Knight Win AMNRL Championships

By Various

Today there is much news about the game in the USA with the AMNRL Grand Finals and finally some junior development. Also Lebanon announce their train on squad for the World Cup Qualifiers.

New York Knight Crowned AMNRL Champions

Yesterday the New York Knights showed their dominance over the AMNRL season with a bruising win over the Connecticut Wildcats 38 – 4. It was a far cry from the close loss that the Knights suffered in the first round to the wildcats where they were forced to play each other when the Vipers could not field a team in the opening double header. The Grand Final was played at the Pier 40 Stadium in New York, the Knights home ground which would have given them an advantage. It was a wet and slippery night as well, the Knight handled it better and were able to produce a total brucking which gave the Knights a Championship in their 10th year anniversary year. So congratulations to the New York Knights, 2011 AMNRL Champions. Next stop for the AMNRL is the two Colonial Cup games against Canada next week in Philly and then on the 17th September in Toronto and then the World Cup Qualifiers against Jamaica and South Africa at Campbell’s Baseball Field in new Jersey in October.


From Phil Caplan

Rugby League in the USA is set to take a major step forward with the institution of the first ever middle school programme approved to take place in Rhode Island for the 2011 autumn term.

The schedule will start with two Providence Middle Schools – Essek Hopkins & Roger Williams – playing tag Rugby League twice a week from October through to December as part of a 10 week induction.

It will consist of 52 players making up four teams between both schools. The goal is to expand to six surrounding schools in 2012 and 2013.

The RIRL school programme will include lessons in: History of Rugby League, safety, nutrition and fitness, injury prevention – supported by Ullucci Sports Medicine, passing and kicking skills and tackling techniques & defensive drills

Leading the development initiative are Rhode Island Rebellion team owners Lawrence Almagno and Anthony Nardolillo.  In their inaugural year as a team, RIR have created a buzz in the local Providence area and last week were the feature piece on Cable TV’s Man vs Food Show.

Lawrence Almagno explained, “Rugby League requires kids to communicate, trust, cooperate, and accept responsibility for their actions within a team environment.”

“The skills these children will learn will permeate into their everyday life and help them perform better in school, socially and academically.”

The programme has the full support of the USARL and the league is eager to see the it progresses before adopting into other geographic areas


Lebanon coach David Bayssari has named a 39-man train-on squad for October’s 2013 Rugby League World Cup European Zone Qualifiers, following consultation with the French Federation’s Thierry Dumaine, the LRLF’s technical assistant.

Included are fifteen of the 2009 European Cup squad, which finished third after victories against Italy and Ireland, while eight players who represented Lebanon in the 2008 World Cup qualifiers return in a selection that is bristling with both experience and young talent.

“I am extremely satisfied with the players we have chosen,” said Bayssari, who became Lebanon’s fifth head coach in June. “Having spoken to our Australian-based players, the desire to represent Lebanon is as strong as ever and everyone is determined to help the Cedars qualify for the World Cup in 2013. Thierry Dumaine did a wonderful job in Morocco and I know the players in Lebanon have worked exceptionally hard, so everything augurs well for a good qualifying campaign in October.”

NRL first graders, Cronulla’s  Johnny Mannah and Canberra speedster Reece Robinson headline the group, while canny Balmain utility George Ndaira, who drew such impressive reviews following his performances against Wales and Ireland in 2007, provides play-making ingenuity.

He is joined by Parramatta’s ex-NSW Origin Under 16s stand off Jason Wehbe, the likely star of the up and coming generation. Joining the 19-year-old Wehbe is Canterbury Bulldogs’ prolific Toyota Cup fullback Daniel Abou-Sleiman, former Cronulla NYC second rower Ahmad Ellaz, Sharks Toyota Cup utilities Ali Hijazi and Michael Lichaa, and Balamand’s teenage hooker Samer Neghme, who played for Liban Espoir (Lebanon U20) in March before making a seamless jump to the full national side for this summer’s tour to Morocco.

Bayssari added: “The selection of youngsters such as Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Ali Hijazi, Jason Wehbe and Michael Lichaa in particular is indicative of the talent and I know there are many more players coming through our development systems who will be the cornerstone of the Lebanon national team in the years ahead.”

