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Thursday, 20 October 2016

Jamaica Smash Ireland 68-16 in 12-try Rout

The Reggae Warriors' professional players dominated an all amateur Ireland side without of several key players, including captain Casey Dunne who starred in recent wins over Malta and Italy.

In front of a healthy crowd at a sun-drenched Carlisle Grounds, the Jamaicans boasted a side brimming with physicality and aggression. 

They proved a much sterner test for the Irish than recent opposition. The Wolfhounds struggled to hold on to possession as they were put under intense pressure in attack and defence by the visitors.

Once the game kicked off it became clear that the Jamaicans meant business. They dominated the tackle and contact areas, and ran in seven tries in the first half — former Hull FC winger Richie Barnett helping himself to a brace of scores.

Ireland responded with tries from hooker Connor Phillips and prop Chris Hall have responded with tries for the home side, but they faced an uphill struggle against bigger opponents.

The second-half saw a spirited effort by the Gareth Gill and Chris Hall using good footwork to get beyond the gainline in contact. 

Onisi Burekama crossed for the home side’s third try but the Jamaicans were showing their style as well as their force, and Aaron Jones-Bishop was the tormentor in chief with his clever footwork and passing.

Barnett helped himself to another two tries, while opposite winger Alexander Jones also scored twice for the Jamaicans, who face Wales next week.

For Ireland, attention now turns to the World Cup qualifiers, with Ireland facing Spain in Valencia next Saturday before taking on Russia back in Bray on October 29th.

There will be a very different look to the Ireland team, with the overseas professionals coming in to physically bolster the squad alongside eight domestic players. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Russia set up their match away in Ieland at the end of the month – victory in which will see them qualify from Pool B – with a comprehensive 40-6 win over gallant Spain at the Fili Stadium, Moscow.
Watched by RLIF chairman Nigel Wood, tries either side of half time were decisive after the Bears had got off to the perfect start.
Russia head coach Denis Korolev commented: 
“We achieved all that we wanted to from the game and that is satisfying. Tactically we were good, we didn’t complete every set but what we did overall was more important than any individual mistakes.”
Stand off and man of the match, veteran Aleksandr Lysokon, ran the game, his break in the seventh minute sending Mikhail Burlutskii over, Lysokon goaling.
Lysokon was also on target soon after to make it 12-0 when Nikolai Zagoskin crossed but, having found their feet in the four degree cold, the visitors dug in.
Spanish centre Antonio Puerta, who was a threat throughout, was unlucky to lose the ball over the line and Clement Laguerre made a terrific saving tackle following Dmitry Bratko’s break, Zagoskin held up on the last.
Just after the half hour, Leonid Kalinin trampled over two would-be tacklers, setting the position for Petr Botnarash, operating at hooker, to send over giant Kirill Kosharin by the posts who was switched from prop to centre.
Lysokon goaled and, four minutes after the break, cleverly stepped his way over and added the extras to make it 24-0.
His long pass then freed Kalinin who sent Bratko in at the corner, the winger converting his own try from out wide but the visitors earned due reward for their unstinting effort.
Gonzalo Morro put Leandre Torres clear and his pass saw Juan Pablo Rango cross between the posts, Danny Garcia goaling.
As the Spaniards tired late on, the hosts scored twice more, Kalinin with the run that saw Igor Chuprin over and the best move of the match seeing the ball spread from left to right for Lysokon, Denis Tiulenev and Botnarash combine to create the overlap for Vadim Buryak to speed into the corner.
Spain head coach Darren Fisher had few complaints as his side faced their toughest international test to date.
“We were poor in execution and completion, especially on the first tackle, and against such a big side that’s going to hurt you,” he said.
“Well done to Russia, congratulations to them, a lot of their guys have been together for a while and that showed. Our focus is now about bouncing back against Ireland and putting some things right, the boys have got to believe in themselves and pick themselves up and that’s what we’ll try and do.”

