Category Archives: Other Football News

2013 World Cup clips

A look back at the 2013 World Cup

USA play the Cooks


Friends at the final whistle

Samoa and Fiji pray together.


Semi-final: England versus New Zealand

A game immediately hailed as one of the best test matches in the game’s history.


Petero Civoniceva bows out as Fiji are knocked out


An Australian masterclass in the final

Ray French’s Challenge Cup Final favourites

The matches, tries and people that Ray French most enjoyed seeing most in the Challenge Cup.

RFL monitors uneven Challenge Cup but handicap not planned

Challenge Cup logo 2013

The Rugby Football League debates the issue of competitiveness in the Challenge Cup regularly but “there are currently no plans to introduce a handicap system into the Challenge Cup”, spokesman John Ledger has said.

In a response to a suggestion made in the post “The Challenge Cup’s handicap” on the Rugby League Wiki blog, the governing body revealed that the issue of uncompetitive Challenge Cup fixtures “is debated regularly” by the RFL and has recently been on the agenda of the Laws Committee chaired by Chief Executive Nigel Wood. The committee’s membership includes representatives of the wider game, including coaches and players.

The RLW post, which noted the cup brought “professional, semi-professional, amateur, police, armed forces, student and overseas sides” and their differences together into one competition, highlighted the sometimes heavy scorelines when clubs played opponents from other tiers of the game. An “unobtrusive” handicap system was suggested for consideration, including changes to the number of interchanges permitted made according to opponents’ tier or division and the option of stoppages at quarter and three-quarter time if the lower level team wants them.

The RFL believes that “the issue with regard to the resources available to the top teams and those in the lower divisions is not exclusive to rugby league: it’s something that occurs across all sports, both team and individual” and that “the issue in rugby league is exaggerated because of the comparison with association football: the nature of that sport means a lower league team can be hopelessly outplayed by Manchester United and only lose by a couple of goals. Unfortunately in rugby league the physical strengths and superior fitness of the elite players means blow out scorelines are unavoidable”.

Their response also noted that only last year, on a “level handicap”, tier one team Castleford Tigers was beaten by Featherstone Rovers, a tier two team, and that Featherstone lost respectably in the next round to tier one Wigan Warriors.

With elite teams progressively improving standards, it must be a worry that the issue will remain and potentially become more acute.

Stay up-to-date by following RLW on Facebook and Twitter.

Gould: Open age second-grade beats elite youth teams in development

2013 Holden Cup logo

Phil Gould has written this interesting piece in the Sydney Morning Herald to urge changes to the current National Youth Competition arrangements.

As the Australian Rugby League Commission has asked Jim Doyle to carry out a study into development pathways, Gould contests the belief by some that an accomplished NYC player is ready for the NRL – he thinks that’s when they should be moved to a NSW or Qld Cup team – and highlights several other problems:

  • Players and agents are demanding more money – prematurely and increasing player development costs
  • Some NYC players are being included in NRL squads’ salary caps to prevent poaching – straining the rest of the squad and the cap
  • The NSW Cup and Qld Cup competitions aren’t as prominent as they should be

Gould says, “I love the NYC. I am a big fan. But I also know the second-tier, reserve-grade level of development is vastly more important”.

As well as helping provide player pathways to first grade, the New South Wales and Queensland Cup competitions give the game an opportunity to include clubs and areas that aren’t able to support a top tier side – and those that are waiting for their chance.

Dual registration

In the UK, the dual registration system and the changes made to academy competitions have their criticisms. As Gould says in his article, it will be interesting to see what former NZRL boss Jim Doyle’s findings are.

Stay up-to-date by following RLW on Facebook.

2013 NRL TV ad

Jessica Mauboy performs a re-mix of the Etta James song, Something’s Got a Hold On Me, in the 2013 promo.

The ad, which omits the recently banned shoulder charge, connects the game at grassroots to the footballers starring in the NRL.


Wiggins in Sky’s 2013 Super League promo

Bradley Wiggins and Sam Tomkins Sky's 2013 Super League promo

Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins appears alongside Sam Tomkins and narrates Sky’s new advert for the 2013 Super League competition.

“Deep down, I would love to be a rugby league player” – Bradley Wiggins

The Serra de Tramuntana Mountain Range provides stunning scenery, as Tomkins runs on foot and Wiggins cycles.

Sky Sports’ first live Super League match of 2013 is Leeds v Hull FC on Friday 1st February.

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