In its third year, the All Stars encounter between the Indigenous and Maori took place this morning in a wet and humid Townsville as Laurie Daley's side took on the team coached by David Kidwell.

Honours had been shared between the two sides with the Indigenous side winning 34-14 in 2019 and the Maoris picking up a 30-16 victory last time out in the 2020 pre-season.

With the start of the NRL season just under three weeks away it was the perfect opportunity for some of the games superstars to blow off the cobwebs and put on a show in four quarters of twenty minutes.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 20th Feb 2021 11:12 AM | Views : 1084 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The dates and times of the majority of the opening fixtures in the first round of the Challenge Cup and the whole of weekly round one in the Betfred Championship have been released along with the schedule and arrangements for the live streaming of games.

For Championship fans there is good news and bad news.

The good news is that all of the games are going to be staggered and streamed on the OurLeague App and site, the bad news is that with the exception of the home sides season ticket holders, you will have to pay to get access.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 19th Feb 2021 5:24 PM | Views : 3028 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The draw for the opening two rounds of the 2021 Betfred Challenge Cup took place on Thursday evening.

  Under new sponsors, the competition will start with the Championship 1 and Championship clubs as the sides start the shortened journey to Wembley and the Cup Final scheduled for the 17th July.

The Cup competition will kick off on the weekend of the 21st/22nd March with eight ties including three clubs from Championship 1 (Barrow, Keighley and West Wales) and the thirteen UK based Championship sides.

The twelve Super League clubs will join in for round three which will be played over the weekend of the 11th April.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 11th Feb 2021 4:58 PM | Views : 5241 | Replies : 11 | READ MORE

Super League have announced the opening fixtures, scheduled for the weekend of the 26th, 27th and 28th March.

All fixtures will be playes as double headers behind closed doors at the Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds with defending Champions St Helens taking on 2019 Grand Finalists and 2020 Challenge Cup Finalists, the Salford Red Devils in the opening game.

In a change to the initial schedule for the season, there will now be 25 games including the Dacia Magic Weekend.

The season finale is still planned for Old Trafford on the 9th October.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 11th Feb 2021 1:32 PM | Views : 9967 | Replies : 47 | READ MORE

In 2017, James Burke who represented Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games commited suicide at home in Leeds and his Mum has since released a book covering her experiences ahead of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup scheduled for later this year.

‘In my Defence - Life After Suicide: The things no one tells you, but they should!’ By Sharon Burke was published in January and the author has won widespread praise on social media for her bravery on releasing a guide on such a tough subject.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 3rd Feb 2021 8:27 AM | Views : 18396 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

The start of the domestic Rugby league season is a moving feast due to the continued uncertainty over coronavirus.

Despite announcing start dates for the National Leagues at the end of February and Super League in early March, both have now been put back in the hopes of a start in front of live, ticket buying, members of the public, even of that is with limited numbers.

In these strange times, where the only certain thing is continued uncertainly, the clubs, players and ourselves as supporters, have to accept and be ready for change to ensure that when we do restart playing we do so in a safe way.

We take a look at the latest expectations of when we might get to see some live rugby.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 17th Jan 2021 3:59 PM | Views : 26831 | Replies : 32 | READ MORE

After this most difficult of years we’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

After a great start to the season everything ground to a terrible halt when the coronavirus pandemic plunged us into uncertainty and lockdown.

All credit and thanks to the clubs, players and administration who got us re-started and managed to complete a truncated season punctuated by a Challenge Cup Final win for the Leeds Rhinos, and a Super League Grand Final win for St Helens over their old rivals the Wigan Warriors in November.

It had been a long off-season for the Championship and Championship One sides who never made it as far as a restart, and we hope that these clubs will all be able return to action in 2021 with strong backing from their supporters and the RFL.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 24th Dec 2020 2:45 PM | Views : 29194 | Replies : 5 | READ MORE

It has been confirmed that the Leigh Centurions will replace the Toronto Wolfpack for the Superleague 2021 season after they were determined to have entered the most complete and appealing bid of the six sides who were hoping to play in the topflight next season.

Without playing a ball, or making a tackle, Leigh were chosen ahead of Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers, London Broncos, Toulouse Olympique and York City Knights, much to the delight of their fans, players and administrators.

Coach John Duffy now has a small window during which to strengthen his side ahead of the start of the competition on the 11th March 2021, a time when hopefully there will be some spectators allowed inside stadia.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 14th Dec 2020 12:50 PM | Views : 44100 | Replies : 190 | READ MORE

It was a day which we thought might never come during the darkest days of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Grand Final from the unfamiliar venue for the showpiece event at the KCOM Stadium in Hull.