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Wales will secure their place at next year’s World Cup with a win over Italy in Monza in a fortnight’s time, after a comprehensive nine-try triumph over Serbia in Llanelli.
The drive of forwards Rhodri Lloyd and Phil Joseph combined the guile of half backs, two-try Ollie Olds and Courtney Davies, allied to the speed at the back from man of the match Elliot Kear and young St Helens wing tyro Regan Grace saw John Kear’s men home.
“I’m really pleased with what the players have turned up today,” said Kear. 
“I’ve been delighted with how they’ve prepared for the game; the two mini camps that we’ve had in North Wales were exceptionally good.
“Today, they’ve turned up with a very good team performance. We felt that, if our contact was good and we controlled the ruck area, we could restrict them.”
Kear, who guided the Welsh to a trophy in 2015 added: 
“It’s continued from last year; we conceded four tries in three games in the European Championships and we’ve again held our line in-tact. I’m very proud of that.”
Serbia were hampered by injuries that restricted their rotations, prop David Andjelić – who just denied a try early on when held up short – and Stefan Nedeljković who suffered a hamstring tear, causing disruption.
Wales looked to have scored early when Lloyd White sent in Widnes team mate Gil Dudson on the pair’s return to the international ranks but the pass was ruled forward as heavy rain began to fall.
But when the hosts did get the ball out wide, winger Rhys Williams quickly added to his record try haul for his country.
Two in seven minutes broke the deadlock, Lloyd supplying the pass for the first and an overlap seeing the London Broncos winger cross for his 18th touchdown in 22 internationals, White converting the second from the touchline.
Jordan Grant on debut was the visitor’s best, constantly making ground up the middle, but the Serbians were susceptible to the high kick and struggled to spread the ball wide of the ruck.
Young flyer Grace did well to avoid a high tackle to go over in the corner and, just before the break, lively Olds slipped past his marker to dart across, White’s goal making it 20-0 at the break.
As conditions worsened, Williams sent in Davies, who converted his own try and Wales dominated after Serbia had winger Pero Madzarevic sent to the sin bin for a trip on ever-dangerous Kear as he broke clear.
Andrew Gay caught the visiting defence napping when he went over from dummy half in the corner after a flowing move had been halted, before a wide pass was shipped on by Kear and Grace was uncatchable over 65 metres as he sprinted up the touchline, Davies again with the extras.
Olds took advantage of Serbia again letting his high kick bounce, following up for his second try and Dudson plunged over by the post for Wales’ last touchdown from White’s pass, the hooker bringing up the half century with his fourth goal.
Serbia coach Ljubomir Bukvic commented, 
“This was the toughest game we have played and congratulations to Wales. We were good for about 25 minutes and that is not enough against such a quality team.
“We didn’t play like we had planned in our training sessions, we failed to score on an early play and lost our attacking structure.
“It was a first match for this group of players and we will spend more time together, learn and continue our preparations for playing Italy in Belgrade next week.”

