Hurricanes Make Signings, Serbian and Other News

By Daniel Andruczyk

As my crazy month of work continues, there is once again news from all over the world with results in Serbia and the British Isles with their Student 4 nations. Also the Jamaican Hurricanes make their first signings as they take the next step in their path of professional Rugby League. I am hoping that after next weeks Conference in Princeton I will be able to get back to regular writing and coverage. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Hurricanes Make First Signings

Hurricanes Rugby League is pleased to announce the first group of players to sign professional contracts with a signing day held at Calabar High School, Kingston on 23rd April, 2011.

After considerable scouting and interviews the Hurricanes have contracted the following players: Romaen Campbell, Tyronie Rowe, Sandino Hastings,, Ryan Grant and Renaldo Wade. The signings are a significant part of the further development of the Hurricanes brand in Jamaica and is in line with the business plan as set out in late 2010.

Hurricanes Senior Players Signing Their Contracts - 23.04.11

Hurricanes senior players signing their contracts.

As contracted players, group sessions will commence in May, 2011 with focus being on weights, conditioning, speed and skills. As the Hurricanes goal is to have a team in the rugby league competition in the USA by 2013, each contracted player will still play for their local community clubs in Jamaica until this point.

In addition to training commitments, the contracted players will also undertake various development and promotional activities, of which include assisting Jamaica Rugby League Association (JRLA) Development Officer Romeo Monteith with school development clinics and administration duties.

Tyronie Rowe Signing Contract 3 - 23.04.11

Tyronie Rowe signing.

Commenting on the signings Hurricanes Rugby League General Manager Roy Calvert stated: “This is a huge step forward for the Hurricanes and represents our commitment to providing further opportunities to young Jamaican rugby league players. We see these first signings as a pivotal part in our long term vision and are excited to have these 5 players on board”.

Tyronie Rowe commented: “I am very privileged to have been given this opportunity to represent the Hurricanes. It is something that I believe will further increase my skills and knowledge of rugby league and I cant wait to begin training”.

Serbian Championships and University League.

In Serbia the University championships have been completed. The last of the remaining postponed were declared forfeit, as the Political faculty could not play the games. Also the Organisational v Transport game, which was under dispute has been h=given to the Transport faculty as the Organisational had ineligible players in the game. The Semi finals saw Philosophy beat organisational 32-10 and Military beat transport 26-14. In the Grand Final Philosophy defeated the Military Academy 24-10

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Philosophy 5 4 0 0 1 112 8
2 Military 5 2 0 2 1 12 4
3 Transport 5 2 0 2 1 -60 4
4 Organisational 5 1 1 2 1 -20 3
5 Political 5 0 1 3 1 -44 1

Students 4 Nations

The Student 4 Nations were played in the UK over the week as well as well as an U16’s international between the Welsh and English. in the the 4 Nations Wales (12) lost to England (32), Scotland (40) defeated Ireland (28), England (52) defeated Ireland (06), Scotland (18) was beaten by Wales (40), Ireland (06) lost to Wales (40) and Scotland (10) lost to England (52). So England are the 2011 champions.


In an U16 international Wales with a second half comeback pushed the English all the way and narrowly lost to the Lions 24-18 in Caerphilly, Wales.

  • Wigan Riverside (23) vs. Philadelphia Fight (14) – Tour Match – Wigan, England –

Fight on Tour

The Philadelphia Fight are on tour in the UK at the moment. This is the first USA Rugby League Club tour anywhere. This Match report from the Philadelphia Fight website.

Tremendous job by the Phila Fight boys, they go down to the UK Wigan Riversiders 23-14 in Wigan, but do us proud! Match report below from the Wigan Riversiders website.

After months of preparations, match day finally arrived on a scorching Maundy Thursday in the ancient borough of Wigan. ‘The Fight’ had announced their intentions to tour in November 2010 and took up the challenge to play Wigan Riversiders almost immediately, the game catching plenty attention locally as the first ever game on English soil between teams from their respect continents. The Philadelphia boys demonstrated in advance their tremendous character in playing a game a mere 30 hours after flying across the Atlantic!

The teams entered the field side-by-side to the strains of Jerusalem and lined up for introductions to the mayor followed by national anthems, the Philadelphia boys clear pride in their shirt showing through as they clutched their team badges and belted out the anthem. And so to the match.

