Here We Go Again

By Daniel Andruczyk

So its that time of year again when all the players start jumping from one ship to another. Danny Brough being the latest. Yes and remember that Akuila Uate has also switched his allegiances with a State of Origin carrot just so the NSW Blues don’t get embarrassed again. Actually there are many things that are ticking me off in Rugby League at the moment and so I will have a bit of a rant in todays articles, but first some results:

Super Duper League and the World Club Championship

First I think a big congrats has to go to St George/Illawarra and the Wigan Warriors on a superb World Club Challenge. Both teams fought hard and it was a close match despite everyone predicting a rout! Wigan went into the break with a slim 15-14 lead, but in the second half the Dragons were able to hold them out with a 21-15 win. Round 3 on the weekend was played in the Super League with results as follows; Leeds 26-36 Harlequins, St Helens 18-25 Warrington, Crusaders 26-30 Bradford, Huddersfield 20-10 Hull FC, Hull KR 18-31 Catalans, Wakefield 6-32 Salford. the table stands as:

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Harlequins 3 3 0 0 0 19 6
2 Castleford 2 2 0 0 0 26 4
3 Huddersfield 3 2 0 1 0 14 4
4 Leeds 3 2 0 1 0 8 4
5 Warrington 3 2 0 1 0 -1 4
6 Wigan 2 1 1 2 0 34 3
7 St Helens 3 1 1 2 0 27 3
8 Hull KR 3 1 0 2 0 -3 2
9 Catalans 3 1 0 2 0 -18 2
10 Bradford 3 1 0 2 0 -34 2
11 Salford 3 1 0 2 0 -38 2
12 Hull FC 3 0 0 3 0 -36 0
13 Crusaders 3 1 0 2 0 24 -2
14 Wakefield 3 1 0 2 0 -22 -2

French Elite 1

In the LER 1, Lezignan continue to dominate the competition. With 4 weeks to go there are really on two other teams that may challenge this dominance with Limoux and Pia still in strong positions. However it will take almost a miracle I feel for Lezignan not to come out on top again. Results for round 16 were: Limoux 60-16 St Gaudens/Toulouse, Carpentras 16-50 UTC, Avignion 44-20 Pia, Montpellier 28-28 Carcassonne, Lezignan 48-28 Villeneuve. The table stands as:

Team P W D L B PD PT
1 Lezignan 16 15 0 1 0 367 46
2 Limoux 16 13 0 3 0 208 42
3 Pia 16 10 0 5 0 254 38
4 Avignion 16 9 1 6 0 55 35
5 Villeneuve 16 8 0 8 0 -66 32
6 Carcassonne 16 7 1 8 0 62 31
7 UTC 16 5 1 10 0 8 27
8 Carpentras 16 5 2 9 0 -157 27
9 St Gaudens/Toulouse 16 3 0 13 0 -361 22
10 Montpellier 16 1 1 14 0 -370 19

Bank of Beirut Championhips

Round 11 in the Bank of beirut championships was played and as has been a familiar pattern this year two games have been postponed. The only results for the week was AUST 28-28 draw with Wolves. The table stands as:

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 LAU 8 6 0 1 1 208 12
2 Balamand 7 4 0 2 2 36 8
3 USJ 5 3 0 1 1 46 6
4 AUB 6 3 0 2 1 -44 6
5 Wolves 7 2 1 3 1 2 5
6 AUST 8 0 1 6 1 -178 1
7 Jounieh 6 0 0 4 2 -62 0

Copa Italia

So the IRLF keeps talking about the new scores from the Copa Italia… well they just seem to be the same re-hashed ones from several weeks ago. So either show new results or don’t keep saying that they are new results when not. No as I understand one of the reason why there is such a delay is that the Rugby league clubs are also playing Union and that is getting in the way of fixtures. now correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t that was one of the issues for the split, that many of the FIRL clubs were Union ones and there were Union players? So what’s the difference here. I can see the politics in trying to get the Copa Italia out early, but I think having these kinds of delays and interference only does damage. If it were me I would be waiting till the Union season was over and getting the copa Italia done and dusted in a few weeks without the return matches.

USA

Some good news to come out of the AMNRL this week with the venue and tickets for the Donnybrook Cup finally available. The match will be played at the Charles Martin Memorial Stadium in Philadelphia with a 4 pm kick off. No there apparently is a website http://www.donnybrookcup.com where you can buy tickets, however for the life of me it does not work. I did find the associated ticketbud site that is selling the tickets http://rugby2011.ticketbud.com/donnybrookcup and so pre-bought tickets are $5 and on the day $7.

Other good news is the announcement that Penrith Panthers NRL coach Matthew Elliot will be taking over the reigns for the October Qualifiers in the USA’s bid to reach their first World Cup. There are several camps being held for team selection for next weeks international (not sure it can be called a test), however I have heard down the grapevine that the team has already been choosen and some people are perplexed about the selection trials. i am trying to track down if this is actually true.

Danny Brough’s U-turn

This week the RLIF once again is going to incur my wrath! So everyone by now has heard about Danny Brough defection to England, and really the fact that England selected him. Now he has been playing for Scotland all this time how is it that he has been alloed to swap. There is this unfair ruling in the RLIF charter that was put in just before the last world cup that allows a player to make one swap in between the time of world cups, so Brough will no not be allowed to play for Scotland if he he does not make the squad.

The RLIF are a bunch of gutless wonders as far as I am concerned. The fact that they have allowed the NRL/ESL/NZRL to dominate them and make these silly rules is beyond be. Actually no its not, the conflict of interest is on par with the betting scandal engulfing the NRL as far as I am concerned. No wonder the sport struggles everywhere else. If 30 years ago, we had the foresight to set up proper organisations and eligibility we would not only have a strong Australia, New Zealand and England, But PNG, Wales, France and other nations would be right up there and for all we know the World Cup would have already been through 4-5 different hands.

If international rugby League … ney … Rugby league in general is going to survive as a sport it needs these things to be done:

  1. A strong independent governing body for the sport needs to be established. one where the members are NOT also members of individual countries federations as it is now. these need to pe paid professionals where their only job is to go out, promote and get money for the international game.
  2. Regional governing bodies need to be established that can deal issues on a local level and also bring in independent revenue. This will also give smaller nations a greater say at the general big table by having a representative that can argue their points.
  3. I consistent, meaningful international schedule. One that DOESN’T involve tours, but tournaments where nations go through regional qualifiers, and finals into minor cross-regional tournaments culminating in the world cup. The spots for the world cup should come from the results of the other tournaments. This gives incentive for not only countries but players to stick with one country since by doing that, doing well means that they will still get to go through to a World Cup without having to be bribed or blackmailed by Australia, New Zealand or England.
  4. The International eligibility rules have to be tightened up and upheld. What we have now its a total and complete farce.
  5. get rid of State of Origin in its current form. This, I feel, is the one tournament that is holding back the game internationally.

If these are done then the game will not only survive but will thrive.

 

Daniel Andruczyk’s email: daniel@rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com
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