Monday, 17 October 2016


Turkey, who have been playing rugby league for less than a year, made their international debut facing Greek Titans at the Kallipatira Stadium on the island of Rhodes.
The hosts, featuring 12 players from the domestic RLEF Greek Rugby League competition, won 86-0 but the Turks – who reached the final of the Rhodes 8s in the build-up – showed great promise.
The Greeks were in control from the start with centre Mitchell Zampetides, who finished with six touchdowns, and Rhodes winger Panayiotis Lampousis both scoring a brace of tries to give the home side a 16-0 lead after 23 minutes.
Zampetides registered his hat trick in the 28th minute before he was sin binned soon after, whilst Turkey lost centre Onur Ersoy, sent off for alleged kicking out, and playing with one less player began to take its toll.
Winger Yiannis Valasas from the Aris Eagles club in Athens, finished off a back line move to score in the 35th minute and give the Titans a 26-0 lead at the interval.
The second half was a one-way affair with the Titans racing in for 60 unanswered points. It took six minutes after the re-commencement for the home side to score through skipper Jordan Meads, who also landed nine goals.
Spiros Kigais, a late replacement for the popular Pantelis Arfaras, crossed minutes later before a Lampousis break resulted in Meads scoring another four-pointer.
A powerful tackle from Zampetides jolted the ball loose for hooker Ryan Kambouris to score in the 56th minute, Meads adding the extras to bring up the half-century.
Zampetides then scored two quick tries, Aristoteli Taktikos went over in the 66th minute and Michael Lekkas, a popular figure in Rhodes, raced down the touchline to score two minutes later.
Zampetides recorded try number six before Aris Dardamanis and Nikos Bosmos showed some great skill and pace to complete the rout.
“Tonight was about showing how much progress the Greek boys have made. Most of the team came from the local competition and it illustrated how much good work is being done in Greece," said winning captain Meads.
Turkey are planning on hosting the Greeks next year and will commence their domestic competition shortly with five clubs involved.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Sports Authority of Thailand has recently approved (September 15) the Rugby League XIII Sports Association as the registered body govern the game of Rugby League in the Kingdom of Thailand.
David Collier, CEO of the Rugby League International Federation, was delighted with the news and looking forward to further advancement in the ASEAN region.
The Thai board is comprised of several well-known and credible local personalities including sports legend and female athlete Ratalalin Kaewpan, as the Chairperson of the new board. Joining Ms Kaewpan on the board are respected local individuals, Pornnapa Chaiwangrach, Vice Chairperson and owner of the Mountain View Group of Companies as well as academic lecturers Nitiwat Puaprasert and Siripan Kiattong as Association Secretary. 
Rugby League in Thailand has had a slow start but quickly gained momentum due to the physical nature of the sport and the entertainment value seen on TV via the NRL Australian Competition and English Super League Competition.

The Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation has granted observer status to Rugby League XIII Sports Association for the next 12 months, in an effort to gauge their level of progress, at which point an assessment will be conducted to see how they are tracking against their strategic plan and objectives.

APRLC Chairman Tagaloa Faafouina Su'a welcomes the latest development saying;

"We look forward to a positive 12 months ahead for this new member and the sport of Rugby League".

To launch this new chapter in the games development, Rugby League XIII Sports Association is playing a fully sanctioned international match, against Malta RL on Friday the 28th of October 2016 in the Chiang Mai Provence.

The curtain raiser match will showcase much of the local talent in Thailand which is well advanced in the skills of the sport.

Peter Thompson, CEO of Rugby League XIII Sports Association, is aware that solid progress takes time stating;
"The process has taken 12 months to achieve but well worth the wait"
Over the past 5 years Thailand has played matches against, Greece, Japan, Philippines, Latin Heat and competed in the Cabramatta 9's, while also running a modified domestic competition in 2014.
Players from Thailand and Australian eligible Thai’s have contributed to the ongoing development and progress of the game, with a concentrated effort this year in focusing in the Chiang Mai Provence and the regions north and east of the country.
Enquiries have been received for future matches in the Kingdom from the South Australian RL as well as the Australian Universities RL, once they have completed commitments in next year’s World Cup.
 "Entering the Asian market in this manner is a wonderful start for our Rugby League Confederation. It is the gateway to many new countries in the region, where the nature of our sport is well appreciated.”
A representative regional match between Chiang Mai Royals (Lanna region representative) vs Esarn Eagles (Isaan region representative team) will be part of this double header event for the first time.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Fiji grab late try to win dramatic match in Apia

Fiji have come back from 18-0 down after 20 minutes to steal a wonderful 20-18 win over Samoa at Apia Park on Saturday afternoon.

