Thursday, 22 February 2018

France Elite Teams By Season : 2004-05

The same ten teams from 2003-04 turned up for the Elite One competition too.

League: Top of the pops were the St Estève XIII Catalan or UTC with 53 points. Toulouse Olympique XIII were six points behind them, with the Limoux Grizzlies a further six points down with 41. SM Pia concluded the season with 40 points.

Finals: The first round knock out match was a closely fought affair, with Limoux prevailing 12-10 over AS Carcassonne. The next week Toulouse easily got past Limoux 46-18 while UTC defeated Pia 22-6. The final was held in Narbonne in front of 5,000 fans. It proved very on sided as UTC was far too good for Toulouse, winning 66-16.

Lord Derby Cup: For the quarter finals, Sales (division 3) defeated top side Villeneuve 24-10. The other matches I cannot find (can anyone help with that). In the semi finals, UTC defeated Toulouse 34-12 and Limoux overcame a surprise package in the form of Salses 86-20. The final was held at Carcassonne before 11,000 people, with UTC taking the silverware with a 31-12 victory at the expense of Lézignan. At half time, they lead just 10-8.

Summary: UTC (St Estève XIII Catalan) won the treble this season, which gives then the maximum 60 points that my scoring system allocates. Toulouse (46) and Limoux (44) were the only other teams that came close. 18 points were not allocated due to my not being able to find three quarter final results in the Lord Derby Cup. I have asked around but amazingly this sort of information isn't readily available.

Rk Team Rnd Fls LD Tot

1 UTC 20 20 20 60

2 Toulouse 18 16 12 46

3 Limoux 16 12 16 44

4 Pia 14 12

5 Villeneuve 11 2 6 19

5 Carcassonne 10 6

7 St Gaudens 12 2

8 Salses

12 12

9 Villerfranche 9 2

10 Lézignan 8


11 Lyon Villeurb 7


Total 125 72 66 263

For the 2005-06 season, please click here.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

UK Elite Teams By Season : 1998

Regarding changes for the third SL season, the Oldham Bears and Paris St Germain had left the league, replaced by Hull FC and Huddersfield. No side was to relegated this year, as the number of teams was to increase from 12 to 14.

The League.  The top five were to go into the finals series. They were the Wigan Warriors (42 points), Leeds Rhinos (38), Halifax Blue Sox (36), St Helens RLFC (29) and the Bradford Bulls (24). Huddersfield came last with just 4 points. Ouch.

The Challenge Cup. Taking up the action in the quarter finals, the results were as follows (home team listed first). London Broncos 46-18 Hull KR, Salford Reds 41-10 Hull Sharks (FC), Castleford Tigers 22-32 Sheffield Eagles and finally Wigan 20-22-10 St Helens.

In the first semi final the Sheffield Eagles defeated the Salford Reds 22-18. The other was much easier as Wigan overran London 38-8. This was to be a win to Wigan but no one told the Sheffield team. In front of over 60,000 fans, Sheffield shocked the RL world with a 17-8 victory. One for the record books and it stopped a rampant Wigan from securing the treble. (see match below).

The Finals. In the elimination game, Saints were too good for Bradford, winning 46-24. The qualifying match Leeds overcame Halifax 13-6. In the next round eliminator, Halifax were shown the door by St Helens, going down in a high scoring affair 30-37. The qualifying match that weekend, Wigan powered into the final, defeating Leeds 17-4.

Leeds had to then earn a final spot against Saints. This they achieved, winning impressively 44-16. So Wigan and Leeds met in the grand final game. 43,500 came to Old Trafford to see Wigan lift the trophy with a tight 10-4 victory.

Summary. Wigan took the league and grand final and were in the cup final. That's enough to comfortably make them the team of the year with 56 points. Next were Leeds (34 points) who were second in the league and losing grand finalists. St Helens (32) were next then Sheffield as cup winner fourth on 29 points.

Rk Team Rnd CC Fin Total

1 Wigan 20 16 20 56

2 Leeds 18
16 34

3 St Helens 14 6 12 32

4 Sheffield 9 20

5 Halifax 16
8 24

6 London 10 12

7 Salford 6 12

8 Castleford 11 6

9 Bradford 12
4 16

10 Hull FC 8 6

11 Warrington 7


12 Hull KR

13 Huddersfield 5


Total 136 60 84 280

The 1999 season can be viewed by clicking here.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Weird NZ Anti RL Stories : Part Two

Many people in New Zealand who watch Rugby Union will also watch Rugby League. There are some similarities, but RU is not the sort of game to interest me. Anyway some years ago I had SkyTV and I would watch RL although RU was also available.

When watching any channel on SkyTV there were always promotions for other things you may be interested in, related to what you were currently watching. I recall every break in a RL game being bombarded with Sky adverts promoting RU games coming up. I remember sitting there thinking "I bet they don't do the reverse when people are watching RU games". The problem was I didn't watch RU games to find out.

Later I was reading a TV magazine where someone had written in. He watched both RU and RL on Sky, enjoying both. He said what annoyed him was when watching a RL game he was bombarded with suggestions to watch RU games but when watching RU games, there had never been a promotion of an upcoming RL game. He felt it was RU bias.

So Sky TV in NZ paid to have both sports on its network but while it saw fit to promote RU to RL watchers, it saw no need to promote in the other direction. Ever, according to this dual fan. Why would a sports channel have such prejudice against RL? I know the culture of NZ and its condescending attitude to RL and wondered if it was part of the Sky culture? Another event confirmed that, as will be revealed in a future article.