It was the defending champions against the minor premiers, the top two sides in the regular competition, and most would argue the most fitting two sides to end the season.

Saints were unchanged from the side which demolished the Catalans Dragons last weekend to make it to the Grand Final.

Wigan had Sam Powell back in their starting line-up, Ben Flower missing out, as the Warriors looked to emulate their win from a month ago, the last time that the two sides met.

There have only been three Grand Finals where one of these two sides didn’t feature although they have only met on three occasions in the season finale, Saints winning on two of the three previous match-ups.

Wigan were very slight favourites with the bookies, St Helens getting a two-point start on the coupon but what we were all hoping for was a hard, fast and close Grand Final to wave goodbye to an extended 2020 season.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 27th Nov 2020 10:02 PM | Views : 14059 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Eighty minutes stood between either St Helens or the Catalans Dragons and a Grand Final against the Wigan Warriors at KCOM Stadium in Hull next Friday night.

Saints were massive favourites with the bookies and had home advantage against a Dragons side who were without the services or Michael McIlorum and Joel Tomkins who had both picked up big bans after indiscretions against the Rhinos last weekend.

Saints had the benefit of three weeks off while the Dragons made yet another trip to the UK after surrendering home advantage for last Fridays semi-final against Leeds.

Steve McNamara brought a well drilled side and Saints were fully aware that they’d lost on their last two outings against first Salford and against Wigan in their last game to surrender the minor premiership.

Kristian Woolf will have spent the week making sure his side didn’t slip up for a third time.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 20th Nov 2020 9:35 PM | Views : 12115 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After their surprise victory over the Warrington Wolves in last weeks’ opening play-off game, Hull FC were looking to take the scalp of the minor premiers, Wigan Warriors, to secure a trip to their own stadium for next Friday’s Grand Final.

Wigan came into the game after a week off but in great form after overtaking St Helens to finish top of the league while FC had the luxury of naming the same seventeen which did the business last time out.

The bookies had the home side as firm favourites, but coach Adrian Lam would have been emphasising the importance of a good start, and a top-drawer performance, during training this week.

It was ‘do or die’ for both sides.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 19th Nov 2020 9:36 PM | Views : 9369 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

New South Wales came into the deciding State of Origin 2020 game at the Suncorp Stadium in Sydney brimming with confidence after their big win last week which saw them level the series, but Maroons coach Wayne Bennet would have been telling his side all week that it was about just one game, the one now ahead of them.

Brad Fittler names the same seventeen that romped to victory last week, but there were five changed in the Queensland squad with Brenko Lee, Christian Welch, Corey Allan, Edrick Lee and Harry Grant all named.

A New South Wales win, strongly tipped by the bookies, would mean a third consecutive series win for the Blues, but should Queensland overcome the odds then they would make it four series wins in the last six and nine in the last twelve.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 18th Nov 2020 11:13 AM | Views : 13884 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Friday 13th would turn out to be a unlucky one for either the Catalans Dragons or the Leeds Rhinos as the two went head to head in the play-offs to compete for the dubious honour of a trip to the Totally Wicked Stadium next Friday night to take on St Helens.

Despite ending the ‘irregular’ regular season in fourth place, the Dragons had already been disadvantaged by having to make the trip to Warrington’s Halliwell-Jones Stadium for the match due to Covid concerns, the Rhinos making the simple trip across the Pennines, albeit on a Friday night.

Both coaches, Rhino’s Richard Agar in absentia due to enforced coronavirus self-isolation, named strong sides with the bookies having difficulty separating the two and giving slight favourites odds to the Rhinos who were giving away a two-point start on the handicap coupon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 13th Nov 2020 9:39 PM | Views : 6967 | Replies : 4 | READ MORE

In this most extraordinary of seasons we’ve finally made it within five games of the end of the season as the Superleague 2020 play-off got underway at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium in Warrington where sixth placed Hull FC were the visitors.

Up until a week ago FC were outside the, then four, play-off places and making up the numbers but a truncation of the regular season and extension of end of season competition to six teams gave them a shot at the grand final, to be held at their home ground in a fortnights time.

Warrington ended the regular season in third and were strong favourites ahead of the game, having been given an eight-point handicap on the coupon.

