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Wales RL World Cup 2013/General News


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#441 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:13 PM

Rugby League World Cup 2013 organisers in Wrexham are delighted to announce that the lower Yale Paddock and Mold Road stand are close to selling out for the match between Wales and USA on Sunday November 3rd (2.00pm GMT).

This news comes as the Wales squad arrive in Wrexham for their huge Rugby League World Cup 2013 match.

The Yale Stand tickets have been snapped up mainly by school parties following a surge of interest as Rugby League fever grips Wrexham, with just few hundred tickets remaining in the Mold Road stand as well.

Cllr David Griffiths, Leader for Wrexham Council said: “We’re delighted tickets for the Wales v USA match have been selling so well.

“It is great to hear that schools have snapped up such a large number of tickets for Rugby League World Cup 2013. We’ve got two massive games being played here in Wrexham and it’s going to great seeing areas of the stadium packed with enthusiastic young people enjoying the game."

The high demand for Rugby League World Cup 2013 comes on the back of some outstanding work from the town’s community coaches. Rugby League is now widely played across schools in the country borough and is one of the most popular sports in terms of pupil participation.  

“The town has definitely got the Rugby League World Cup 2013 bug and we advise all fans to buy their tickets sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.”

Wrexham will also be the venue for the Quarter Final Match between the Winners of Groups A & D on Saturday November 16th (1.00PM GMT).



#442 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:21 PM

Rob Massam says it would be a dream come to true to run out for Wales at the Racecourse Ground this Sunday against USA in the Rugby League World Cup (kick-off 2pm).

 

Local boy Massam was named in Wales’ 24-man squad for the World Cup following an outstanding season for North Wales Crusaders. The powerful winger bagged 23 tries in 22 appearances as the Crusaders completed the Championship One and Northern Rail double.

 

And now the 26-year old, who lives near Moss Valley, is looking to live every boy’s dream by playing for his country.

 

His exploits have already caught the eye of Wales coach Iestyn Harris, who handed Massam his international debut against France in 2012 and Massam, who wasn't in the Wales side last Saturday in their opening day defeat to Italy, now hopes to be in the line-up for the crucial clash against the Tomahawks this Sunday.

 

“It really hasn’t sunk in yet. I’ve been training hard this year and I’m looking forward to the whole Rugby League World Cup 2013 experience,” Massam said.

 

“I had a phone call from Iestyn expecting him to let me down gently but I was really excited when he told me I had made the squad. Playing for your country is the pinnacle of every athlete’s a career so I’m thrilled to be part of the squad. I’m learning so much from both the coaches and players and I’m just happy to be going to the Rugby League World Cup 2013. 

 

“Running out in a Welsh jersey at the Racecourse would mean everything to me. I’ve grown up here in Wrexham,. I play my rugby here, all my friends are here and I live just around the corner in Gwersyllt. It’s every boy’s dream to play for their country and to do it in my home town would be extra special. 

 

“My family have been really supportive. They were hoping that I’d make the squad after making the squad last year and they’re really proud of me. I want to make them proud now by getting more caps and playing for my country in my home town.”

 

In just two short years he has gone from playing amateur rugby to representing Wales on the international stage.

 

And Massam’s rapid rise from amateur to fully-fledged international has been made all the more remarkable by the fact that he juggles playing for the Crusaders with his day job as a personal trainer.

 

Fulfilling his dream of playing for Wales at the World has come at a cost, with Rob having to sacrifice his income during the duration of the tournament.

 

Not only this but Rob has costs that he must meet whether he is working or not – such as his rental to DW Sports Fitness in Wrexham of £550 a month.

 

But those costs have now been covered, thanks to the generosity of the North Wales Crusaders and their fans.

 

Massam said: “The club and fans have helped me out a lot. My clients have been very supportive and understanding and I can’t thank everyone enough for their support. I’m training alongside some world class players and I’m trying to learn as much as I can. Opportunities to play in World Cup’s don’t come along very often so I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy the experience.”



#443 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:24 PM

North Wales Crusaders will have two beasts out on the field in 2014 after they re-signed prop Ryan MacDonald and secured the signature of David Mills.

