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
Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
banner ad
Powered by WordPress | Built by Thinking Cap Studios