‘Some socially-distancing fans were allowed to return to the Central Coast Stadium to replace the cardboard cut-outs’, is about the most 2020 think that I think I’ve written all season.

Brisbane Broncos, still smarting from their 59-0 loss to the Roosters last weekend, were the opponents for the Manly Sea Eagles who lost narrowly to the Paramatta Eels. Both sides came into the game on four points with one eye on achieving fourth spot on the ladder by the end of the eighty minutes.

The pundits and bookies, however, couldn’t see past a Manly win.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 11th Jun 2020 12:35 PM | Views : 1492 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

Two of the four unbeaten sides in the 2020 NRL competition were thrown together at the Campbelltown Stadium in Sydney as the Canberra Raiders took on the Newcastle Knights. A big win for the Raiders would lift them to the top of the pile but the Knights knew that a win would see them into second.

Mitchell Pearce was selected for the Knights despite being concussed last time out and Kalyn Ponga was back from suspension for his first game since the restart. The Raiders were unchanged in the seventeen, just Bailey Simonsson and Jordan Rapana swapping positions.

The pre-match billing was that this would be a blood and thunder nail-biter.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 7th Jun 2020 8:52 AM | Views : 1652 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After being knocked off their lofty perch yesterday, by a devastating Penrith Panthers, the Paramatta Eels were looking for a swift return to their table topping opposition as they took on the eighth placed Manly Sea Eagles.

Paramatta made just once change, Oregon Kaufusi on the bench in the place of Ray Stone, while the Manly side were unchanged from the side which put the Brisbane Broncos to the sword last time out.

Two sides, both showing good form in the opening Project Apollo round, set the scene for a classic encounter.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 6th Jun 2020 10:17 AM | Views : 1678 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

After keeping the Dragons pointless last weekend the New Zealand Warriors, all Australians second team, had a tough game against the Penrith Panthers to navigate. The Panthers had a nail-biting draw against the Newcastle Knights last weekend and knew that a win today would lift them from fourth spot to the top of the table.

The teams last met in Round 15 in late June last year when the Panthers won by a golden point, but despite being narrow favourites to continue their unbeaten start to the season there was very little to choose between the two sides in the odds.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 5th Jun 2020 10:46 AM | Views : 1509 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Ninth took on tenth in the NRL league ladder met as the Brisbane Broncos took on the Sydney Roosters at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane in the crucial opening round four match.

Both sides made changes, the most notable being the loss of James Tedesco who awoke this morning with a temperature. He was replaced by Englishman Ryan Hall with Brett Morris moving to the full back position.

Both sides needed a win to stop them from falling further adrift of the top of the table.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 4th Jun 2020 12:37 PM | Views : 1810 | Replies : 6 | READ MORE

Canterbury Bulldogs, without a win in 2020, took on the Manly Sea Eagles in the final game of the restart weekend in the NRL. The venue was the Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, the site of yesterday’s game between the Warriors and the Dragons.

It was a breathless night in the Stadium with both sides relieved that darkness offered some relief from the heat.

With both sides needing a win it should have been a competitive game but one side got on a roll and dominated proceedings.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 31st May 2020 11:18 AM | Views : 2857 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Two pointless sides were first up on Saturday in the NRL as New Zealand Warriors faced St George Illawarra Dragons at the Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, an hour’s drive north of Sydney.

Much has been written about the personal sacrifices made by the Warriors, who have relocated away from their families and friends to New South Wales, to allow them to compete in the competition despite coronavirus restrictions. This move has enabled the competition to restart and made them most Australians new ‘second team’.

Both sides needed a win to kick-start their 2020 season after a disappointing opening two pre-Covid-19 games.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 30th May 2020 7:45 AM | Views : 1796 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The household names of the Sydney Roosters were looking for a first win of the season as they looked to take the points of neighbours, the Rabbitohs, in a tantalising third round match up at the Bankwest Stadium in western Sydney.

There is no love lost between the Roosters and the Rabbitohs and with a shortened season the first meeting of the year between these two sides had a even greater meaning with even more at stake.

A big pre-match talking point was the absence of Roosters star forward Siosiua Taukeiaho after he failed to recover from injury. The Rabbitohs were without their stand-off Cody Walker who is serving a suspension after his club failed to inform the NRL of his involvement in an off-field incident back in December.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 29th May 2020 12:34 PM | Views : 1864 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It’s sixty-seven days since rugby league disappeared from our lives, and from our screens, but as the Brisbane Broncos and Paramatta Eels took to the field at a shade before eleven o’clock this morning it signalled a return to some semblance of normality after the horrendous coronavirus pandemic. Project Apollo had landed.

The game was played behind closed doors, and after much gnashing of teeth, detailed preparation, tests and vaccinations, and a fair bit of bad press and controversy. There was a reversion to a single referee, no ball boys, and a new ‘six-again’ rule when a defensive side have committed some offenses which would previously have seen a penalty awarded.

But the rugby starved public were, on the whole, delighted about the return and settled down in their armchairs to watch events unfold in the truncated NRL season.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 28th May 2020 12:43 PM | Views : 1868 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

We suspect that Australian Rugby League will be getting some new followers as the NRL swings back into post-Covid action in just ten days time, albeit behind closed doors and under strict health control measures.

In a nation crying out for a return to some semblance of normality, the reintroduction of the full-blooded Aussie league will have old and new British based supporters setting their alarm clocks to help themselves to a feast of club rugby.