Mills, son of 70s Welsh international star ‘Big’ Jim Mills and also known as the ‘Beast’ wherever he has played, makes the switch from Championship rivals Swinton Lions, while MacDonald has decided to carry on his rugby league career for at least another year with Crusaders.

Head coach Clive Griffiths said: “I’m really pleased to have both players on board with the club for next season.

“There’s definitely one more season left in Ryan and, at this moment in time, he provides necessary experience for us.

“David Mills is exactly the same – his experience in this league will be really important to us.

“They’re two big, aggressive players and it’ll be great to have them, and their experience, within the squad for next season.”

Ryan MacDonald said on his re-signing: “I had every intention of staying on next year, but it was just a case of whether my body would hold up with stepping up another level.

“I spoke to my family and they all said go for it, and then once I spoke to Jamie and Clive about it then it was an easy decision to make.

“I really enjoyed it last year and success is a big part of that, and that was one of the main reasons why I wanted to stay on.

“It’s going to be loads harder next year – more physical, harder, faster and skillful – and it’s not going to be easy.

“But you’ve got to test yourself – you can’t sit in that comfort zone. As long as we stick together we’ll be fine and our side should be a match to quite a lot of sides next year.”



#444 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:33 PM

Iestyn Harris and his squad travel to the Racecourse Ground looking to bounce back following their Rugby League World Cup 2013 opening loss to Italy at the Millennium Stadium.

 

Sunday’s game is a must win for Wales, especially after USA triumphed over the Cook Islands in their Rugby League World Cup debut on Wednesday.

 

James is no stranger to the Racecourse Ground, having played there with the Crusaders between 2010-11, and with the game heading for a sell-out, James has urged the crowd to make plenty of noise in Wrexham.

 

“It’s always nice to play here in Wrexham,” he said.

 

“I had some good times here with the Crusaders – the fans are very loyal and passionate and they make a lot of noise, which is great from a player’s perspective. I’m looking forward to running out onto the Racecourse field once again and hopefully we can put on a show for them.

 

“Home support can play a massive part in the USA match. When you’re down and out and you hear people singing and cheering it really gives the players a lift. Nothing beats hearing thousands of people signing the Welsh national anthem and I’m really looking forward to playing in front of a passionate home crowd here in Wrexham.”

 

The Tomahawks travel to Wrexham in confident mood following their historic win over the Cook Islands, with a squad bolstered with the likes of NRL stars Clint Newton and Wednesday night’s man of the match Joseph Paulo.

 

And James, who will ply his trade with the Gloucestershire All Golds next season, is expecting a tough, physical contest against the World Cup newcomers.

 

He added: “The Tomahawks have got a few experienced NRL players in their squad and they will be big and strong. They’re a country that excels when it comes to sport so they are going to come here fired up and looking to win. We’ve got to make sure we’re well prepared and match them physically.

 

“We’ve got a relatively young squad but the guys know each other pretty well. We’ve been together as a unit for four or five years now and we have a strong bond as a team.”

 

Tickets for the Wales vs. USA game are available online at http://www.rlwc2013.com/tickets, in person at the Glyndwr University box-office or by calling the Rugby League World Cup ticket hotline on 0844 847 2013.



#445 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:35 PM

 Wales second row forward Ben Evans has been named in the Team of the Week for Round one of the Rugby League World Cup.

 

His nomination comes after an outstanding performance where he scored a try in Wales' 32-16 defeat to Italy at the Millennium Stadium last Saturday.

 

The mythical XIII contains no players from England or Scotland but New Zealand lead the way with three players after they beat Samoa 42-24 in their opening match.

 

Captain Simon Mannering, centre Dean Whare and hat-trick scoring winger Manu Vatuvei are the three Kiwis to make the team, which is derived from Opta's statistical analysis.

 

Another player to score a hat-trick, Fijian Akuila Uate, is the other winger, his teammate Kevin Naiqama is the full-back of the round, whilst Italy and Tonga also have two players in the side.

 

Evans, who was Man of the Match at the Millennium Stadium eight years ago when he helped Brynteg Comprehensive win the Year 7 Champion Schools Final, said: “You always have dreams of playing for your country in front of such a big crowd. I over the moon when I scored but I would have given that up for a win."