There had been much speculation in the Wigan camp at the size and physical nature of the tourists and if any lingering doubts remained, they were immediately dispelled on the first contact, Philly kicking the ball to 20 stone Wigan captain Martyn Cheetham who was met by a fierce wall of defence as he returned the kick. Wigan made good ground up field but soon found themselves on the defensive, the Philly team making the most of a couple of penalties to pound the Wigan line with their huge pack. Relief for the Wiganers as a double movement was ruled and a 20 metre tap allowed them to clear their lines. A penalty awarded for a high shot in the visitors 20 allowed Wigan to open the scoring, Martyn Cheetham landing a penalty for an early 2-0 lead.

And it was to get better for the Riversiders, buoyed by their early defensive endeavours, efforts turned to attack and a nice flowing move to the right saw the ball in the hands of winger Alex Rigby. Still with plenty to do, the big winger fended off 2 challenges before crashing over out wide. Conversion missed but an early 6-0 lead.

Questions were now being asked of the Fight as they started to understandably look fatigued from their long journey and twice Wigan worked the overlap before putting the ball down for a turnover with the tryline at their mercy. Fight captain Phil Shipos has seen enough, the pacey Aussie commandeering the ball on the halfway line, a sublime sidestep putting him in the clear and a fend taking out the chasing defence. Only the fullback to beat, but a textbook tackle from full back Greg Brown saving the day for the Riversiders. The Fight now had their tails up and twice more broke the line, John Evangelista and Rich Henson showing great pace and creativity to put barnstorming longsnapper Dan Gabrielli into some fierce collisions.

However, it was the Riversiders who scored next to extend the lead, the try of the game going once again to Alex Rigby, taking the ball on his wing on the halfway line showing pace and power to round 3 defenders and cut inside to the posts. Stand-out Riversiders full back Greg Brown adding the extras. 12-0 to Wigan.

The Philadelphia boys are, however, made of stern stuff and it if the pace of winger Rigby was troubling them out wide, they were giving nothing away up the middle of the park. Some powerful running from T. Brad Kielinski setting up a well deserved and well taken try that was duly converted for the teams to go to half time with all to play for at 12-6.

Time for this match reporter to speak to the crowd and the sponsors and gage a response to the 40 minutes action they had seen. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, the fitness and strength of the Philadelphia players wowing the knowledgeable rugby public of Wigan and their commitment to the cause after falling behind well noted. The Trans-Atlantic challenge was a hit and rugby league USA style had arrived in Wigan!

Back to the action and it was Wigan who took the initiative shortly into the second half, creative play from Wigan half’s Danny Gregory and Scott Dean generating field position for who other than winger Rigby to charge over from 5 metres from dummy half to complete a hat-trick. The kick from wide out was missed.

The next 20 minutes of the game were all Philadelphia, their powerful forwards and hard working backs pressuring Wigan in attack, Riversiders hooker Phil King throwing out a wild long ball that was snapped up by Pat Darby to race 50 yards before handing on for a score out wide, the Fight crucially missing the conversion. And more was to come as again the Fight, forcing Wigan to kick from their own 40 cleaned up a poor chip kick to run the ball in at the left hand corner. Another missed conversion but it was now a 2 point ball game and some very nervous Riversiders faces on the touchline.

Deep into the final quarter and with field position see-sawing between both ends of the field, it was Riversiders powerhouse prop forward Neil Savage who finally put some daylight between the two sides under the floodlights of Robin Park Arena, good build-up play from Simon Atherton allowing big Savage to barge onto the ball, his sheer bulk displacing the Fight defence for the match winning score to the left of the posts. A conversion from Cheetham and a drop goal from Riversiders 7 Danny Gregory for good measure giving a final score of 23-14 to the Wigan Riversiders.

An absorbing contest and one thoroughly enjoyed by the 600 strong crowd. The American tourists did themselves proud, giving nothing in defence or attack for the full 80, the difference between the teams a single try, the experience of the Wigan halves in getting the ball wide to pace men perhaps being the overall difference between the two sides. And so to the aftermatch party where the American boys showed up well after being introduced to English beer, several – including popular ‘longsnapper’ Dan Gabrielli opting to stay long after the team bus had left to enjoy socialising with their new friends at the Riversiders! Will the Riversiders visit Philadelphia to defend their title? Watch this space….

