Category Archive: Rugby League

Rugby League News

Mar 25

Castleford intent on proving Salford defeat was a one-off against Catalans

• Scrum-half Luke Gale believes Daryl Powell’s side have learned lesson
• ‘This is a big game against Catalans to show we can respond’

A surprise first defeat of the season for Castleford last weekend by Salford may have offered a dose of reality to those who believed the Tigers would breeze through Super League this season. So it is how they respond that will tell us the most about the credentials of Daryl Powell’s side in 2017.

That view is one shared by the Castleford scrum-half Luke Gale. Like so many of his team-mates last Sunday, the England international was noticeably below-par as the Tigers struggled to handle the inclement weather against Salford – and Gale understands how Sunday’s meeting with Catalans will decide external perceptions of his side.

Related: Leeds Rhinos maintain momentum with victory at Huddersfield

Related: Wakefield Trinity deny planning to sell their Super League licence

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/25/castleford-salford-defeat-one-off-luke-gale-daryl-powell-catalans

Mar 25

Cherry-Evans inspires Sea Eagles to emphatic win over Bulldogs

Manly Sea Eagles 36-0 Canterbury BulldogsAn attacking blitzkrieg from Daly Cherry-Evans propelled Manly to a 36-0 hammering of Canterbury, breaking their drought at Lottoland. The whipping boy for Sea Eagles critics after a difficult period for the clu…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/25/nrl-eagles-bulldogs-eels-sharks-cowboys

Mar 24

Leeds Rhinos maintain momentum with victory at Huddersfield

• Huddersfield 12-28 Leeds
• Rhinos run in four tries in exciting first-half display

If a week is a long time in rugby league, then a month is almost an age. Just over three weeks have passed since Leeds’ 66-10 defeat to Castleford – a night which seemed like it would be season-defining even then– and recent form suggests that is still the case.

The Rhinos are certainly not the finished article – far from it – but the wounds they suffered under the lights earlier this month could have easily taken much longer than this to heal.

Related: Wakefield Trinity deny planning to sell their Super League licence

Related: Wakefield Trinity deny planning to sell their Super League licence

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/24/huddersfield-giants-leeds-rhinos-super-league-match-report

Mar 24

NRL: Unlikely hero Jordan Kahu seals narrow Broncos win over Raiders

  • Brisbane Broncos 13-12 Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium
  • Jordan Kahu slots last-gasp field goal in the 74th minute

Unlikely hero Jordan Kahu has stepped up to slot a last-gasp field goal and help Brisbane defeat Canberra 13-12 in their NRL clash at Suncorp Stadium.

The stage was set for usual suspect Anthony Milford to put a horror week behind him and pot the potential matchwinner for the Broncos in the dying minutes of Friday night’s NRL clash.

Related: NRL referees should be able to order concussion tests, says Peponis

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/24/nrl-unlikely-hero-jordan-kahu-seals-narrow-broncos-win-over-raiders

Mar 24

NRL referees should be able to order concussion tests, says Peponis

  • NSW rugby league chairman George Peponis calls for increased powers
  • Three clubs were fined a total of $350,000 last week over concussions

NSW Rugby League chairman and practising doctor George Peponis has called for NRL referees to have the power to order concussion tests for players.

Three clubs were handed fines totalling $350,000 following last weekend’s matches, after the league claimed they failed to remove potentially-dazed players for head checks.

Related: NRL star Jason Taumalolo strikes it rich with 10-year Cowboys deal

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/24/nrl-referees-should-be-able-to-order-concussion-tests-says-peponis

Mar 23

Wakefield Trinity deny planning to sell their Super League licence

• It’s a non-story, there’s nothing to consider, says chairman Carter
• Trinity still plan to leave Belle Vue but may lodge at nearby Dewsbury

Wakefield Trinity have denied reports that they are set to sell their Super League licence, with the club’s chairman, Michael Carter, describing it as a “non-story”.