 

“It’s been a long time since I played at the Millennium Stadium for Brynteg in the curtain raiser to the Challenge Cup Final and that’s where Rugby League started for me.

 

“To go back there and play for Wales in a World Cup opening day at the Millennium Stadium just 20 minutes from where I was born is a fairy-tale. You really couldn’t write about it."

 

Opta Team of the Round:

1. Kevin Naiqama - Fiji

2. Manu Vatuvei - New Zealand

3. Dean Whare - New Zealand

4. Aidan Guerra - Italy

5. Akuila Uate - Fiji

6. Daniel Foster - Tonga

7. Cooper Cronk - Australia

8. Mark Offerdahl - USA

9. Eloi Pelissier - France

10. Paul Vaughan - Italy

11. Ben Evans - Wales

12. Sika Manu - Tonga

13. Simon Mannering - New Zealand



#446 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:36 PM

North Wales Crusaders have continued their squad building for 2014 with the re-signing of Welsh internationals Christiaan Roets and Rob Massam.

Massam, meanwhile, stepped up from the amateur game to join Crusaders and has been a revelation ever since.

In 42 appearances for the club the winger has crossed for an impressive 37 tries - and that saw him called up for Wales' International Triangular Series last year and now the RLWC2013.

Head coach Clive said on their re-signings: "We wanted to keep continuity within the side and re-signing these lads has shown that.

"They're the heart and soul of the club and they're important to us as we work towards next year.

"They've both been an important part of the squad for the last two years and they more than deserve the opportunity to step up to the next level.

"It's great that they've been called up to the World Cup squad by Iestyn Harris - it reflects well on the club to have players playing at international level.

"The more they're exposed to that level of rugby league the better they'll become as players in the long run."



#447 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:38 PM

‘Team 13’ set to give Rugby fans a warm Wrexham welcome

Fans attending Rugby League World Cup 2013 matches in Wrexham will be guaranteed a warm welcome courtesy of a dedicated group of volunteers.

The volunteers, drawn from across Wrexham and North Wales, will work under the name of ‘Team 13’ and all have key roles which will enable RLWC2013 organisers to deliver the best Rugby League World Cup possible.

They will be the first point of contact at stadiums for fans and will also perform key roles at matches and behind the scenes. Team 13 volunteers will be recognisable in their lime green t-shirts and blue hoodies.

Their roles range from helping people find their way around the stadium, helping to ensure the matchday entertainment runs smoothly, and also to make sure teams have everything they need whilst they are in camp.

They are being described as the ‘friendly face’ of Rugby League World Cup 2013 and will welcome fans from all over the world to Wrexham as the town hosts two matches. 

Cllr David Griffiths, Lead Member for Health said: 

“I’m delighted that so many local people have decided to volunteer at Rugby League World Cup 2013. 

“London 2012 proved that volunteers can be the difference between great events and fantastic events. Everyone who attends a Rugby League World Cup 2013 match at Wrexham will be guaranteed a warm welcome and I hope our enthusiastic group of volunteers enjoy this amazing experience.”

Team 13 volunteers will be on hand at both of Wrexham’s Rugby League World Cup 2013 matches. The Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium will play host to the Group D tie between.Wales and USA on Sunday November 3 (KO 2pm), as well the Quarter Final between the Winners of Group A & Group D on Saturday November 16 (KO 1pm). The quarter final could potentially see Wales take on England or Australia.



#448 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:41 PM

Coach Iestyn Harris leads Wales into the 2013 Rugby League World Cup trying to emulate the high spots of some of the Welsh sides of the past.

Wales began with a 16-32 loss against Italy at the Millennium Stadium on 26 October - one half of the tournament's opening double-header that also saw England take on Australia - and now face the United States in Wrexham on 3 November and the Cook Islands on 10 November in Group D.

Wales' group fixtures
  • 3 Nov - United States (Wrexham)
  • 10 Nov - Cook Islands (Neath)

Saturday's opening matches had been given added spice by England's surprise loss to Italy in a warm-up match at the weekend.

Despite Wales' opening defeat to an Italy side full of NRL experience, the match was a cross-group fixture and Wales can still top their pool.