Immortals RLFC forward Robin Hachache, who heads up a four-strong component from Lebanon’s champion domestic club, is almost an ever-present Cedar since debuting in the 2007 qualifiers, having missed only the 2009 European Cup match against Ireland due to illness,  and will be hoping to add to his 11 caps.

The squad will be cut to 30 on 19 September and will combine in Lebanon in the second week of October ahead of their opening match against Serbia on 16 October.

Paul Khauli (AUB); Ahmad El Masri (AUST); Samer Neghme, Gaeton Osman, Allen Soultan (Balamand); George Ndaira (Balmain Tigers); Nick Kassis (Cabramatta); Reece Robinson (Canberra Raiders); Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Steve Azzi (Canterbury Bulldogs); Ali Hijazi, Michael Lichaa, Johnny Mannah (Cronulla Sharks); Youssef El Helou, Pierre Nasr (Jounieh RLFC); Ibrahim Ballout, Robin Hachache, Rudy Hachache, Walid Yassin (LAU Immortals RLFC); Ray Moujalli (Manly Sea Eagles); Anthony Farah, Adham El Zbedieh (Mounties); Charlie Farah (Narrabeen); Jamie Clark, Khaled Deeb, Ahmed Ellaz (Newtown Jets); Joshua Mansour (North Sydney); Jason Wehbe (Parramatta Eels); Danny Barakat, Daniel Chiha, Ali Kourouche, Toufic Nicolas, Chris Saab, Adnan Saleh (St John’s Eagles); Travis Robinson (unattached); Liam Ayoub (Western Suburbs);; Monir Finan, Ray Finan, Nemer Saliba (Wolves RLFC).

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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21 Responses to “Knight Win AMNRL Championships”

  1. Robbo says:

    Great news about the junior development in the USA, well done RIRL, let’s hope it can kick on and spread the game.

  2. International Observer says:

    Given they are such a new club the RIR have done a great job this year, well done guys. I see that the AMNRL have once again deleted a whole heap of comments debating the current USA selection. Mind you some posts were very abusive and rude but many were interesting and raised good points which seem to upset the AMNRL administrators.

    • druzik says:

      yes I saw that, but many of the abusive comments came from people that were supporting the AMNRL … also on twitter the comments from David and his supporters towards Spinner and the Axemen have been very disappointing.

    • deluded pom? says:

      If any good has come out of the split in the States it’s the formation of teams like the Titans and the RIR. Larry who is co owner of the RIR tried to post the news about their junior programme on the Wearerugby facebook ‘site. Needless to say it was deleted. From being an avid fan of RL in the States I’m now paying a lot less interest in it. In fact I’m leaning more and more towards the Canadians and the Jamaicans to get my North American RL fix. Well done to all concerned.

      • druzik says:

        Yes he’s been doing mass posting and maings out, its the way you promote yourself. Look I can understand WAR position. They are owned by StarGroup which basically is the controller of the AMNRL… Its not in their interests to have the competitions posts on their site… it works like that everywhere. Many, many sites will do that. This is nothing new or dodgy, its the way it works.

  3. Steve says:

    Lebanon squad looks good if they could speak to Tim Mannah. Tim hasnt played for Australia yet and should be allowed to represent Lebanon as the same applies to Anthony Minichiello who represented NSW earlier this year.

    The European qualifiers should be interesting as Lebanon and Italy look the most likely to make the World Cup it will definitely be a fiery contest. Do you know if the games will be broadcast? Are the RLEF working on it please let us know as I am very much looking forward to it.

    Great to hear that rugby league is starting to target juniors as that is what is needed to move the sport forward I hope more school competitions can be setup and that both competitions can come together to move the sport forward.

    • druzik says:

      Steve, I believe that they are working towards having some of the games to be broadcast, how wide spread they will be, i.e. Eurosport, or streamed live or Sky, I don’t know.

      Minichello, having reped NSW, should not be allowed to play for Italy, if Uate is not allowed then Mini definitely should not be allowed.

  4. deluded pom? says:

    What are the chances of the NY Kights taking on the USARL Champions? There’s been a lot of noise from the NY camp, especially Mr Knight, on the LU forum. Time to put up or shut up?

