The Song and Dance for Another Year – Sponsor Opportunities for Russia

By Daniel Andruczyk

A fairly long blog post, so please bare with me. A few more nations domestic season are coming to an end or have their grand finals ready. A few play-off series have begun as well. Rugby League on show in Munich, Germany and this past weeks Rugby League nations are starting to release their squads for the upcoming Autumn/spring internationals and the usual shenanigans of country swapping has begun.

Australia – NRL

The play-off finals are in full swing in the NRL. There were some potentially juicy match up’s and they did not fail to live up to expectation. The first match was Gold Coast Titans against New Zealand Warriors, where the Titans showed that they are a contender for the grand final. Despite the Titans taking an Early lead and then a fight back in the second half The titans were able to come out winners 28-16 winners. Saturday saw one of the most thrilling matches all year. There has been much complaint this year that the NRL was bland, but certainly the Wests – Roosters game was anything but! For 60 minutes the Tigers pummelled the Roosters but it took just a couple of inspirational runs from Dally M winner Todd Carney to bring the Roosters to 14-15 of the Tigers. Then in a hit of the year, a tight head scrum and some desperate passing the Chooks snapped a field Goal in the last second to level it. In the next 20 minutes numerous shots on goat, it took an intercept try on the 100 minute mark to seal the roosters a win 19-15. Canberra then gave Wests a nervous wait by beating the Penrith in a high quality game 24-22 and finally, probably the only game to not go to the wire Manly’s injuries and suspensions were too great, they lost 28-0 against the Dragons.

So the Semi Finals are like this: Canberra host Wests in the Nations Capital and Sydney City will host Penrith. St George/Illawarra and Gold Coast have the week off and play the week after.

England – ESL

The super league also had some fantastic match ups. St Helens had a fairly easy run against Warrington winning 28-12. The Humberside Derby game the Rovers have bragging rights for another year over their cross river rivals. Hull Kingston Rovers won 21-4 over Hull FC. Huddersfiled and the Crusaders had an absolutre thriller. The Crusaders showed that they were no fluke to be in the finals. Taking the hits and dishing out the pain, they took an 8-0 lead into half time. But in the second stanza, down to 12 men Huddersfield were able to slowly claw their way to the fore winning it in only the last 10 minutes 18-12. Wigan and Leeds also had an absolute thriller with both teams just going tit for tat. In the end there was only a point in it, but not to the League leaders but to the past champions Leeds. Leeds took out the final 27-26. This means that Wigan will play Hull KR and Warrington and Huddersfield will fight it out. Leeds and St Helens have the week off and St Helens will have the option to choose their next opponents.

Papua New Guinea

The last round, round 18, of the Bemobile Cup was played over the weekend. Port Moresby 12-20 Goroka, Gurias 56-12 Lae, Mendi 26-12 Mt Hagen, Enga 44-28 Kundiawa, Capital City had the Bye. Final table standings are:

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Mendi 18 11 1 3 2 42 27
2 Gurias 18 10 1 5 2 204 25
3 Enga 18 10 1 5 2 68 25
4 Goroka 18 10 0 6 2 187 24
5 Port Moresby 17 7 3 5 2 71 21
6 Kundiawa 17 7 1 7 2 -54 19
7 Capital City 18 5 1 9 2 -35 17
8 Lae 18 3 0 12 2 -166 10
9 Mt Hagen 18 2 0 14 2 -277 8

So Mendi gets then week off while Port Moresby and Goroka fight it out in one qualifier final and Enga and the Gurias in the other.


The Grand Final was played over the weekend with an upset happening. All season Saru had been the dominant team, however in the Grand Final Sabeto were much hungrier for the win and won the Championships 16-14 in a tight contest.