If they do they will face the winners of Group A - now likely to be Australia after they beat England 28-20 - in Wrexham on 16 November.

But before Wales complete their 2013 campaign, BBC Sport looks back at the history of Wales in rugby league's showpiece event.

1975

Wales began life as an international side in 1908 and announced themselves with a 9-8 win over New Zealand's famous 'All Golds' touring side in their first official Test.

But despite producing players of the calibre of wing Billy Boston,  Wigan's all-time record try scorer, great Salford and Workington Town centre Gus Risman,  and goal-kicking full-back Jim Sullivan  - another Wigan legend - Wales did not play in a World Cup until 1975.

_70728718_davidwatkinswales_pa.jpg

Dai Watkins was a star for Wales in both codes and a key part of the 1975 national rugby league side

Even then, the 1975 tournament was billed not as a World Cup but as the 'World Championship Series' and saw Wales, France, England, Australia and New Zealand compete in a home-and-away league over nine months.

Wales began with defeat by France in Toulouse but rebounded to beat England 12-7 in a match played at Lang Park in Brisbane, with Dai Watkins, Clive Sullivan and David Treasure grabbing tries for Wales.

England got their revenge in the return at Warrington, while two losses to Australia and one to New Zealand saw Wales languishing at the foot of the table.

But in their final two games of the campaign, Wales beat New Zealand 25-24 in a thriller in Swansea - despite having prop Jim Mills sent off - then overwhelmed France 23-2 in Salford to finish joint-third in the table with the Kiwis.

Mills, who also played six Tests for Great Britain, got his marching orders for stamping on the head of John Greengrass as the Kiwi prop went over for a try.

Greengrass needed 15 stitches in hospital while Mills, who played for Widnes and later became chairman of the club, earned notoriety for a moment of thuggery that saw him suspended for six months by the Rugby Football League and given a lifetime ban in New Zealand.

1995

Wales did not feature at a World Cup again until 1995, as a Great Britain team had been reintroduced in 1977.

But the Dragons announced their return with a bang, having already served notice of their talent by winning the European Championships that year.

Much of the cream of amateur Welsh rugby union had been enticed north to the 13-man code in the preceding years.

_70728720_jiffy_rl_pa.jpg

Jonathan Davies launches an attack for Wales against England

That meant Wales were able to field the likes of Jonathan Davies, John Devereux, Allan Bateman, Scott Gibbs, Adrian Hadley, Scott Quinnell and Dai Young, alongside those like Harris, Anthony Sullivan and Keiron Cunningham who had grown up within rugby league.

They comfortably topped Group 3 with a 28-6 win over France in Cardiff and a hard-fought 22-10 victory against Western Samoa in Swansea.

That set up a semi-final against England, who Wales had humbled in the European Championships that year - seeing off their rivals 18-16 at Ninian Park in Cardiff.

However, in front of 30,000 fans at Old Trafford, England gained their revenge with a 25-10 win.

Wales were holding their hosts 2-2 with a quarter of the match gone before a flowing length-of-the-pitch England move, started by wing Jason Robinson, ended with Paul Newlove forcing his way over in the corner.

On the stroke of half-time England captain Denis Betts went over to increase their lead to 11-4, before Phil Clarke and Martin Offiah, twice from cross-kicks, added further tries in the second half.

Wales had just Rowland Phillips' try to show in that second period, but it was a beauty of quick thinking and quick feet.

The replacement second row was brought down eight yards short of the line by Newlove, but spotting he had no marker at the play-the-ball the Warrington player tapped to himself and charged over.

Australia beat New Zealand in the other semi-final and the Kangaroos went on to edge England 16-8 in the final at Wembley.

2000

With Australia continuing to dominate rugby league, there had been a move to reintroduce a Great Britain side for the 1998 World Cup - a proposal that predictably angered the Welsh - but in the end the tournament was cancelled because of the Super League power struggle.

Peace was eventually restored and the next World Cup was held in 2000, although the Wales side had a much-changed character about it.

With rugby union having gone fully professional in 1995, the steady flow of players north from south Wales' 15-a-side heartland had largely dried up.

