Showing posts from April, 2011

If we can't make it there

28/4/11  Widnes Vikings 26  Toulouse Olympique XIII 12

Super League elect side Widnes hosted Super League wannabees Toulouse in front of the SKY TV cameras on a balmy Thursday evening at the Stobart Stadium. Widnes are guaranteed promotion at the end of the year so it was difficult to see how their coaching staff could motivate the players but numerous youngsters would be hoping to impress and earn a lucrative Super League contract. Toulouse have struggled with injuries this year but would be keen to continue their steady progress and achieve their stated objective of making the end of year play offs

Defences were on top during the first half and I was looking for a demonstration of the famous French flair but unfortunately it seems to have been coached out of them. Tony Gigot, on loan from the Catalan Dragons, tried his best and showed some nice touches but also demonstrated his inexperience and naivety. It was a pity that Toulouse coach Gilles Dumas wasn't playing because I rem…

Where did you get that cap?

Well then!

A third of the scheduled matches of Super League 2011 have been played and all is well. The salary cap seems to be working and while we cannot match the intensity of the NRL most matches are competitive and every team is capable of providing a shock. We haven't manufactured the situation where a team can finish bottom one year and top the next but measurable progress has been made     

Warrington and Huddersfield have continued to enhance their reputations, Castleford are the surprise package and old favourites Wigan, St Helens and Leeds are looking ominously strong. It's great to see the young British players in evidence particularly at Castleford. A reduction in the number of overseas players is a stated aim of the RFL and again enough progress has been made to justify the policy

I'm less happy about the Exiles concept and not sure how a fixture relying on the presence of quality overseas players will help reduce their quantity. There will obviously be a fin…


The Rugby League Ashes
The Ashes is the name given to the trophy awarded to the winner of a Rugby League test series between Great Britain and Australia. The format used is usually that three matches are played, with the winning team being decided on the basis of most matches won.
The team representing Great Britain were originally known as the Northern Union after the sport’s govorning body and the team representing Australia were and still are known as the Kangaroos
First Ever Ashes Test Match
December 12 1908Northern Union 22 Australia 22London

England dominated the match early on and led by 14-5 at half-time. They seemed assured of victory when leading 17-5 early in the second half but Australia fought back with tries from Devereaux and O'Malley to bring the score to 17-15 to the Northern Union . The home side scored another try to lead 20-15 with time fast running out but with five minutes to go the great Dally Messenger intercepted near his own try line. He evaded the chasing d…

Just like the X Factor

Just like the X Factor, we were all quivering with anti........cipation and finally.......... it was announced, Widnes would be re-entering the Super League competition next season. We should all applaud this because it begins to rebalance the competition away from Yorkshire and back towards the former Lancashire Rugby League stronghold. Although they haven't got massive potential, Widnes have got good facilities, will get reasonable crowds and will be competitive on the field of play. Warrington are in the process of becoming a major Super League power and Widnes are their natural derby opponents. This is a major advantage in it's own right.

We should not applaud the decision (which apparently has been made) to abandon the mid season international against France and play an Exiles XIII instead. Although I can understand the need for England to play competitive matches in preparation for the Four Nations this is a step backward for International Rugby League. We should be doin…