New Zealand

In the New Zealand Provincial Championships round 3 was fought out this week. Heartland 14-24 Auckland, Wellington 74-0 Northern, South Island 34-36 Waicoa Bay and Counties Manuka Bye. The table stands as:

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Wellington 3 3 0 0 0 94 6
2 Waicoa Bay 3 2 0 1 0 -12 4
3 Counties Manuka 2 1 0 0 1 76 2
4 South Island 3 1 0 1 1 18 2
5 Auckland 2 1 0 1 0 -4 2
6 Heartland 3 0 0 3 0 -42 0
7 Northern 3 0 0 2 1 -150 0


The Jamaican Grand final was fought out between the Vauxhall Vultures and the Dunhaney Park Red Sharks. The Sharks have been trying to win this championships for a number of years and once again fell short to the Vultures losing 14-36.


The Russian Championship Grand finalists have been decided after round 8 results went as planned pretty much. The final sees Vereya take on Treshers after Vereya comprehensively beat Centaur 30-0 and Treshers beat Spartak 16-6. Originally there were 6 teams that took part with Dynamo and Nara being the others. A first Stage with 5 rounds was played with the top 4 going into a second stage. There were three more rounds played in this second stage which sees the current culmination. The final results tables was:

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Vereya 3 3 0 0 0 117 9
2 Treshers 3 2 0 1 0 -24 6
3 Spartak 3 1 0 2 0 -13 3
4 Centaur 3 0 0 3 0 -90 0

Russian Rugby League seeking Sponsors

Russian Rugby league is searching for sponsors to become an important part in the development of rugby league in Russia. There is a great opportunity to become the major sponsor of the Russian Rugby League team which will include sponsorship details featuring on the new Russian national team uniform.

As the major sponsor, you will not only gain the luxury of being the Russian Rugby League national team main jersey sponsor, but will also benefit from: Your company name to become synonymous with the Russian Rugby League national team for the duration of your sponsorship period. Your company logo along with a link to your website to be displayed as the major sponsor on the Russian Rugby League website. Photos featuring the Russian Rugby League jersey to be posted on The Russian Rugby League website along with match videos. A news article advertising the partnership between the two organizations to be presented on the Russian Rugby League website. Your company to be advertised as the major sponsor of Russian Rugby League.

Due to the short time frame required for the sponsor logos to be included on the Russian Rugby League team uniform, all reasonable sponsorship offers will be considered. Russian Rugby League has a number of sponsorship opportunities available, so if you would like to find out more about our existing sponsorship proposals please contact us:,

Edgard A. Taturyan, President

Rugby League on the Streets of Munich

By Simon Cooper

Rugby League made its debut on the Leopold Strasse, which is one of the main streets in Munich this weekend. But it was in the form of Beach Rugby League at the Streetlife Festival. The rules were adapted to the small pitch with 4 v 4. There Just 4 tackles in a set and players having to go back a couple of metres instead of the normal 10. But the hundreds passing by and watching were enthralled by it all.


The 2 Munich Union teams actually organized the Beach Rugby Weekend with help from EK Design at the streetlife Festival. They kindly invited Rugby League Deutschland to use some of their  players to play a form of Beach Rugby League and have a Stand with Flyers and giving Free DVDs of NRL and Super League games to the passing crowd. Who says League and Union cant work together! A couple of guys who play Rugby League  joined the Union guys. And the players and the crowd were blown away and simply loved it! Its hoped that Rugby League and Rugby Union can work together more in the future and Rugby League Deutschland would like to thank the Rugby Union people in Munich  for giving us a chance to promote ourselves to the Munich public. Hopefully this can be the first small step to building finally a Rugby League team in Munich.


How Do We Stop the Farce?

By Daniel Andruczyk

Teams are starting to announce their squads for the up coming internationals. there will be about 8 weeks where 18/20 of the top nations will all be involved in some sort of tournaments and matches. Australia, New Zealand, England and PNG play in the 4 nations, while Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France play the European Nations. Samoa have some one off matches while Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands and NSW country will play on a 4 nations as wll, NZ Maori have a game, while Canada, USA and Jamaica have the Atlantic Cup and Itlay, Lebanon and Pakistan also have matches. But once again the three dominant nations in the antipodes threaten to make the whole international selection criteria an absolute joke.