That saw a greater percentage of the squad drawn from rugby league's traditional territory, while the management's search for players with Welsh heritage unearthed a few gems such as Canberra Raiders prop Justin Morgan.

But while there had been a certain amount of rebuilding undertaken, Wales were still able to field the talents of Harris, Sullivan, Cunningham, Lee Briers, Anthony Farrell and Neil Cowie.

_70728722_keironcunninghamwales_get.jpg

Hooker Keiron Cunningham was one of the mainstays of Wales' 2000 World Cup squad

Wales were drawn in Group 2 alongside New Zealand, Lebanon and the Cook Islands - their first opponents, whom they disposed of 38-6 with ex-North Queensland centre Kris Tassell scoring a hat-trick.

Next up were Lebanon. Not a nation associated with rugby league excellence, the sizable number of second- and third-generation Lebanese in Australia meant Wales' opponents were actually packed with NRL experience.

Wales led 18-6 at half-time in Llanelli and when skipper Harris sent Wes Davies over for a 24-10 lead, the game looked safe for the home side.

But Lebanon staged a thrilling fightback as Hassan Saleh went over for two converted tries in the final three minutes, leaving Wales clinging on for a precious 24-22 win.

That result secured Wales' place in the quarter-finals before they faced New Zealand in their final pool match, which the Henry Paul-inspired Kiwis won at a canter - scoring 11 tries in a 58-18 win at the Millennium Stadium.

Kept away from any of the big guns in the quarter-finals, Wales were comfortable 22-8 winners over Papua New Guinea in their first knock-out match before facing favourites Australia in the semi-finals in Huddersfield.

When Brett Kimmorley and Wendell Sailor crossed early for the Kangaroos it seemed as though everything was going to script, but Wales produced a thrilling reply with three tries in eight minutes.

Ian Watson started the fightback, finishing off Farrell's break, before Tassell and Briers - brilliantly fielding Harris' high ball - touched down.

Harris converted all three tries, and with Briers adding two drop-goals Wales led 20-8 and were sniffing one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.

But Australia reduced the deficit to 20-14 before half-time as Brad Fittler crossed for a converted try, then snuffed out Welsh hopes with a scintillating display in the final 25 minutes of the game.

Bryan Fletcher, Darren Lockyer, twice, Fittler, Craig Gower and Ben Kennedy all crossed to earn the Kangaroos a 46-22 win and send them into the final, where they crushed New Zealand 40-12.

There was no World Cup in 2004 and Wales failed to qualify for the 2008 World Cup in New Zealand, but under the guidance of Harris - who took over as coach in 2009 - they have steadily improved.

Wales enter the 2013 tournament as outside hopes, but the Dragons have shown in the past they should not be taken lightly and it would be no surprise if they add another notable scalp to their collection before they are finished.


Edited by DugSWRLgan, 01 November 2013 - 12:42 PM.


#449 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 04:56 PM

Wales crash out of the World Cup

 

WALES 16 USA 24

 

 

Wales crashed out of Rugby League World Cup 2013 with a disappointing performance in Wrexham, losing 16-24 to outsiders USA.

 

The game was played in front of a crowd of 8,019, the second biggest rugby league crowd ever at The Racecourse, being the opening Crusaders game here in 2010, and the biggest crowd for any sport at the ground this year.

 

The record Welsh win of all time is a 92-4 demolition of USA back in 1995 but on this occasion they didn’t recreate the spark that would have been shown on that college field in Philadelphia.

 

USA, who fielded a mixture of American born and heritage players, including five players from the US domestic leagues and four NRL players, simply took their chances when it was required and are now hot favourites to meet the Australians back at The Racecourse in the quarter-finals in a fortnight’s time.

 

The first real attack of the game for Wales saw them close to scoring. Matt Seamark launched a hopeful bomb over to the right wing, Elliot Kear palmed the ball down to Ian Webster but the US defence was too strong on this occasion.

 

Following an, in general, first 15 minutes of errors, Wales took the lead after an excellent move down the left wing. Neil Budworth slipped the ball to Rhys Williams who in turn fed Christiaan Roets who to the delight of his home North Wales Crusaders fans, completed the move. Lloyd White missed the conversion.