A 90-metre intercept try to Bulldogs and Bati winger Tyrone Phillips – the only scoring play of the second half – handed Fiji an unlikely lead they desperately clung onto until the final siren when the celebrations erupted.
In what was the first ever official Test match in Samoa, it looked like the home fans would be enjoying a runaway win as big Sam Kasiano inspired his country to an 18-0 lead after almost as many minutes.
Poor handling from Fiji was also a factor early but once Kasiano went off and the passes started to stick for the Bati their ball movement and second phase play caused countless headaches for Toa Samoa as they ran in three tries of their own to trail by just two at the break.
Lanky Bati fullback Sitiveni Moceidreke had a whale of a game, providing sting with some huge kick returns and kicking brilliantly, grubbering for one try and launching one of the biggest 40/20 kicks in recent memory.
Veteran hooker James Storer’s defence was critical as the desperate Bati absorbed a ton of second-half pressure and he also wrestled over for a valuable try of his own.
Forwards Korbin Sims, Eloni Vunakece and Kane Evans played big knocks while for Samoa, Kasiano was the best of the forwards in a game where Junior Paulo, Ken Maumalo and Sam Lisone made big contributions.
The first half itself was a classic tale of two halves, neatly separated by a two-minute drinks break on 20 minutes.
Prior to that, the Sam Kasiano-inspired Samoans barged their way to an 18-0 lead. Post the drinks break, Fiji fixed up their errors without compromising on their creative ball movement to storm back with three tries of their own and trail by just two at half-time.
Kasiano barged over for first points in just the fourth minute, backing into the line and shaping to pass on a wraparound play before spinning out of the movement to stretch out one giant arm to plant the ball down.
A dropped ball coming out of territory from winger Marcelo Montoya and later a penalty kick that failed to find touch heaped pressure on the Bati and shortly after giant Warriors winger Ken Maumalo pushed through Montoya on Fiji’s left flank to extend the lead. A wonderful sideline conversion into a stiff breeze from Matt Wright ensured Samoa climbed in sixes.
When Samoa reclaimed a bomb with a fresh set of six at the end of their next set Maumalo had a four-minute double when he brushed through some more flimsy defence and the drinks break couldn’t come soon enough for Fiji.
It did the trick though; Fiji got in range just four minutes after the break through some great ball movement and second phase play and Montoya was on hand to make up for his earlier blunders to cash in on an overlap to get his side on the board.
Montoya set the Bati back on the attack when he screamed into a gap on the back of a quality Kane Evans offload.
A brilliant late offload from fullback Moceidreke to Korbin Sims allowed the Knights prop to produce a deft late pass to veteran hooker James Storer, who wrestled through four defenders to score Fiji’s second.
Errors started to creep into the Samoan game while their sets lacked the same sting as earlier on when Kasiano was causing no end of headaches. Drops from Mason Lino and Paulo hemmed them in their own end and when a lovely grubber from Moceidreke was pounced on by Manly centre Brayden Wiliame, the Bati had clawed themselves back to within two points at half-time.
The first 20 minutes of the second half saw no tries scored but plenty of opportunities created – included a monstrous 40/20 kick from Moceidreke that was more like a 30/5 – but neither team was quite able to land the killer blow.
Samoa looked like scoring their first try since the 20th minute when they camped on the Bati line in the 60th minute until an opportunistic intercept and 90-metre run from Phillips handed Fiji the lead for the first time in the game, going up 20-18.
Handed three straight penalties to get back in range, Fiji missed a golden opportunity to go further ahead when Roosters forward Eloni Vunakece brushed off Pritchard and Kasiano and only had to plant the ball over the line, but a wonderful try-saver from fullback David Nofoaluma kept things close.
With the clock starting to wind down every change of momentum became critical and a cold drop inside his own 10 from Phillips helped Samoa to three straight sets on the Bati line but some great scrambling defence repeatedly repelled the Samoans until a pushed offload from Nofoaluma cost them possession and the Bati hung on to a historic victory.
Fiji Bati 20 (Montoya, Storer, Wiliame, Phillips tries; Moceidreke 2 goals) defeated 
Toa Samoa 18 (Maumalo 2, Kasiano tries; Wright 3 goals) 
at Apia Stadium. 
Half-time: Samoa 18-16.