Atlantic Cup 2010 – Day 8, Recap.

By Daniel Andruczyk

So, sitting in Jacksonville airport, I started thinking back over the week and my memories and thoughts and impressions of the whole tournament. Certainly there have been some fun, funny, happy moments as well as a couple scary ones. No sad ones fortunately, except maybe for players that didn’t get selected in various games. So I am going to write a bit about my thoughts and experiences that I may not have said already and a short recap of things I suppose. It will be written through the day as I am travelling first to Chicago and then to Champaign. So here we go.

Where is the Ref!

Phil Bentham was the referee for the tournament. Of course we all know Phil as one of the professional Super League referee’s. So It was fantastic that a referee of his experience and stature was willing and able to come out to the tournament. But he almost didn’t make it. While in Orlando with his wife and daughter, they were involved in a car accident. The car was hit from behind by a bus while waiting at a pedestrian crossing and dragged about 20 meters! Phil and his family were taken to hospital to be checked out. Fortunately all were cleared of any serious injuries.

So after a nervous wait from tournament organisers, Phil and family finally arrived and as he said “A bit stiff, but I’ll be right for the match”. I managed to talk with Phil on a couple occasions and got his insight on a few things. I asked what it would be like not having a video ref, his response “We only have two games a week with a video referee in the Super league, so that is not an issue”. Asking him if he would come and do this again, he said he’d love to do another Atlantic Cup.


Myself with Phil Bentham, the Atlantic Cup referee, in the press box at Hodges Stadium

Reggae Rugby

The Jamaicans can be described in only one way, hilarious! These guys were relaxed, even after the match. They were always having good fun, joking, playing games singing, just a merry bunch all around. They had some great friendly banter going with themselves and the Canadians and Americans. But one thing that I was impressed with was that despise all that when they needed to they were professional and got on with the job. Their support staff were great, lead by Romeo Monteith, Dean Thomas, Dane Campbell and Des Drummond they were up analysing the matches every night making sure they knew which players need to fix their game and which part needed to be fixed.


Mark Smith (trainer), Dean Thomas (Coach) and Des Drummond in discussion over lunch about the Jamaican team

Chick, Chick, Boom!

The Jamaicans were involved in another not so nice incident however, though nothing of their doing. Their liaison officer, while driving them to dinner was pulled over by the police for supposedly speeding. While the police officer was checking his details there was a car that drove by and shot at the officer. Thankfully he was OK but he was soon to be in hot pursuit, with his gun draw he was screaming at the Jamaicans to get out of here. One hell of a way to get out of a ticket, hey!

The Wolverines

The Canadian wolverines were the new boys on the block. Even though Rugby League is not new to Canada it was dormant for about 10 years till Jamie Lester resurrected it last year. The Canadian Rugby League have been playing for a year now and really have to be proud of them selves. They played with their hearts, they were professional on and off the field and were a great bunch of lads to spend time with.

A New Dawn?

Looking back over this week, its evident that in the USA and North America in general offers a great hope in rugby league. One that there can be another one or two nations can eventually step up to the plate, two that there can be another professional competition. Certainly on twitter today David Niu has been saying that he is in negotiations tomorrow about trying to get the AMNRL professional. Jamaica is looking to take the next step, Canada now provides another genuine opposition. But just the way the USA ran the whole tournament, from the production with We Are Rugby, the training sessions, the stadium, the hotel the way the teams were handled the promotion, its was done so well. I dont wee why in 10 years the USA could be a new power in Rugby League.

Quote of the Week.

So on Saturday, which was the Canada v USA match, one of the lures for fans was two Hollywood actors, Brendon Molale and Kevin Porter came out. You may know them better as Lazer and Blazer from the movie Dodgeball. In fact the production company that did the filming of the games is owned by Kevin and so he was around all week. These guys were huge! I mean, well you can see from the photo what I mean.


Brendon and Kevin and myself after the Canada v USA game.

Talking with Brendon after the match I asked him, he had the physical build to be a rugby League player, would he ever take it up? his answer “Heeell No! Those guys make me look like a **** ”. He went on to say “I did some rugby for a movie once and that was intense enough” He reckons that Rugby League players certainly are real men.

Some Results – French Elite 1

Round 8 of the French Elite 1 was played on the weekend. Lezignan defeated Pia 60-30, Avignion beat Carcassonne 38-16, Carpentras lost to Villeneuve 12-26, UTC had a big won over St Gaudens/Toulouse 42-22 and Montpellier were defeated by Limoux 18-40.

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Lezignan 7 7 0 0 0 212 21
2 Pia 8 5 0 3 0 192 18
3 Limoux 7 5 0 2 0 69 17
4 Carpentras 8 4 1 3 0 44 17
5 Avignion 8 4 0 4 0 -27 16
6 Villeneuve 7 4 0 3 0 -15 15
7 Carcassonne 8 3 0 5 0 4 14
8 UTC 7 3 1 3 0 -6 14
9 Montpellier 8 1 0 7 0 -152 10
10 St Gaudens/Toulouse 8 1 0 7 0 -221 10
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17 Responses to “Atlantic Cup 2010 – Day 8, Recap.”