    • druzik says:

      Not very good. I spoke with someone within the NY Knights a while back and asked that exact same question. He said basically no chance for a couple reasons:
      1. It looks like most of their players will be on Tomahawks duty, so they would not be able to put on the proper squad
      2. Also many of the imports have left already which reduces the team numbers
      3. By the time the colonial Cup finishes, and even if players aren’t selected for the RWCQ’s then they will be in the Uniosn season meaning that it will be hard for them to get the time off. This will most probably apply to the USARL teams as well.

      Yes i have sen the LU comments… Well, I don’t know who Mr Knight is, but unless he can organise the game in some way then I don;t think it will happen. But nothing worng with friendly banter if he wants to talk the Knights up, they are a quality team… I definitely think they could give the USARL teams a good run.

  5. Chris Sanders says:

    The split in America is the best thing that ever happened.Niu is the one still in power and deal with it.How can one expect a team in Miami to play a team in Seattle every 2 weeks on the road cas the costs will be prohibitive to say the least.And what’s stopping any State in the Union from breaking away from Washington in the future considering the economic state of the country.It not beyond the realms of possibility.

    • druzik says:

      No one is expecting that, eventually league will go the way of the other pro sports I suspect and have conferences and have the occasion out-of-conference games.

      No weather the split is the best thing to happen, remains to be seen…

      And not sure what you political question is about… this is not a political site. Not getting into that. Stay on topic Chris.

  6. Chris Sanders says:

    I was only drawing a parrallel Daniel and the split in the game in America will only lead to the creation of more and more sides throughout the country.
    A win win situation in my book.

  7. Chris Sanders says:

    But American Rugby league just like Serbian Rugby League survives only on a smell of an oily rag.There seems to be hardly any resources but both camps seem to fight another day.I beleive something big will come out of all this soon and you noticed that I have never,ever rubbished David Niu or the people in the other camp.
    Some people on this site have but they lead a luxury life in the North of England unlike others in depressed parts of the World where anything is a hell of a struggle.
    My Club the Ellerslie Eagles are in this category yet our Masters at Auckland Rugby League are Big people who live off the fat ot the land.
    Rugby League in America wil come good because if there’s a will there’s a way.

    • druzik says:

      That’s just it, that Oily Rag culture people are tired of and want to change it. Its why teams like the New York knights, Axemen, Fight and Rhode Island go and do so much promotion to try and get the $$$ in. a few weeks ago the RIR were on TV here in a popular show, Man v Food getting one of their players to do a food challenge, the host Adam Richman, did a whole thing on the team, they showed him trying the game out, thought not a sports show it exposed the team to millions…. and from there it lead to them being asked onto the Dan York Show which goes around the country and streamed on the web, a whole hour was dedicated to them atlking about the sport and the team… that is the kind of initiative that is needed to survive.

      I am sure RIR could fill you in on more up there.

  8. dragons4eva says:

    Its a shame Niu and some of his followers are still trying to…i wouldn’t call it sabotage but trying to derail the efforts of the USARL in numerous ways.

    Whether the split has helped or not is as you say Dan still remained to be seen. I for one have seen the pros and cons of both competitions. One comp may look more professional then the other at different times, however different circumstances has allowed both to gain ground in different areas.

    We won’t see League’s full potential in the States until the RLIF steps in and tells both comps to come together and work for the greater good!

  9. Chris Sanders says:

    That’s the whole point dragons4eva!The RLIF ain’t interested and it will only get worse before it gets better.Carter and his mob ain’t interested in the game outside their own backyard and mild as well save your breath.Until we get genuine RL people on it, who know what the hell they’re doing, the game will continue to stagnate.
    Carter only cares what happening at Hawera so they(NZRL) can give more and more no hopers jobs down there.At the recent Secondary Schools Competition here in Papakura last week, there were more employees there than schools participating and all these people wearing black tracksuits with Kiwi’s emblems on them and all driving flash sponsored cars!
    One would of thought that they were at a second hand car yard sale and not at a football tournament.
    A circus run by clowns and the football was shit cas the standard of coaching left a lot to be desired.

  10. Chris Sanders says:

    Well at this stage of procedings Lewis should be in charge of the RLIF cas the Poms are running the next World Cup and it now makes sense that they should be steering the ship cas we have no confidence in Carter,Haffenden and Doyle.And of course Gallop should not be there as well cas he got too many conflict of interests and far too much baggage!

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