As dawn broke on another sunny Brisbane day, judgement day had finally arrived. After twenty-seven group and knockout games the best two sides in the World, Australia and England, would meet at the Suncorp Stadium to decide the World Champions.


The bookies and the pundits gave England slightly less chance than that of a ‘snowball in hell’ and with considerable disruption to the side through the loss of skipper Sean O’Loughlin and hooker Josh Hodgson, Wayne Bennett knew his side would need to play not only their game of the tournament, but that of their lives, to win the ultimate prize.


The question on everyone’s lips was whether England would roar like lions or go like lambs to the slaughter.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 2nd Dec 2017 10:54 AM | Views : 10865 | Replies : 28 | READ MORE

England skipper Sean O’Loughlin has been ruled out for the side ahead of tomorrow’s  eagerly anticipated World Cup Final against Australia in Brisbane. The news comes as a second injury blow to coach Wayne Bennett who also lost the services of hooker Josh Hodgson after he picked up an injury in the nail-biting semi-final against Tonga.

Sam Burgess drops to loose forward and takes over as England captain and the coach sticks with his new found combination of Gareth Widdop at full back with Kevin Brown and Luke Gale in the halves.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 1st Dec 2017 8:17 AM | Views : 4957 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

In their first campaign, Stavanger Storm have finished top of the expanded Norwegian rugby league championship, ahead of Porsgrunn Pirates. The season saw a seven-team competition, with sides spread over 1,800km, complete all the scheduled games, along with the national side competing in four fixtures, all unbeaten, in what is the most successful Norge RL campaign to date.

“Forty games being played without a single forfeit is a major step forward,” said chairman Lee Johnson. “We now look to the future with a strategic plan to develop better skills among the players. We also look forward to taking on new and stronger opposition within Europe and to do our best in the 2021 World Cup qualifiers.” 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 30th Nov 2017 7:54 AM | Views : 2086 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Members of Parliament have wished the England men’s rugby league team well ahead of the Rugby League World Cup final on Saturday (2 December). 

At Prime Minister’s Questions First Secretary of State, Rt Hon. Damian Green MP, and Shadow First Secretary of State, Rt Hon. Emily Thornberry MP passed on their best wishes to the team. The exchange can be viewed here.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 29th Nov 2017 1:27 PM | Views : 2789 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

A packed Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland at absolute fever pitch was the venue for the second semi-final as England took on Tonga for the honour of taking on Australia in next weeks final.


Wayne Bennett was able to name an unchanged seventeen after Kevin Brown was declared fit and the Warrington half was teamed up with Luke Gale at scrum half and Gareth Widdop at full back. The much fancied Tonga made just one change from the side who were pushed all the way by Lebanon last week with prop Sio Taukeiaho replacing Ofahengaue.


The hopes of an expectant nation rested on seventeen men in white.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 25th Nov 2017 7:15 AM | Views : 9509 | Replies : 18 | READ MORE

After last weeks stunning and surprise 4-2 victory over New Zealand, hosts Australia knew the danger that World Cup underdogs Fiji brought into today’s fixture at the Suncorp Stadium with a place at the final up for grabs.


Both sides named the same seventeen but word from the Australia camp was that Mal Meninga was forced to ‘read the riot act’ at training on Wednesday after a lacklustre run out from the green and gold. Fiji would need the help of their heavenly eighteenth man as they put their faith into their game as they looked to cause a second consecutive shock.


The bookies fancied Australia, but there was just that element of the unknown.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 24th Nov 2017 11:05 AM | Views : 7511 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

UFRL president Artur Martyrosyan Jnr has complimented all the sides who played this season, which has seen further, steady progress for the sport . “We have completed another excellent season of senior and junior rugby league,” he said. “I would like to congratulate all the teams that have participated, and those that have had success this year.”

  Legion XIII were once again the champion side, beating ‘Sokil’ Lvov in the Grand Final to maintain their run of domestic dominance, 2017 seeing them go through unbeaten and conceding their fewest number of points in games.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 23rd Nov 2017 10:34 AM | Views : 2182 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It has just been announced that New Zealand will tour England from the end of October 2018 with three test matches scheduled against the hosts. The games will be played at the KCOM Stadium in Hull, Anfield in Liverpool, and Elland Road in Leeds.

The news will be a boost to the Kiwis who had a shock World Cup departure at the hands of Fiji last weekend and England will be hoping for a successful climax to their Competition which would see them go into the three test series as World Champions.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 22nd Nov 2017 2:55 PM | Views : 7191 | Replies : 11 | READ MORE

“Unprecedented media coverage of the Cedars’ World Cup campaign will lead to increased support at all levels,” claims Lebanon Rugby League Federation president Mohamed Habbous, after the side made the quarter finals for the first time, thereby ensuring their qualification for the next tournament in England in 2021.

 “After the first-up pool win against France in Canberra they took significant notice,” added Habbous, who hails from Tripoli, north Lebanon. “We’ve been trying to tell them how strong the team is and how powerful a tool it can be to unite the country and they really saw that after that result.”