  1. C.T.SANDERS says:

    You done a wonderful job for us in reguards to this tournament daniel,Thanks and i will make that you get your place in the sun soon.

  2. dragons4eva says:

    Good blog Druzik,

    The Jamaicans sound like a fun bunch of people to be around. You can see that in all of their sporting teams too. The Canadians did their country, jersey and fans well…they should be very proud of themselves. And what you said was true…North America has HEAPS of potential for International Rugby league.

    And by the way…THOSE GUYS ARE MASSIVE!!! :S lol

    • druzik says:

      Yeah, they all were great to hang with. The Jamaicans though were certainly the most seen of the lot, I think the worst they got in trouble was for being too loud when playing dominoes lol

  3. C.T.SANDERS says:

    This is the dawning of a great era daniel and within 10 years the usa will be the next superpower of the game,2021 world champs, and you will be very much part and parcel of all this and i will probably be dead and give you lot peace and quiet.It is just sooooooooooo exciting because 30 years ago people told me that rl in america was only a pipedream.Now it’s an absolute.You are the harry sunderland of the 21st century the australian that invented the game in france in the 1930’s and if he didn’t die in 1954 would of got rl into america long ago and the game would of been a lot different with american expertise

    • druzik says:

      If the USA continues the way its going… yes, I don’t wee why they cant be in the top 4/5 nations in the world…. but don’t write the Jamaicans and Canadians off either. They along with the yanks are doing things very professionally as well and Jamaica especially have shown they can really compete.

      Well I am not sure comparing me to any of those guys is right. In the grand scheme of things I haven’t really done or achieved much in Rugby League.

  4. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Of course it has got a lot of potential for rugby league dragons4eva because it’s still the richest country in the world and daniel is the right person to project rugby league’s image on the big stage and that’s america.Daniel is there for the game and not there for his own ego which wasn’t the case when people from nz went to russia in 2003 and 2004 just seeing what was in it for them.Daniel has the international game at heart and deserves far more than what he gets.

    • druzik says:

      Well Chris the USA as you say has the potential. Its got the right people at the helm at the moment. There are big things going there and if I can be part of it in some small way that is great. I certainly at the moment just want to promote International Rugby League. What I get out of it if anything remains to be seen.

      I don’t need RL to earn a buck, I have physics for that, and so I do what I do for the love of it.

  5. PNG says:

    Great info on all the teams druzik enjoyed the daily reports very much . usa have come ahead in leaps and bounds and it is great to see canada get back involved with rugby league . jamaica could realy progress over the next five years with continued support from the amnrl and superleague . The game between ireland and the usa should be a great match with what seems two evenly matched teams , as far as the world cup qaulifiers go will there be one or two teams qaulify from the region ? and will the winning team automaticly go into the world cup or play a repecharge round against other european teams ?

    • druzik says:

      So as far as I am aware with the qualifiers, its two spots open. One for another European entrant and one for an Atlantic entrant.

      The European Group for the qualifiers will include Lebanon, Russia, Serbia and Italy the Atlantic group will be the USA, South Africa, Jamaica and the winner between a play off between Canada and Japan.

      The winner of each of those groups goes through to the world cup.

      • PNG says:

        thanks for the info can’t wait for some of those matches ,was unaware that japan were back playing rugby league thats great and good to see south africa back in league aswell keep up the good work

      • druzik says:

        Nether of those nations left (?). In fact they have been very active. Japan played in the International 9s this year and had a small domestic league. They are planning another trip to Australia next year.

        South Africa have had regular tours over there and toured England in 2008… I actually saw them play against Lancashire in Leigh in 2008 the day after the Super League Grand Final. The Australian University team and GB community lions toured this year in South Africa.

        Agree, some of that matches do look great. The USA/Jamaica game and the USA/South Africa game would be doozies!

  6. C.T.SANDERS says:

    This is my last blog daniel.I paid for 2 people to go to jacksonville and jamacia 2 years ago to look at the potential of rl and they were of the opinion that the sky was the limit and that rugby union was a waste of time in the usa.And contrary to popular belief, they walked all over kingston jamacia and found it very safe and the people courteous and friendly.They were rugby union people themselves and now i plan to retire from rl and give others a go in reguards to this site.

    • druzik says:

      Not sure why you are making it your last blog… as I said I am not banning you, you just can’t say anything that puts me or the site or those that are involved in the site in a legal bind… you may think its innocent enough but legally its not. I hope you understand that.

      Any other comments or ideas, you are welcome to share.

  7. C.T.SANDERS says:

    well no one here in nz has ever been sued over internet and the people who i named would have trouble entering america with their criminal records if they wanted to go there and pursue legal action.You wont here anything from them daniel and now we wont mention administration again in this part of the world on this site.Subject close.

  8. C.T.SANDERS says:

    No they haven’t at all and no one has ever been sued for writing things on internet in here nz and i wrote hundreds and hundreds of letters to the government officials about the corruption in rl between 2002 to 2009 and why wasn’t i sued daniel?Because i told the truth. I had a team of excellent team of people around me who gave me the right oil.Subject closed because i have thrashed it to death and i will move on.

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