Who has been selected

There are 4 players that this is centered around. The one that seems to have caused the most stir is the Fijian flyer Akulia Uate being selected for the Australian PMXIII to play Papua New Guinea in a couple weeks. Neville Costigan has also applied for and been rejected dispensation to join the Kumuls squad, a massive blow for them and also Tonga have lost Ukuma Ta’ai and Tony ‘T-Rex’ Williams to the Kiwis.

Tony Williams and Ukuma Ta’ai

Basically Williams and Ta’ai cannot play, and should not have even been selected in the Kiwi squad. They have no New Zealand links, having not even been born there and don’t have and grandparents or passports as far as I am aware. But most importantly they played last year for Tonga in the Pacific Nations cup which was a RLIF sanctioned tournaments. I mean the winners, PNG, went through to play in the 4 Nations.

Akuila Uate

Uate is in exactly the same position. He is Fijian, Fijian born and played for Fiji in the World Cup and the Pacific Cup. The last I saw you need to be not playing for internationals a minimum of 3 years before you can switch! I know what it is, New South Wales desperately needs a back with an X-factor. Hayne does not seem to be cutting it and Uate this year tore it up in the NRL despite playing for Newcastle who were in the bottom 8. If this is indeed the case what a sad indication of where Australian Rugby league is and what damage State of Origin is doing.

Neville Costigan

This is probably the only one I agree with. Costigan played for Queensland in 2007, as far as I know that means he is only eligible for Australia. Tough titties. He should never been allowed to play for the Kumuls. I know this may upset many of my fans from PNG but if we are to go by bthe rules then his 2008 selection was a farce. Now him switching back in 2009 to Queensland, effectively saying I want to play for Australia, not getting selection and now wanting to play for PNG again, that would make rep teams in two countries in one year. This is exactly what we don’t want. So for Neville to be denied the switch this year is the correct one.

Manu and Brough

Willie Manu and Danny Brough had the potential to go the same way. Though these two did make themselves available for England, the English have rejected their selection for the team. Brough has said that he will happily play for Scotland, where he should, though am not sure what Willie Many will do.

The Leaks

Steve Mascord recently wrote a blog on the selection criteria, where, much to my surprise he effectively said players should be able to play for multiple nations and that Rugby League is a Mickey Mouse sport, and until that changes the rules wont change. Well, sorry Syeve with that attitude and way of thinking we will never get out of being a Mickey Mouse sport.

In a more serious revelation, on the League Unlimited forum Nadera87 leaked an email from Richard Lewis where he effectively confirmed that Australia and New Zealand are rigging the international selection criteria to make sure they have the pick of the cream for themselves. Having a complete disregard for the International process. Part of this leaked email is:

“I completely agree with you – the international eligibility rules are totally wrong. I and the whole of the RFL have tried on numerous occasions to get the rules changed at international board level. We have failed because Australia (in particular) and New Zealand have an advantage by keeping the rules as they are, so changes are constantly filibustered out. It is also fair to say that the Pacific Island nations are divided over their view of the rules.

However until those rules change it is inevitable that England will “work” within those rules although again we shall do our best to keep it within the bounds of credibility.”

Everyone knows that out of the 4 RLIF executive, 3/4 are from the ARL/NRL/NZRL. The RFL have been working for a long time now, setting up the European Federation, to help spread and support Rugby league in Europe and the Middle East and recently have expanded to include helping the Jamaicans and Canadians. There is a massive conflict of interest here, how can people that run the game in their respective countries also be running the international game. We get situation like the selection criteria farces, Grannygate and The Moimoi affair. It seems the Pacific Islands are the ones that cop the bring of it.

But England is not completely absolved, with their selection of Willie Manu and also Danny Brough making himself available for England earlier in the year. However this week England did announce that Manu will not be selected and Brough has re-put his hand up for Scotland. Some sense coming to the front there.

The Fix.

So how do we fix all this? I guess in the end we have to look at what I feel is the root of all the problems. It goes back 20 even 30 years and that is to the tours. The three teams that dominate are Australia, New Zealand and England. All the money and power sits with these three superpowers of the sport. Players from any nation that wanted to play would always drift to them. With the advent of State of Origin and the way it was pushed it makes no wonder that players want to play in SoO and go to the big 3. Any professional athlete in any sport wants to compete at the highest level and against the best.