But this was knock-out rugby league and we’ve learnt this season that it is almost impossible to pick a winner.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 12th Nov 2020 9:47 PM | Views : 5318 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The crucial second game of the Australian State of Origin 2020 series from the ANZ Stadium in Sydney was a mouth-watering prospect as the cream of the Aussie game met to do battle for the pride of their birthplace.

A week ago, Queensland came from behind to beat New South Wales in an enthralling game at the Adelaide Oval.

After trailing 10-0 at the interval they recorded an 18-14 win to put them in pole position to overcome two years of heartache to win the three-match series.

NSW made five changes with Walker in for Keary, and Hass in for the injured Cordner.

Brown, Finucane and Yeo were on the bench and Crichton was in the starting line-up with Paulo on the bench.

QLD had Holmes at full-back for the injured Brimson, Lui for Welch, and Su’A was promoted from the bench in place of Hess.

Fotuaika was called into the seventeen.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 11th Nov 2020 11:06 AM | Views : 11581 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

The maths were simple for the Wigan Warriors.

A win would seal the minor premiership and send them into play-offs in pole position, an unthinkable loss would gift the minor premiership to arch-rivals St Helens and push Wigan into third spot and a play-off game against Hull FC next week.

The Wigan starting thirteen was the same as the one which beat St Helens to go top of the league last weekend the only change in the seventeen being George Burgess in for the suspended Joe Greenwood.

The bookies and pundits favoured a Wigan win but with nothing else to play for the neutrals were hoping that the Giants would give everything to spoil the Warriors’ party.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 6th Nov 2020 9:29 PM | Views : 6317 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

The dead-rubber to end all dead-rubbers as Wakefield Trinity and the Salford Red Devils did battle to see who would finish this most extraordinary of seasons in ninth place, and who would end it in tenth.

Salford needed a win to overcome the three-win deduction which they suffered earlier in the week and jump ahead of Trinity, while the Dreadnoughts knew that a win would secure them ninth but also that they couldn’t catch the Castleford Tigers in eighth.

The season was effectively over, and the stage was set for a game between two sets of players who were already in an off-season mindset and who would be going out of their way to ensure that they didn’t pick up any injuries.

Both coaches named strong looking squads, but both also admitted to being down to the bare bones of their squads as injuries and coronavirus took their toll.

A late change saw Dan Sarginson replaced with Niall Evalds for Salford after Sarginson picked up an injury in the warm-up.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 6th Nov 2020 7:22 PM | Views : 5531 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With Melbourne Storm having picked up the major domestic prize in the Australian game.

All eyes now turned to the season finale, a three game State of Origin series as the best in the game represented New South Wales and Queensland in the most anticipated battles of the year.

The Blues of New South Wales were looking for a third consecutive series victory to reinforce their recent dominance while the Maroons have won eleven out of the last fourteen of the three-game competitions.

It was Brad Fittler’s Blues against Wayne Bennett’s Maroons in the stage-setting first game as eleven debuting players fulfilled their boyhood dreams and took to the field to make their debuts in the 40th running of the series.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 4th Nov 2020 11:07 AM | Views : 12475 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

In this most confusing of seasons, and with Super League teams gathering around the virtual conference table to discuss an early end to the season, the Salford Red Devils and Catalans Dragons were thrown together in a re-arranged round nine game at the AJ Bell Stadium on a wet Monday afternoon.

Salford forfeited their last scheduled game against the Warrington Wolves and were awarded a 24-0 loss and they now took on a Catalans side which has fallen victim to a number of positive coronavirus tests and who have not played a game since the 9th of October when they beat Hull KR by 34-4.

Win or Lose the Dragons would not change their league position, but a win would make their claim for a play-off place increasingly credible as they moved within two games of the previously required fifteen.

A win for Salford would lift them into the top eight, and the potential of a play-off place depending on the structure changes to be hammered out by the club chairmen.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 2nd Nov 2020 4:37 PM | Views : 6520 | Replies : 7 | READ MORE

After a fantastic 30-4 victory for Wakefield Trinity over the Leeds Rhinos on Thursday evening, the two sides met again in a re-arranged round eleven game at the Mobile Rocket Stadium in Wakefield.

Both coaches made a raft of changes to their starting line-ups and benches, most notably the Rhinos were without captain Luke Gale who was rested.

Wakefield were slight favourites with the bookies, the Rhinos given a two-point start on the coupon, possibly as a response to last week’s loss, and possibly a reflection of the number of changes that coach Agar had made.

Leeds needed the win to maintain their push for the top four, should tomorrow’s meetings require such a finish to make the play-offs.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 1st Nov 2020 3:48 PM | Views : 5462 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

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