One of Superleague’s fiercest rivalries was reignited at the Emerald Headingley Stadium this afternoon as the Leeds Rhinos took on the Bradford Bulls in a pre-season friendly match, the inaugural Keith Howard Foundation Trophy.
Mark Dunning´s side had a tough task ahead as Leeds coach Rohan Smith named a side with a blend of youth and experienced as he continued to tinker with the fringes of his squad after last weekend´s defeat to the Leigh Leopards.
The Bulls outing last weekend against the Huddersfield Giants fell foul of the big freeze, so this was a final opportunity ahead of their start to the regular season against Whitehaven next Sunday.
The ground in front of the Western Terrace looked more like a sandpit than a rugby field as the two sides took to the field on a cold winter afternoon.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 29th Jan 2023 4:11 PM
Eight pre-season friendly matches involving Superleague and Championship clubs survived the weather over the weekend as coaches started their countdown to the season and trailed a mix af experience, new players and fringe players looking for a place in their thoughts for the start of hostilities in a few short weeks’ time.
We take a look at those that went ahead with the results and a few highlights from the games which beat the big freeze.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 23rd Jan 2023 5:57 PM
We join the rest of the Rugby League community in offering our condolences to the family and friends of David Oxley CBE who has passed away at the age of 85.
Those of us who have been around for a few years will remember that David was the face of rugby league for many years as he served as secretary, CEO and honorary president in 2013-14.
He ended his eighteen year term as Chief Executive Officer (then known as Secretary) of the RFL in 1992, three years before the advent of Super League.
David was an avid expansionist and was honoured to be president when the World Cup was held in England in 2013.
He was also a big advocate of disabled sport in general.
Always wearing a broad smile, our game was better for David´s involvement.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 22nd Jan 2023 2:45 PM
With the start of the season under a month away the bookies are sharpening their pencils as they fine tune their odds in an attempt to get us to part with our hard-earned cash in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.
If you´ve got a spare fifty pence which you can afford to lose, and you´re in for the long haul, then we take a look at the best places to put it to get your money back with a little profit.
Who do the bookmakers think will finish top of the pile, get relegated, win the Grand Final and be the season´s leading try scorer.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 19th Jan 2023 10:44 AM
The draw for the opening rounds of the men´s and women´s 2023 Challenge Cups was made on Thursday night at Wembley Stadium, the venue for the final of both competitions in a double header in seven months’ time.
The balls were drawn by Kai Pearce-Paul from holders, Wigan Warriors and Eboni Partington from the Women´s cup holders, St Helens.
The draws were made as follows.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 12th Jan 2023 6:45 PM
With just over three weeks remaining to the start of the Betfred Championship season, our sides are scheduling the warm-up matches to make sure that they hit the ground running when the first whistle is blown as they look to get their season off to the best possible start.
The opening fixture pitches Barrow Raiders against last season´s relegated Superleague side Toulouse Olympique XIII on Saturday the 4th of February for the start of what should be an engrossing and competitive Championship season.
We bring you a full list of the friendlies that we are aware of, club by club.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 12th Jan 2023 5:46 AM
Leeds Rhinos will launch their defence of the Betfred Women’s Super League with a repeat of the 2022 Grand Final against the renamed York Valkyrie at Headingley on Easter Sunday, April 9.
The match will be the first part of a double header, followed by the Rhinos men taking on Huddersfield Giants at 6pm.
That is a stand-alone opening fixture for the BWSL season, with the other 10 clubs kicking off on Sunday April 16 – when York have another heavyweight clash against St Helens, the 2022 Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup winners, at the LNER Community Stadium.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 11th Jan 2023 8:10 AM
It´s going to be a busy few weeks before the start of the Superleague season on the 16th February when the Warrington Wolves start the season with a home game against the Leeds Rhinos in front of the SKY TV cameras as both sides look to get their season´s off to the best of starts.
Between now and then there are plenty of pre-season friendly matches and warm-up games to keep you interested and get you in the mood for what should be a fantastic 2023 season.
While St Helens are the favourites to retain their trophy there are plenty of sides who are being widely backed and experiencing shortening odds with the bookies.
We bring you a full list of the friendlies that we are aware of, club by club.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 10th Jan 2023 6:56 PM
European Rugby League is today celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first general assembly that formed the organisation, then known as the Rugby League European Federation, which took place at a hotel in Paris and was endorsed on the 10th January 2003.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 10th Jan 2023 8:29 AM
Greece’s men will play a home fixture against Serbia in Athens on May 13.
The match will comprise only of players from the respective domestic leagues, in a repeat of a game between the nations held in Belgrade in 2017, which Serbia won 50-6.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 9th Jan 2023 3:33 PM
Super League (Europe) Limited can today confirm that interim Chair, Ken Davy, has stepped down from his role – as had always been planned as part of the governance realignment process.
Davy was elected by his SLE Board colleagues two years ago to lead the organisation through what has proved to be a period of dramatic change within Super League and the sport of Rugby League.
Working with the Strategic Working Party, he has overseen the establishment of Rugby League’s 12-year partnership with IMG, and the formation of RL Commercial, a joint venture between SLE and the Rugby Football League into which all the commercial assets of the sport have been assigned.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 30th Dec 2022 10:04 AM
Even though the domestic rugby league season kicks off in just thirty-nine days, on the 4th February with Barrow v Toulouse in the Championship, we know that January will drag for everyone as we await the much anticipated return of the greatest game.