 

But from a penalty, USA struck back when Clint Newton dived over from close range. Joseph Paulo shockingly missed from just right of the sticks and the score remained at 4-4.

 

Wales had the chances to take the lead but they didn’t have that final execution to be able to cross the line – Rhys Evans and Matt Seamark making forward passes at crucial moments were two chances that they blew.

 

The visitors took advantage and again Paulo was the instigator as slick passing gave Matt Peterson a chance to score in the corner, one he didn’t waste. Paulo’s kick was again no good and the States were 8-4 up at the break.

 

Wales needed a good start to the second half and they fought hard for a try back. However USA were more than matching everything the Welsh threw at them. Even after winning a repeat set Wales couldn’t touch down, Lloyd White being held up over the line on the final play.

 

Less than two minutes later and again Wales won a repeat set and yet again they didn’t get through despite some stand-out play from Rhys Evans. In the end, Matt Seamark failed to spot an in-space Elliot Kear on the right wing.

 

But Evans couldn’t continue his good performance at the other end. Dropping a high bomb five metres from his own line gave the US possession which they didn’t waste. Haveatama Luani set up Paulo who had plenty of space to score. The kick was again missed but Wales now needed two tries.

 

It wasn’t going to happen as USA continued to dominate. Tuisegasega Samoa was next over the line, crashing from short range after fooling the Welsh defence and Paulo’s first successful kick made the score 18-4.

 

Clint Newton put a rubber stamp on the game by scoring the State’s next try four minutes later. Paulo converted to give the US a 20-point lead.

 

Wales had some consolation when the always skilful Roets, who looks certain to flourish in the Championship next year, ran well to score his and the side’s second. Lloyd White converted to put Wales’ score into double figures.

 

Debutant Anthony Walker latched onto Peter Lupton’s kick for a Welsh third which White again goaled but it was nowhere near enough.

 

WALES

1 Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves)

2 Elliot Kear (Bradford Bulls)

3 Ian Webster (Central Queensland Capras)

4 Christiaan Roets (North Wales Crusaders)

5 Rhys Williams (Warrington Wolves)

6 Lloyd White (Widnes Vikings)

7 Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls)

8 Craig Kopczak (Huddersfield Giants)

9 Neil Budworth (Moranbah Moners) 

10 Jordan James (Salford Red Devils)

11 Larne Patrick (Huddersfield Giants)

12 Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons)

13 Ben Flower (Wigan Warriors)

14 Gil Dudson (Wigan Warriors)

15 Ben Evans (Bradford Bulls)

16 Peter Lupton (Workington Town)

17 Anthony Walker (St Helens)

 

Tries: Roets (16, 75), Walker (77)

Goals: White 2/3

 

USA

1 Kristian Freed (Connecticut Wildcats)

2 Bureta Faraimo (MacKay Cutters)

3 Lelauloto Tagaloa (Hawaii Chiefs)

4 Taylor Welch (Chicago Griffins)

5 Matthew Petersen (Cudgen Hornets)

6 Joseph Paulo (Parramatta Eels)

7 Craig Preistly (Southampton Dragons, USA)

8 Mark Offerdahl (AS Carcassonne)

9 Haveatama Luani (Wests Tigers)

10 Eddy Pettybourne (Wests Tigers)

11 Clint Newton (Penrith Panthers) 

12 Matthew Shipway (Newcastle South)

13 Daniel Howard (Wentworthville Magpies)

14 Tuisegasega Samoa (Redcliffe Dolphins)

15 Roman Hifo (Mangere East Hawks)

16 Judah Lavulo (Carbamatta)

17 Les Soloai (Portland Hunters)

 

Tries: Newton (20, 63), Peterson (33), Paulo (55), Samoa (60)

Goals: Paulo 2/5

 

Half-time: 4-8

Attendance: 8,019

Referee: Ben Cummins (Australia)



#450 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 04:59 PM

Main Stand sold out for Wales game in Neath

 

Neath RFC and South Wales Scorpions are pleased to announce that the main stand for the Rugby League World Cup 2013 match between Wales v Cook Islands on Sunday 10th November (kick-off 2pm) has sold out.

There are now currently just terrace tickets on sale from the official Rugby League World Cup site but organisers are expecting a limited amount of seated tickets in the Family Stand to become available by Wednesday.