The next match on the Fights tour is against Haresfinch Rugby league Club. The game will be played at 2pm at Liverpool St. Helens Rugby Football Club, Moss Lane, Windle St. Helens, Merseyside WA 11, 7PL

Upcoming Coverage

In the coming months I will be traveling around the Americas covering several matches. I will make it out to the Phily 9’s (USARL) as well the War on the Shore (AMNRL) and various matches of the respective competitions. I will be going to the Canadian Internationals and will make the trip down to Jamaica for their Grand Final. Of course I will be in Philadelphia for the World Cup Qualifiers.


Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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16 Responses to “Hurricanes Make Signings, Serbian and Other News”

  1. dragons4eva says:

    hey druzik good to hear from you again.

    Good to hear the student 4 nations being played. Oh btw…the French beat the English U 16’s 19-18 apparently so i heard. Also great news from jamaica with the signing of several RL players for the Hurricanes! Hopefully in years to come Jamaica will become a force to be reckoned with.

    Also where your going this year wow!!! Far out man your going all around the world. Canada, Philadelphia and Jamaica too!!! Far out you’re doing a hell of a lot of Travelling for Rugby League!!!

    Anywayz man all the best and good to hear from you again

    • druzik says:

      Ta, its a full on schedule, but I will do my best.

      A bit annoyed that this week the AMNRL website came up, and the midwest challenge on there has had zero promotion at all. I wanted to go but have ended up making other plans for today… would have gone up otherwise… talk about annoyed and poor form.

  2. Interested Observer says:

    Given that the USARL and the AMNRL met recently and agreed to move forward together for the sake of the game (and potentially unite in some way I imagine), will USARL teams be invited to play in the War at the Shore? Be good if you could find that out for those that might be interested…

  3. Cheyne Maher says:

    Dan don’t be sorry for any inconvenience, the service you provide for thirsty international RL fans is fantastic! But as a wise man told me once, family is always first, then work second and footy third!

    Great news from everywhere, your travelling schedule sounds quite exciting and i am sure you will enjoy every minute!

    Cheers Cheyne

    • druzik says:

      I know… my job is the first passion and getting to work with the top scientists and labs in the world is the main thing, but certainly I try not to allow Rugby league fall behind when I can.

  4. Interested Observer says:

    Have you had any luck getting ANY info at all from the AMNRL about plans for this season? Would be good if they released some news given it is now late April.

    • dragons4eva says:

      David Niu said that there are going to be 6 Hawaii teams starting up this year apparently. Plus i think he said he’d be running training camps and performance sessions for Tomahawks hopefuls. Whether that will include USARL players is yet to be seen.

      Anywayz hope this answers your question somewhat.

    • druzik says:

      Their new webite is finally up this week and much to my annoyance the Midwest challenge which has not been announced or promoted in anyway is today and I cant make it…. very annoyed at all of that as I have a few people from Champaign that want to go up and see a game.

      I have other comments I’ll make for a blog.

  5. Kingsland7 says:

    Great news from around the world. I too am interested to know if the AMNRL website will be finished prior to season kick off. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  6. Interested Observer says:

    I was aware of the Hawaii news and some international news about the T’hawks but there appears to still be nothing about the planned AMNRL domestic comp for this season and nothing about the expansion teams out west.

  7. Interested Observer says:

    Finally it’s up and running.

    The fact that Spinner is missing from their ‘name youu all time AMNRL team’ is very fishy……

    • major says:

      why would that be fish isn’t that like saying why isn’t someone who tried to dismantle something given a little credit as its hero. ????

  8. Interested Observer says:

    Spinner and co didn’t try to dismantle anything. Given he has been on the scene from very early on even in the Super League days, it’s only spite that has excluded him from that list. There could be no other possible reason he’s not onb the list other than some form of payback for having decided the USRL was a better option for him.

  9. Chris Sanders says:

    And about time we had a University Rugby League World Cup in Russia again and also a Police and Combine Services RL World Cup in that part of the world as well.It’s long overdue in my book and didn’t they get huge crowds in Kazan for the Europa Student RL Cup Tournament in 2001 which people rubbished or is that my vivid imagination?
    Why only a 2 way go between England and Australia all the time?Are there only 2 countries playing the game?
    IRLF have no vision what so ever and nothing ever changes in that reguard because they always think small and refused to see the big picture if it interfers with their beloved NRL or SL.
    Time for a total clean out of the IRLF from top to bottom because they couldn’t run a fleahouse.They can’t do one job properly let alone two.
    The IRLF are a waste of space.

  10. Chris Sanders says:

    And what’s stopping Spinner forming his own RL??

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