The Guardian revealed this month how cities such as Coventry and Newcastle were interested in acquiring an existing Super League franchise and one report had suggested that Trinity were interested in selling up amid continued doubt over where they will play their home games in 2018.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/23/wakefield-trinity-deny-sell-super-league-licence

Mar 22

NRL star Jason Taumalolo strikes it rich with 10-year Cowboys deal

  • Reigning Dally M medallist commits future to North Queensland
  • Forward turns back on NFL option to sign deal reportedly worth $10m

Jason Taumalolo has signed one of the longest contract deals in NRL history, keeping him at North Queensland until the end of the 2027 season. The reigning Dally M medallist’s 10-year contract is believed to be worth $10m, putting the 23-year-old lock forward among the game’s highest-paid players.

Related: Jason Taylor tossed on scrapheap as Tigers’ recycling plan fails | Nick Tedeschi

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/22/taumalolo-becomes-one-of-richest-players-in-rugby-league-with-10m-cowboys-deal

Mar 21

Rugby league fans moan about TV but 12 matches are broadcast live every week

You will need to pay for it – and buy a diary – but you can now watch Super League, NRL and League 1 matches on TV. There was no coverage 30 years ago

By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets Required, part of the Guardian Sport Network

We love a moan in rugby league. It’s our factory setting. However, consider this. This week I found an old newspaper cutting from 30 years ago with a report of perennial champions Wigan beating Leeds a few days before their now-famous World Club Challenge win over Manly. Nearly 14,000 were at Central Park to see the game’s biggest two clubs meet. The other six top flight games that afternoon attracted an aggregate attendance of fewer than 25,000 people.

More than 7,000 saw Halifax beat St Helens at Thrum Hall – a reminder of Halifax’s not-so-distant strength – but there were only 4,000 at Warrington. Hunslet were the minnows of the Stone Bitter Championship then: a mere 2,601 rattled around Elland Road for their local clash with Cas. But that was not the smallest gate of the weekend: Bradford, who we all consider fallen giants of our game, hammered Swinton in front of just 2,510 at Odsal. This was early October, when the season was new, hopes were fresh and the weather mild. The average top flight attendance then was under 5,000. Thirty years later, Super League gates average just under 9,000.

Related: Jamie Peacock interview: on England, Hull KR and the wisdom of Rocky III

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/no-helmets-required/2017/mar/21/rugby-league-fans-tv-bbc-sky

Mar 21

Jason Taylor tossed on scrapheap as Tigers’ recycling plan fails | Nick Tedeschi

Regardless of his qualities or style, the writing was on the wall early for Taylor with few recycled coaches enjoying the instant success demanded by NRL clubs

You could say Jason Taylor’s time at the Wests Tigers was doomed from the very beginning. Not because of the qualities he brings to a team or his personal style or the brand of football he eschews. Not because the Tigers are an organisation undermined by institutional instability or overrun by player power or anchored by a star-crossed fate.

The Jason Taylor era at Leichhardt may have been condemned from the off given recycled coaches rarely work out. Few careers offer less stability than that of an NRL coach. The reasons are plentiful but almost always centre around an immediate demand for success from both fans and clubs and a coach’s increasingly solidified way of approaching the game.

Related: Jason Taylor sacked by Wests Tigers after latest NRL thumping

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/21/jason-taylor-tossed-on-scrapheap-as-wests-tigers-recycling-plan-fails

Mar 20

Jason Taylor sacked by Wests Tigers after latest NRL thumping

  • Tigers fall to second straight heavy loss against Canberra at weekend
  • Taylor to be replaced on interim basis by assistant Andrew Webster

Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor has been sacked by the NRL club, effective immediately, with assistant Andrew Webster to serve as interim coach.

Wests Tigers chairwoman Marina Go confirmed the axing in a statement on Monday. “Our position has always been to make sure that the head coach’s contract is tied to performance and that hasn’t changed,” said Go.

Related: Rugby league needs to be saved from itself over concussion management

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/20/jason-taylors-future-in-balance-with-wests-tigers-board-to-decide-coachs-fate

Mar 20

Rugby league needs to be saved from itself over concussion management

The NRL is under fire after another weekend blighted by on-field concussion but the players themselves can help drive a change in attitudes towards head injury

There is plenty of fine footy on the highlights reel after round three of the 2017 NRL season and yet the vexed issue of concussion management dominates many post-round re-caps, as it should.

