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 More »

Ray French’s Challenge Cup Final favourites

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

Challenge Cup logo 2013

RFL monitors uneven Challenge Cup but handicap not planned

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 More »

Rugby League Wiki logo

Updated registration process

New RL Wiki users and logged out editors have a new way to prove they are human and not an automated spammer! We’ve got rid of the annoying image captchas – which More »

2013 Holden Cup logo

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

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 More »

The future of the scrum

The scrum and its future is a recurring debate in the game, though one which hasn’t resulted in moves for major changes.


Photo credit: Gerard Barrau

Scrums are boring.

Scrums don’t work.

Scrums could work.

The debate

For several reasons, including the heritage of the game, the opportunity for variety in play and the reality of tactics, two opinions are heard often. One to retain the scrum, perhaps with a call for the ball to be put in straight in the hope it restores a contest, and the other to replace the scrum with a handover.

While other successors to the scrum are sometimes suggested, none have gained traction in the imagination. I don’t think that tweaking the existing scrum is where the answer lies either. Not only are players in a modern rugby league scrum safer, but our sport has a tradition of putting the action where the audience can see it.

The aim

In fact, I think our usually uncontested scrums can carry on just as they are, while the laws around them are changed to encourage more entertaining play once the ball comes out.

We want to see attacking plays from scrums, not just a hit-up by the first receiver. So why not adjust the offside laws to help the team with the ball?

The suggestion

Allow players outside of the scrum to stand just behind the scrum’s rearmost foot. This will reduce the benefit gained from a hit-up, but could lead to breaks elsewhere with rehearsed attacking moves and reduced reaction time for defenders . If trialled, this change may be found to be enough but rugby league defences are good. So, just in case, ban sweepers.

To be clear: a player from the non-feeding team could be found offside by being too far away from the scrum or for being too close.

The non-feeding team’s backs could be required to remain inside their “scrum area”, a 5 metre strip of field measured from the back of the scrum, until the ball was out. Defenders would have to make decisions quickly, as attacking moves unfolded.

This rule accepts that the team with the feed will nearly always win possession. But should a team win against the head, perhaps they should be rewarded with a zero tackle to compensate them for their “scrum area” disadvantage on the initial tackle.

Possession is sacred in rugby league. Is this enough encouragement to risk it?

The greatest frames of all

In September 2011 The Daily Telegraph released a series of audio slideshows, The greatest frames of all, showcasing photographs from the 2011 NRL season. There was also a slideshow for rugby league artwork. Four photographers and one cartoonist selected and spoke about some of their favourite images from the year.

Some of the photographers’ photos were exhibited with projectors onto the side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The greatest sin of all

Part I contains an image of Ryan Tandy still training after being stood down due to the allegations made against him. Though since found guilty, the photo showed him in a different light, I thought, as it captured his hope and isolation. It reminded me of Terry Newton too.

Match fixing is probably the worst offence that can be committed in sport, the credibility of the game is undermined. It’s reasonable that there be no second chances, but let’s hope that the people around Tandy look after him and that the game gives him a chance to make amends in some way, rather than shutting the door completely.

The series:

The greatest frames of all – Part I: Gregg Porteous

The greatest frames of all – Part II: Phil Hillyard

The greatest frames of all – Part III: Brett Costello

The greatest frames of all – Part IV: Mark Evans

The art of rugby league: Boo Bailey

Get right on our Wiki

The Get right on our Wiki article was published in the August 2011 issue of Forty-20 magazine.

Forty-20's August 2011 front cover

Everyone knows Wikipedia. It’s the collaborative encyclopaedia with over 3.5 million articles on a massive variety of subjects. What you may not know is that there are many other ‘wikis’ (the Hawaiian word for fast) available. Dedicated wikis exist for cult TV shows, online games; there’s even one about bacon.


There are also sports wikis. Rugby League Wiki is a new project that encourages fans to participate in writing about our game at all levels. There is a wide variety of articles waiting to be written on everything from your local wheelchair tag team and the history of rugby league in your town to the latest controversial tackling technique.


If you haven’t tried editing a wiki yet, the basics are easy. At its simplest, you click “Create” or “Edit” on a page, type and then click “Save”. How-to guides and other useful information can be found by clicking “Help” or “Article guidelines” on the sidebar to the left. Clicking “Edit” on an existing article is another way to see how things are done or you can ask the existing community questions.


Keep up to date via the Twitter feed @rugbyleaguewiki, Facebook and the blog. Rugby League Wiki encourages those involved in the game to publicise it and raise awareness. It also allows the information added to the wiki to be referenced. If you would like to use the blog to publish your rugby league stories, we’ll be happy to assist.


Rugby League Wiki’s mission is to become the greatest reference on The Greatest Game by gathering, organising and presenting information on rugby league’s history, culture, people, institutions and more. Why not join in and share what you know?

News aggregator #1

Selected news stories aggregated between 27th August 2011 and 21st September 2011.


There is now a backup bid aiming to continue pro RL in North Wales, should the Championship application be rejected.


State of Mind, an initiative to promote the mental health and well-being of footballers, is launched a year after Terry Newton’s death.


Interim seasons commence as UK community game continues summer alignment.

Hopefully the increases in participation seen when other leagues have changed to summer rugby will be repeated.

I wonder what the wager was and how full Imre Salusinszky’s inbox is this week!


Lebanon and Serbia become Full Members of the Rugby League European Federation.


“After playing a memorable game the RL1908.com site has retired from the field.” – RL culture takes a hit as Sean Fagan suspends history site.

RL1908 has been a special place on the internet for rugby league, hopefully we’ll see it again. Many have been inspired to learn and share the history of the game.


VIDEO: St Joseph’s wins the Year 8 Boys’ Champion Schools comp. The first Welsh winner at any age group in six years. Match highlights from 10 finals.

St Joseph’s of Newport‘s win at the Champion Schools is a positive story for Welsh rugby league and a sign of the results being achieved due to the effort to expand the game. There’s more to rugby league in Wales than the soon to be demoted Crusaders.


New blog feature: The news aggregator

The Rugby League Wiki blog now features a rugby league news aggregator, with the addition of a scroller near the top of the home page.

The scroller will link to a selection of recent news stories, videos and other items deemed interesting to a rugby league audience.

In contrast to the neutral stance of the encyclopaedia, the news aggregator won’t be shy about including an opinion or two at the same time from those contributing! We also hope to do a regular round up.

100 followers on Twitter

@RugbyLeagueWiki now has over 100 followers on Twitter. Don’t forget to let your footy fan friends and family know where to come for updates from the rugby league encyclopaedia!

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