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 22nd Nov 2017 8:26 AM | Views : 2831 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After yesterday’s shock win for Fiji over New Zealand and Lebanon pushing Tonga all the way to the final hooter, nerves would have been shredded in the England dressing room as they came up against a passionate and fanatically supported Papua New Guinea in the last quarter final.


PNG took an unbeaten record in the group stages to Melbourne along with a massive points difference bolstered by a 64-0 win over the USA last weekend.


England had Sam Burgess back in the line-up after two games out through injury and last weeks experiment of Gareth Widdop at full-back with Kevin Brown and Luke Gale in the halves was repeated by coach Wayne Bennett.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 19th Nov 2017 6:57 AM | Views : 9825 | Replies : 19 | READ MORE

A semi-final against favourites Australia awaited the winner of the third quarter final between New Zealand and Fiji at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. The Kiwis came into the game as strong favourites with few giving the flamboyant Fiji any chance of progressing.


Fiji were unbeaten in the competition with a very impressive +140 points difference, and New Zealand showed that they are fallible with last weekends surprise loss to Tonga.


The prospect was for an open game with many neutrals looking for a great Fiji performance after they named an unchanged side after their 38-10 win over Italy last weekend. 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 18th Nov 2017 8:30 AM | Views : 7676 | Replies : 5 | READ MORE

The highly impressive, and fancied, Tonga faced the challenge of makeweights Lebanon as the looked to secure a semi-final spot at the Christchurch Stadium.


Tonga won all of their games in the group stages, including that stunning win over New Zealand last weekend whereas Lebanon have just an opening weekend win over France to their name and they came into today’s game after suffering a 34-0 defeat at the hands of Australia last week.


The bookies set their odds in the certainty that it would be Tonga who would progress.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 18th Nov 2017 6:08 AM | Views : 6740 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

The TIO Stadium in Darwin was the venue as hosts Australia opened the knockout stage of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup with what looked he easiest of games against a Samoa side who have struggled in the competition and progressed to this stage with just a single draw.


While the Kangaroos have cruised through their fixtures in the group stages, Samoa have been comprehensively beaten by New Zealand and Tonga while securing their quarter final spot with an unconvincing draw against Scotland which allowed them to progress with a better points difference.


There could only be one victor, the bookies and pundits all agreed, the Green and Gold. 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 17th Nov 2017 11:29 AM | Views : 6855 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

This double-disc set features four hours of material including highlights of all the big games from Round 1 to Old Trafford, alongside action from the Qualifiers, Million Pound Game and the Grand Final in full.

Now that's what you call a comeback! From bottom to top in little over a year. Leeds Rhinos captured the Betfred Super League Grand Final with a devastating display led by departing skipper Danny McGuire, who guided his team to victory in a sensational farewell performance.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 14th Nov 2017 3:05 PM | Views : 4796 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

The maths were simple as England took on France in the second game of the Perth double-header. A French win by sixteen points would see them overtake Lebanon for third place, and a quarter final place, and thirty-two to overtake England into second. An unthinkable forty-seven point French victory would put England on the plane home.


Coach Wayne Bennett sprang a few surprises in the England line-up as he looked to give a run out to some of his squad players and offer them a chance to play themselves into the quarter final seventeen.


Expectations were high that England would discover some World Cup form.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 12th Nov 2017 11:58 AM | Views : 7143 | Replies : 6 | READ MORE

It was the battle of the Celts in the first of a double-header in Perth as John Kears winless Wales came up against Mark Aston’s Ireland side in the final game of the World Cup for both sides.


Even though both sides would be going home at the final hooter there was still pride, local bragging rights and future international places to play for. There were plenty of familiar names on show from both Super League and the Championship.


Wales needed a sixty-four point winning margin to finish ahead of the Irish but that looked a very difficult ask against an Irish side who have impressed in their opening two games.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 12th Nov 2017 9:31 AM | Views : 6660 | Replies : 10 | READ MORE

The heat of Port Moresby was the venue as the Kumuls took on the Tomahawks looking the cement their place in the semi-finals.


A win for Papua New Guinea, much fancied by the bookies and pundits, would see them into a quarter final game, most likely against England. The ground was packed to the rafters with a deafening and partisan support hoping the cheer their side home.


On paper there was only one winner.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 12th Nov 2017 6:58 AM | Views : 6132 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The third game of the day saw the World Cups lowest ranked side Lebanon take on the top rated Australia. None of the pundits or bookies gave Brad Fittler’s Lebanon any chance of an upset and expected the host nation to sweep into the semi-finals with an unbeaten record.


Sydney Football Stadium was the venue and the crowd was bolstered by a good crowd supporting Lebanon. The Cedars were looking for a repeat of their great opening game form when the beat France and Australia were looking for a professional and clinical performance.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 11th Nov 2017 10:56 AM | Views : 6846 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

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