Monday, 28 August 2017

The NRL Refereeing 2017 - Credit Where Due

I ran a blog allaboutsport but I decided to change it to RL exclusively. Instead of using the same blog, I deleted the whole thing and started again. In hindsight I should have modified the existing one as starting from scratch takes years to build any following. However, I digress.

At that previous blog site, I strongly criticised the officiating at games in the NRL. Penalty tries just weren't given, ever. All offenses seemed to get put on report. Cheating and foul play was referred to a post match judiciary. The team on the receiving end of indiscretions got no benefit. I made the point that cheating was rewarded and that foul play should be punished during the game.

I'd have to think that my criticism had no bearing on what has happened in 2017 but suddenly the penalty try is alive again. Bravo! Players are being sin binned. Way to go! Immediate punishment is always the most effective. It drives the wrong act home more effectively and rewards the innocent.

I berated the NRL for its poor record of acting swiftly. I now am obliged to give the thumbs up for the turn around. May the innocent be recompensed.


World Cup Trivia : 1954 -2013

Let's have some WC trivia points that reflects fourteen World Cup tournaments. Great Britain and England are treated as one entity.

Who have played in the most tournaments?

Australia, GB/England, New Zealand and France have played in all of them.

Who has played the most matches?

Australia. 72.

Who has won the most matches?

Australia. 59.

Who has drawn the most matches? 

GB/England. 6.

Who has a 100% loss record?

South Africa (6 games, 6 losses), Russia (3 games, 3 losses).

How many nations have played at tournaments?

17. The NZ Maori had a side in 2000, but are not a distinct nation.

How many matches have been played at WC tournaments?


Saturday, 26 August 2017

France Elite Teams By Season : 2010-11

Lézignan-Corbières is a small town in the south of France near Narbonne. The population is just 10,000 people so the RL must draw some support from the surrounding region. The reason why this has been raised will become apparent as we continue.

The Elite One: FC Lézignan won from Limoux Grizzlies but only on points difference as both finished on 54 points. SM Pia came third with 50 points and then a gap to fourth.

Finals: In a slightly different format, FC Lézignan rode its luck in defeating SM Pia 25-24 to book a finals spot. In the other sudden death match, Limoux won against Villeneuve XIII 40-24 to enter a playoff game with SM Pia. Limoux triumphed 26-12. In a close final FC Lézignan were just too good for Limoux, winning 17-12. Nearly 12,000 attended at Narbonne for the match.

Lord Derby Cup: In one semi final - you guessed it - FC Lézignan progressed with a win over UTC (now known as St Estève - XIII Catalan) 18-16 in yet another tight victory for the Aude club. Montpellier (Méditerranée Métropole Rugby) XIII couldn't make the final in losing galantly to SM Pia 30-42. If SM Pia thought they could stop FC Lézignan, they were wrong. They were on the wrong end of a 28-17 defeat despite leading 11-6 at half time. Nearly 5,400 were in Carcassonne to witness the occasion.

In summary, FC Lézignan took out the treble, not by overwheming everyone but doing enough to get the right results. I guess you would have to say they had some luck, but you need that in sport. Pia was the next best with a cup final loss, a semi final defeat and 3rd in the league (44 points). Limoux did well in the league and finals for 3rd best side with 40 points.

Rk Team Rnd Fls LD Tot

1 Lézignan 20 20 20 60

2 Pia 16 12 16 44

3 Limoux 18 16 6 40

4 Villeneuve 14 9

5 St Estève Cat 10
12 22

6 Montpellier 7
12 19

7 Carcassonne 12 6

8 Avignon 11
6 17

9 St Gaudens 8
6 14

10 Carpentras 9


11 Albi

6 6

Total 125 63 84 272

For the 2009/10 season, please click here.
For the 2011/12 season, please click here.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

UK Elite Teams By Season : 2010

SL XV had 14 teams lining up in the elite division. Apart from the tradition northern teams, one came from France, Wales and a London side. The Crusaders moved to North Wales from the south of the country. With no promotion relegation, the same teams as last year were there.

League: Wigan took the title with 44 points ahead of St Helens and Warrington (40 apiece). Leeds were further back with 35.

Challenge Cup: The semi finals had Saints edge Leeds 32-28 and Warrington power past Catalan 54-12. The final had Warrington easily take the cup 30-6 at the expense of Leeds.

Finals: St Helens took the first final spot when defeating Huddersfield 42-22. Wigan became the other finalist when it overcame Leeds 22-6. yet another encounter between these two rivals ended with Wigan proving too strong for the Saints, winning 22-10.

In summary, this was a very even competition among the top sides. I gave both Wigan and St Helens 46 points each. Wigan won the league and grand final but bombed in the cup. Saints on the other hand won nothing but were in everything. Leeds and Warrington also shared the same points, 42 each. Leeds were like Saints, being competitive in all competitions while the Wolves Won the cup but failed in the finals playoffs.