When does it all get going, and how early am I going to have to get up?

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 18th May 2020 7:41 AM | Views : 20148 | Replies : 24 | READ MORE

Many rugby league sides will have breathed a massive sigh of relief as the news broke overnight that the government had set aside a sum of £16 million to safeguard the sport through the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

RFL chairman Ralph Rimmer had been petitioning the government for support since the shutdown in mid-March, and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that the government had made the move to ‘protect the entire sport’.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 1st May 2020 5:32 AM | Views : 43416 | Replies : 156 | READ MORE

Rugby League looks almost certain to be back in our lives from the 28th May, just four weeks away, as the NRL have been given the go-ahead to return to action under strict hygiene rules as the Aussie game comes out of enforced hibernation.

There is still some discussion over the duration of the season, in terms of the number of weeks over which it will be played, but it is almost certain to start over the last weekend of May and likely to culminate in a Grand Final on the 25th October.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 30th Apr 2020 9:23 AM | Views : 21899 | Replies : 10 | READ MORE

 

It’s been thirty-six days since we last saw a ball kicked in Super League, and a whole month since the National Rugby League in Australia padlocked the stadium gates, as the silent killer Coronavirus has gone on an international rampage leaving a trail of death and emotional destruction.

 

With all other sport being put on hold, as responsible people stay at home and cram DVD box sets or get full value out of their Netflix subscriptions, there is a real desire to return to some kind of rugby league action. 

 

In the interests of national sanity, we look at some of the options being suggested to at least enable a limited return.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 20th Apr 2020 6:25 AM | Views : 16902 | Replies : 23 | READ MORE

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has announced that it will give AUS$2.5m ($1.53; £1.2m) to every club in the National Rugby League (NRL).

The package, agreed after an emergency meeting on Monday, is intended to shore up the league's 16 clubs in light of financial uncertainty created by the coronavirus outbreak.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 30th Mar 2020 9:46 AM | Views : 3061 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With all sport, let alone Rugby League, suspended across the world only the Australians were pushing forward with a full NRL programme albeit behind closed doors.

 

Starved of live domestic action, we took a look at the Sydney Roosters against Manly Sea Eagles as both sides looked for their first win of the season after suffering defeats on their opening games last weekend.

 

A decent win could lift either side into the top five, but in a fledgling league table, a heavy defeat could mean that one of them could end the weekend at the bottom.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 21st Mar 2020 8:24 AM | Views : 3717 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With all Rugby League now suspended until the 3rd of April, after a change to the government’s advice on mass gatherings, there must be some doubt as to whether the sixth round of the Coral Challenge Cup will go ahead on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of next month.

But the draw had taken place with the remaining eight Super  League clubs being thrown into the mix to join the sides which progressed through the fifth round at the weekend.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 16th Mar 2020 5:53 PM | Views : 20032 | Replies : 19 | READ MORE

Both teams came into the match off narrow losses in round 6 - with Saints’ loss to Huddersfield the most surprising. But who would bounce back the strongest?

It was the hosts looked impressive in the first 10 minutes and opened the scoring on 11 minutes. Pressing the Saints line, they moved the ball left to right while less than 10m out. When it reached centre Peter Mata’utia he crashed forward and over the line.

Despite the attentions of three tacklers who turned him onto his back, he reached over his head and grounded the ball. Danny Richardson converted against his former team and the Tigers opened a 6-0 lead.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 15th Mar 2020 5:57 PM | Views : 5522 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

While the rest of the sporting world ground to a coronavirus induced halt, Rugby League put on a brave (some may say foolhardy) face and decided to push ahead with the weekends’ programme. In a repeat of last season’s play-off, Salford Red Devils took on the Wigan Warriors with two league points on offer.

Jackson Hastings returned to the side where he was named as Man of Steel last season, hoping get a win against the side he helped to take to the Grand Final in 2019. But the Warriors were without their usual kicker as Zak Hardaker was rested after picking up a knock. Flower and Partington were also banned after last weeks win against Hull KR.

The Warriors have a great record at the AJ Bell Stadium and knew that a win would guarantee that they would finish the round at the top of the table, but Ian Watson’s side were desperate for a win to put some breathing space between themselves and the relegation spot.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 13th Mar 2020 9:30 PM | Views : 5462 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Last weeks one point winners were thrown together as Hull FC played hosts to the Warrington Wolves in the seventh round of Super League 2020.

Third place was up for grabs, should either side secure a large enough margin of victory, but realistically the side to take the spoils would end the night in fourth spot, tucked in behind the Castleford Tigers.

Both sides have had indifferent starts to the season and tonight was a night when a win could kick start something decent, while a loss would start to see a gap opening up to the top sides.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 12th Mar 2020 9:39 PM | Views : 4986 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The magic of the Challenge Cup threw together two Super League sides as the Huddersfield Giants took on the Toronto Wolfpack at the John Smith’s Stadium, despite the Canadian side coming out of the hat first.

Toronto were without Sonny-Bill Williams but coach McDermott did give first games of the season to Darcy Lussick and Chase Stanley as they were welcomed back from injury. The Giants recalled Suaia Matagi but were without Ukuma Ta’ai and Gaskell.

The Giants, with home advantage, and against a side who’d yet to register a win in 2020, were massive favourites with the bookies to make progress into the next round.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 11th Mar 2020 9:29 PM | Views : 6191 | Replies : 5 | READ MORE


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