To keep everyone interested over the long month of January, in addition to the stimulating discussion across our forums, we will be bringing you a daily ´just for fun´ quiz to test your rugby league and general knowledge against your fellow message board members.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 27th Dec 2022 9:16 AM
Despite freezing temperatures overnight, the undersoil heating at Emerald Headingley ensured that the traditional Boxing Day game between the Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity was never in doubt and a crowd still stuffed with Christmas treats, and some nursing slightly sore heads, made their way into the ground.
Leeds’ squad included new signings Justin Sangare, Derrell Olpherts, and James McDonnell and whilst there is a welcome return from injury for Morgan Gannon and Tom Holroyd, who all missed the end of last season on the side-lines.
It was also a strong Wakefield side named by new coach Mike Applegarth with a good mix of senior players and those looking to break into the first team ahead of the 2023 season including two new signings, Renouf Atoni and Morgan Smith.
The Rhinos have won three quarters of the Boxing Day challenges against Wakefield, including last year when Leeds win by 34-6.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 26th Dec 2022 1:14 PM
We´d like to wish all our users and visitors a very Merry and Happy Christmas and hope that the festive season is full of family, friends, laughter and joy.
The Rugby League community is all one big family, and despite our differences and club loyalties we all have the interests of our great game, and the welfare of our players and one another in our hearts.
It´s been a sensational 2022 and hopefully 2023 will be even better.
We are honoured to have you by our side throughout the year and delight in your messages, involvement and banter.
Have a marvellous Christmas Day from us all at RLFANS.COM.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 24th Dec 2022 2:05 PM
West Wales Raiders have resigned from the Betfred Championship One competition with immediate effect.
With the fixtures having already been published, West Wales due to start wth a home game against Oldham on the 19th February, this announcement has plunged the league into some confusion and reduced the number of home games for already sold season tickets and hospitality packages.
The league will now comprise ten sides, and already included bye rounds, but now with the late withdrawal it is possible that some sides may face two consecutive weeks without a game.
It´s a sad day for the game as we lose a side who have been part of the competition for the last seven years.
Full club statement below.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 22nd Dec 2022 1:59 PM
The draws for the early rounds of both the Betfred Men’s and Women’s Challenge Cups will be held on Thursday January 12 at Wembley Stadium – where the Finals of both competitions will be staged in an historic double header exactly seven months later.
The Men’s Challenge Cup Final will return to Wembley in August 2023 after a two-year absence, and will be preceded for the first time by the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final.
The road to Wembley is significantly different in each competition.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 21st Dec 2022 5:48 AM
The final game of a great tournament, the last competitive game of the 2022 season, and the World Cup Final, pitched the hottest of hot favourites Australia against rank outsiders, underdogs, and surprise finalists Samoa.
Australia were unchanged from the side which beat New Zealand in the semi-final while Samoa made a number of enforced and tactical changes as they looked to peak in the most important game of their lives.
Australia had been handicapped by fourteen points on the coupon, but it would be a foolish person who underestimated a Samoan side that was packed full of NRL superstars, all of whom were dedicated and determined to spring one of the biggest rugby league surprises of all time.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 19th Nov 2022 5:39 PM
The first of the World Cup double header at Old Trafford in Manchester saw a lunchtime kick-off between Australia and New Zealand as New Zealand looked to overcome their narrow two-point loss in the group stages and claim a fourth World title after being defeated by Australia on the last two occasions.
Both sides made changes to their semi-final line-ups, Australia´s being wholesale while the Ferns switched just two of their players who defeated England in the semi-final.
It was a game between the sides ranked as first and second in the World, the bookies favouring a Jillaroos win and the first part of a Saturday afternoon Aussie double, but the Kiwi Ferns would give everything that they had to lift the trophy.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 19th Nov 2022 2:59 PM
The best two sides in the Wheelchair World Cup had mad it to the final for an eagerly anticipated showdown at Manchester Central in front of a sell-out crowd as England took on the old enemy France for the games ultimate prize.
The top two rated sides met for the eighteenth time, France with the lion share of the victories but England having won the last meeting between the two in June of this year in a friendly match.
The bookies couldn´t choose between the two sides, offering both at 10/11.
France and England have faced of in the two previous World Cup finals, France winning on both occasions by narrow margins and looking for three in a row.
The atmosphere was electric, the stage was set for a thriller, the home nations only hope of a trophy at the end of an exceptional jamboree of rugby league.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 18th Nov 2022 9:22 PM
With an Old Trafford World Cup Final against Australia awaiting the winners of tonight’s game between England and New Zealand, both sides came into the match knowing that as well as getting the win they needed to send a clear message to the Jillaroos that they would be in for a competitive competition finale.
England had been installed as slight favourites by the bookies as they were handicapped by two points on the coupon, but there was very little to choose between the sides ranked second and third in the world.
A nation hoped that the women could go one better than the men, who exited their competition at the same stage on Saturday, and reach their first ever World Cup Final.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 14th Nov 2022 9:15 PM