think it’s time to drop it.
    I’d like to see Super League be on a home and away basis with the top 6 qualifying for the playoffs.

    • druzik says:

      Aha… OK fair point… many have expressed that view as well… want to elaborate more on why its a lame duck?

      would using the semi finals in the Challenge cup be one way to go?

  6. Jon says:

    There’s a general groundswell of apathy towards the event. I worry that if the RFL persist the crwods will continue to fall and I’d hate to see the day when we get 40,000 or less for the event.

    I’d like to see the Challenge Cup semis on the same day at somewhere like Elland Road or Odsal. I don’t think any of the football stadiums would be available (after consultation with the club managers) but as Leeds United are in the lower divisions they might be open to the idea. The reason I suggest Odsal is purely down to its capacity (over 27,000).

  7. C.T.SANDERS says:


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