Rk Team Lge Fnl CC Tot

1 Wigan 20 20 6 46

1 St Helens 18 16 12 46

3 Leeds 14 12 16 42

3 Warrington 16 6 20 42

5 Huddersfield 12 12

6 Hull KR 10 6

7 Catalans 3
12 15

8 Hull FC 11 3

9 Bradford 7
6 13

10 Crusaders 9 3

11 Castleford 8


12 Wakefield 6


12 Barrow

6 6

12 Batley

6 6

15 Salford 5


16 London 4


Total 143 78 84 305

For the 2009 season, please click here.
For the 2011 season, please click here.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Women's WC : 2017 Preview

The fifth RLWC for women is being held this year. Some of the other WCs were unusual in terms of what teams were playing but at least for the 2017 edition, all participants will be nations. There will be six teams: Group One is Australia, Cook Is and England. Canada, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea make up Group Two. There are inter-group matches too. England v PNG, NZ v Cook Is and Australia v Canada.

Why France couldn't provide a side may have something to do with finances but I'm speculating there. They played two competitive games against England in June 2017. Pacific nations Samoa and Tonga were in a playoff with the Cook Is for the one spot and the Cooks got it. Why couldn't all three be there? I'm surprised Canada is there as the men haven't ever made a tournament, but their hard work has been recognised.

It commences on the 16th of November and concludes on the 2nd of December 2017. All games up to the final are at the Southern Cross Group Stadium, Sydney. The final at the Brisbane Stadium. There will be a total of 12 matches.

For the Round One Summary, just click here.
To see my tournament predictions, please click here.

Monday, 21 August 2017

France Elite Teams By Season : 2011-12

For this season, Toulouse Olympique returned from playing in the UK, and Racing Club Lescure-Arthès XIII was promoted from the lower division. Racing Club Saint-Gaudens XIII had been demoted as was Racing Club de Carpentras XIII et du Comtat (what a name).

The Elite One: SM Pia XIII won the title (44 points) from AS Carcassonne and SO Avignon (both with 44 points). FC Lézignan and Toulouse O came just behind them (42 points).

Finals: In one semi final Pia XIII defeated FC Lézignan 28-20 while in the other game, AS Carcassonne pipped SO Avignon 31-30. AS Carcassonne then went on to win the grand final 26-20 over Pia. The game was played in Narbonne, with 9,000 attending.

Lord Derby Cup: In the Demi-finales, XIII Limoux Grizzilies could not get past AS Carcassonne, going down 22 - 36. Pia proved too strong for Lézignan in a 38 - 6 victory. The cup final was a close affair, with Carcassonne prevailing over Pia 14 - 12. 6,900 were at Narbonne for the game.

In summary, AS Carcassonne took out both finals to be the most successful side. Pia won the Elite 1 league but lost both finals so a seaon of close but not close enough. Lézignan was well back but third in the league and two semi final exits was a competitive showing.

Rk Team Rnd Fls LD Tot

1 Carcassonne 18 20 20 58

2 Pia 20 16 16 52

3 Lézignan 14 12 12 38

4 Avignon 16 12

5 Toulouse 12 6 6 24

6 St Estève Cat 11 6 6 23

7 Limoux 9
12 21

8 Villeneuve 10
6 16

9 Montpellier 8
6 14

9 Lescure-Arth 7


Total 125 72 84 281

For the 2010/11 season, please click here.
For the 2012/13 season, please click here.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

UK Elite Teams By Season : 2011

The 16th year of the Super League era took place in 2011, the third year of an initial licencing period where clubs participated in the competition based on more than simply results on the field. No promotion or relegation was done through this time.

League: Warrington were top of the table this year on 44 points, with Leeds just behind on 43. St Helens (37) and Huddersfield (32) were some way behind. The two bottom sides Wakefield and Crusaders were each deducted four points for financial issues.

Challenge Cup: At the semi final stage Wigan overcame Saints 18-12 and Leeds toiled to get past Castleford 10-8 after extra time. Over 78,000 people turned up at Wembly Stadium to see Wigan triumph 28-18 over Leeds.

Finals: For the semi finals Leeds just got past Warrington 26-24 to get to their second final of the year. In the other match St Helens turned the tables on Wigan for their cup semi final defeat, winning 26-18. In the grand final, Leeds were victorious 32-16. 69,000 fans turned up at Old Trafford to watch the spectacle. Leeds came back from 8-16 to take the game. It was St Helens 5th loss in a row in this competition so very hard to take.

See the highlights below:

The Welsh based side the Crusaders disbanded at the end of the season, a new club being formed called the North Wales Crusaders playing in the division below for 2012. The Widnes Vikings became the new SL side.

So Wigan were the most successful side, second in the league, winner of the cup and semifinalists in the finals series. Leeds were just behind with a grand final win and losing cup finalist. Saints and Warrington deserve honourable mention.

Rk Team Lge Fnl CC Tot

1 Wigan 18 12 20 50

2 Leeds 12 20 16 48

3 St Helens 16 16 12 44

4 Warrington 20 12 6 38

5 Huddersfield 14 6 6 26

6 Castleford 8
12 20

7 Hull KR 10 3 6 19

8 Hull FC 9 3 6 18

9 Catalans 11 6

10 Bradford 7


11 Salford 6


12 London 5


12 Wakefield 4


14 Crusaders 3


Total 143 78 84 305

For the 2010 season, please click here.
For the 2012 season, please click here.