What is my solution. First we make proper regional tournaments. What I mean by this is that we don’t have second rate tournaments like the current European Cup. We should have had a proper qualifying process for all European Nations to play in it, this includes England and then have a finals which, if qualified, would include England. Similar would be for a Pacific Cup where New Zealand and Australia would compete against the likes of Tonga, PNG on a more consistent basis. The Atlantic Cup would be similar. You then provide the incentive that the top 2 or 3 nations go through to a 6 Nations, sort of like a Confederations Cup in Soccer, this effectively would be like the current 4 Nations but played every 4 years and the chance of getting different nations playing would be quite high. From there, there is a further incentive that these nations get qualification automatically to the world cup. The effect would be 3-fold on this:

  1. The “Lower Tier” nations get to play the top nations on 2-3 out of the 4 year cycle, remember there is also a World Cup qualification so Nations like Samoa and Tonga and PNG will be fighting to retain their stars, and with the top nations involved in these tournaments and the bigger sponsors bringing in money, these nations start getting pay days every year rather than every 4 years. With sponsors involved in qualifiers the money also would be spread among nations that don’t make the finals as well, they still were part of the tournament process.
  2. With the possibility of a pay check coming from say Tonga or Samoa and not just Australia, New Zealand or England, the players and Stars of these countries will have less incentive to switch. Lets face it, the reason why they switch is because the pay check is in those three countries and for many of them its the earning of the crust for the family back home why they switch. Give them another way to earn the crust legitimately through their home then they will stay home.
  3. The development of other countries. How I hear you say? Well with several levels of tournaments, the regional championships, the 6 Nations (and a secondary 4 Nations) and World Cup, nations can bid to host tournaments, starting with the smaller ones and then work their way up. If a nation can show that it can host say a regional championship, it can bid for a 6 Nations and then if that is successful can bid for a World Cup. This hopefully, like with the soccer and Union world cups can spur on the infrastructure development in some of the poorer nations. Rugby League, in absolute numbers may not be like Union or Soccer, but that could be its greatest asset. A nation like Tonga may be able to bid say for a tournaments , spring on the building of two or three 15-25 thousand seat stadiums, quite reasonable for their populations and the sport, and enough for them to reap the economic benefits from the tourism and exposure on a wider international stage.

Secondly I would not bring back the tours. All that tours did was concentrate the money and power in one place and that money never saw the light of day anywhere else. Why would say Australia and England in a Kangaroo or Lions tour want to share their money made with any other country? And rightly so. Thus the cycle would begin once more that the tree countries have all the best games and power and money so they suck up all the best players from all countries like black holes.

Thirdly, I would get rid of State of Origin in its current form. Its doing untold damage to the game internationally and thus the sport as a whole. Its doing effectively what the tours did, concentrates the power and money in one spot. I had an argument on twitter a few weeks ago, it was with someone in Channel 9, the Challenge Cup final was not shown live and it upset many people. Hi arguments was well we show what we think the sponsors want and so when they tell us its what they want we show it, meaning State of Origin and NRL. Its why in Australia the ESL is on at like midnight and delayed and not like. It reminds me of  a story I was once told

“A parent feeds their child chocolate cake all its life. When ever they asks what is your favourite food, the child answers Chocolate cake, so the Parent gives them more chocolate cake. When asked again what is your favourite food, the child says chocolate cake… etc”

I think you can see where I am going with this, the other term is a Catch 22. That is where Rugby League is now. In a Catch 22 limbo where all the negatives are re-enforcing the problems. Until we break the cycle we will continue to be a Mickey Mouse sport, and Mascord’s words will ring true in memorandum. However there needs to be leadership from above that will change the rules, establish a world wide path the sport will follow and that all nations take part in and have a say in. This will only happen when there is a fully professional, independent International Rugby League board, one that does not have its members employed by any other Rugby League nations federation, as it is now.

I will end it here as this covers the question of the players switching and how to fix that, but I will down the track do another blog post where I expand on several of these points some more.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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