Thursday, 23 November 2017

1954 WC Final Highlights (video)

The first RL WC was played in France in 1954. This footage has rarely been seen before, even by students of the game. So what must be a recent release shows the skill, speed and energy they put into the game in the early post war years. There is no audio with the video. The teams are Great Britain in white and France in the darker colour (blue)

Source of the video and information about the terrible treatment RL suffered in France during the Vichy rule, simply click here. The game of RL is still waiting for justice. It's time France faced part of its shameful past France's and did the right thing regarding RL.

One error that is found in the source article above is they are not two codes of the game as mentioned, anymore than American Football is a code of the game. The games of RL, RU and AF have commonality of origin but are all administered totally separately, have their own rules and have very unique styles of  play.

RL Women's WC 2017 : 3rd Round Summary

The final round to determine who will be the four semi finalists. As it transpired, the qualifiers were already known. That didn't stop everyone giving it their all.

Game One: The Cook Islands had lost twice heavily and England had been more competitive so were clear favourites. The Moanas didn't read the script and went to a 16-0 half time lead over the Lionesses, who at this stage looked more like pussycats. The second half was different and the scores were tied 16-16 but a late score for the Cooks got them home.

Final score: Cook Islands 22-16 England.

The Cook Islands celebrate a win after heavy losses

Game Two: Canada got the short straw when its cross pool match was Australia. It was a mission impossible for the new nation in women's RL and so it proved. The 44-0 half time score was the same as the second half. A lesson in where the Ravens need to be and a chance to improve when they meet the Jillaroos in their semi final clash.

Final score: Australia 88-0 Canada.

Game Three: The Kiwi Ferns were hot favourites to overcome the PNG Orchids but got more of a battle than was expected, as the close 8-0 scoreline on the turn around confirms. They pulled a way to win in the end comfortably but a gallant effort form the PNG women.

Final score: New Zealand 38-0 PNG.

Semi finals: New Zealand play England and Australia against Canada. The Jillaroos and the Kiwi Ferns are set to resume their rivalry in the final.

For the Round Two Summary, just click here.

Photo source: BBC.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

World Cup 2017: Papua New Guinea

England were too strong for PNG

There is one country where RL is the national sport, and that by a country mile. That Is Papua New Guinea. The are known as the Kumuls, which means 'birds of paradise'. PNG was admitted into the international fold in 1974 and played their first test match the following year.

Report card: This was PNG's 7th WC, stretching back to 1988. They have played in all since then too. The first two were prolonged and extensive, providing a learning curve for the new test nation. After that, they became more competitive apart from the unfair pool of death system in 2008.

In 2017, they were on fire when their opposition couldn't keep up with them. They brushed aside Wales (50-6) and USA (64-0) but in between those game struggled to beat Ireland (14-6). The quarter final against England in Melbourne showed how they come unstuck against tougher opposition, going down 6-36.

So while they can run riot against lower ranked teams, things change drastically when the opposition is stronger. They go from free scoring to looking stifled. To break into the top tier, that is something that needs to improve. Still, a great improvement and their best WC ever.

Final ranking for the tournament: 5th to 8th (out of 14 teams).

Below is a résumé of past WCs. The lower figure for each year is the points differential for group matches only.

88 92 95 00 08 13 17



1 1 3


3 3

-241 -220 -16 +27 -92 -81 +116

Picture source: RLEF.

Other teams ranked at the 2017 WC. Click on the nation to go to that article.

12th - 14th: Scotland, Wales, USA.
9th - 11th: France, Italy, Samoa.
5th - 8th: Ireland, Lebanon, PNG.