Channel Nine talking head Peter FitzSimons – who would know as much as any lay man about the medical effects of concussive injury causing bleeding on the brain – led the way with an impassioned and compelling plea after Knights fullback Brendan Elliot was collected hard across the chops by a swinging South Sydney arm.

Related: NRL: Burgess elbow incident sours Rabbitohs win over Newcastle

Related: Rugby League Week’s demise a sad sign of the times in NRL media

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/20/rugby-league-needs-to-be-saved-from-itself-over-concussion-management

Mar 19

Two tries by Ben Murdoch-Masila help Salford edge past Castleford in a thriller

• Salford 13-12 Castleford in driving Manchester rain
• The Tigers’ unbeaten record wrecked by Red Devils

Daryl Powell had said in the build-up to this game that Castleford would inevitably suffer a blip this season, but he surely cannot have expected it to come so soon. Given how outstanding the Tigers have been in the opening month of the season, this was nothing other than uncharacteristic from a side who have swept all before them thus far.

Credit must go to Salford, who continue to show signs aplenty under Ian Watson that they have all the credentials to avoid the qualifiers this season. But for the brilliance they have displayed in their opening four games, Castleford’s attack simply fell apart in the driving Manchester rain with a performance that, on recent standards at least, was nigh on inexplicable.

Related: Records tumble as Castleford thrash Leeds to continue strong start to season

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/19/salford-castleford-super-league-match-report

Mar 19

Dragons move third on NRL ladder with win over defending premiers Cronulla

  • St George Illawarra beat Cronulla Sharks 16-10 at Southern Cross Stadium
  • Canberra Raiders beat Wests Tigers 46-6 at GIO Stadium

A Euan Aitken double fired St George Illawarra to a surprise 16-10 NRL win over local rivals Cronulla at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Sunday. Widely tipped to be cellar dwellers this year, it was Paul McGregor’s side’s second win of the year as they held off wave after wave of Sharks attack to claim a confidence-boosting victory.

The Sharks had 37 tackles inside the opposition 20m zone, compared with the Dragons’ 21, and enjoyed 59% of possession. Five times they crossed the line but ultimately only had two four-pointers to show for it and, after the Sharks lost just one match at Shark Park last year, they are now 0-2 at their home ground after three rounds.

Related: NRL: Burgess elbow incident sours Rabbitohs win over Newcastle

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/19/nrl-round-three-sunday-match-reports

Mar 18

Morgan Escaré keen to extend stay at Wigan where he is in form of career

The full-back has been a revelation since joining the Warriors, who have made an unbeaten start to the Super League season, with Huddersfield next up

Morgan Escaré has said he would be keen to extend his stay with Wigan as the Super League champions look to maintain their unbeaten start to the new season. Wigan have won all four of their games in 2017 and can make that five on Sunday with a home victory against Huddersfield.

Related: Toronto send London Broncos packing in Challenge Cup upset

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/18/morgan-escare-keen-to-extend-stay-wigan-form-of-career-super-league-huddersfield

Mar 18

NRL: Burgess elbow incident sours Rabbitohs win over Newcastle

South Sydney 24-18 Newcastle at McDonald Jones StadiumGeorge Burgess facing suspension for elbowing Mitchell BarnettAn errant elbow from South Sydney forward George Burgess has soured a dramatic 24-18 NRL win over Newcastle on Saturday. Souths became j…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/18/nrl-burgess-elbow-incident-sours-rabbitohs-win-over-newcastle

Mar 17

Toronto send London Broncos packing in Challenge Cup upset

• Wolfpack win 30-26 as Broncos fail to recover from slow start
• Hull FC beat Widnes 32-12; Leeds hammer Wakefield 38-14

Toronto Wolfpack made a big statement with a 30-26 victory over London Broncos in the fourth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

The Canadian newcomers have made an impressive start to their League 1 campaign and showed they would not be out of place in the Championship as they edged out the Broncos in Ealing on the road to Wembley.

Related: Toronto Wolfpack take leap into the muddy unknown in rural Yorkshire | Aaron Bower

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/17/toronto-london-broncos-challenge-cup-hull-fc-widnes-leeds-wakefield-super-league

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