Currently just the covered terrace is on sale but should this now sell-out then the terrace at the clubhouse end will open.

Neath RFC chief executive Mike Harrison is delighted that tickets are selling so well for the biggest week of the year at The Gnoll.

“It will be fantastic to see a packed house at The Gnoll for rugby again,” he said. “The World Cup is bringing a lot of trade and support to Neath and we’re pleased it’s putting our town on the map.

“It’s a big week for us here in Neath. We’ve our always popular fireworks display at The Gnoll on Tuesday with tickets for that one selling fast and to top that off next Sunday with potentially the biggest rugby crowd of the year at The Gnoll is amazing.

“I encourage fans who haven’t yet bought tickets for the game to snap them up right now. It’s not every day that we have a World Cup match in our town!”



#451 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 12:33 PM

Harris was left rueing missed opportunities after his side’s 24-16 defeat to the USA at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium.

 

The Dragons’ second defeat of RLWC2013, infront of a bumper crowd of 8,019, means that they can no longer qualifty for the knock-out stages of the tournament, which left Harris “bitterly disappointed” after the game.

 

“We probably had 20-25 opportunities in the game to score points”, he said. “We took a lot of the wrong options; our decision making wasn’t on this afternoon.

 

“We haven’t used the best of what we’ve got, and we talked about that at the start of the tournament. We haven’t got the group of players to be playing at 50 or 60 percent and expect to win games.

 

“When we sit down and look at that game, we’ll see that there’s a lot of missed opportunities to score points – and that’s very frustrating for the coaches and staff knowing that you’re so close.

 

“But you take that end of the game away and we didn’t deserve to win today.

 

“The USA were dogged and stayed with us, and it was up to us to put that game to bed. We weren’t capable of doing that.

 

“We were nowhere near where we needed to be and you’ve got to give a bit of credit to the USA for what have been two great reslts in the tournament so far.”

 

Despite the disappointing result, Harris was delighted with the support his side received in Wrexham.

 

“It’s a huge positive for the game in Wales to have that number of people turn up and support us”, he said.

 

“We’re a growing nation and it’s important that we continue to grow as a nation and produce players through our systems.

 

“It’s a difficult time for everyone involved [after losing the game] but, in the next seven days, we’ve got to show our professionalism and do a professional job.

 

“Players will look back on this World Cup – whether that’s in a years or 20 years time – and it’s really important that we conduct ourselves in the right way in the next seven days [before the Cook Islands game].”



#452 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 12:37 PM

North Wales Crusaders have signed winger Adam Clay from Barrow.

Clay, 23, previously played for Crusaders in 2012, on loan from Leigh, and scored 12 tries in 27 appearances for Barrow in 2013.

Coach Clive Griffiths said: “Adam is an out and out finisher and he certainly showed he pedigree when he was here on loan last year from Leigh Centurions. I had hoped we could secure his services for 2013, but when Barrow came in with the opportunity to play in the division above, I couldn’t really blame a player of his talents for wanting to be at the highest level he can get to.”

“With our promotion this season, it gave us the opportunity to offer Adam that level of Rugby and I’m delighted that he wanted to come, having enjoyed his spell so much in 2012. He’s an important capture as we build for life in the Championship.”

Clay previously came through the academy system at Salford.



#453 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 01:20 PM

Former Celtic Crusaders star Neil Budworth will bow out of international Rugby League following Wales’ last match of Rugby League World Cup 2013 this Sunday when the Cook Islands are the visitors to The Gnoll in Neath (2.00pm).

The 31-year old hooker, who played 83 times for the then Bridgend-based club, including 27 appearances in Super League, has enjoyed his time with Wales and wants to go out on a high by helping his side to a win.

“It’s really good to be back in Wales again,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed coming back to play for Wales over the last five years, it’s been the pinnacle of my career.

“But this is my last year with the side. I’m going to retire from the international game after this and spend a bit of time with my partner in Australia.”

Hailing from Wigan, Budworth played for five years in Super League with London Broncos before moving to Wales and his three years with Celtic Crusaders allowed him to qualify for Wales under the residency rule.

He made his Wales debut against England in 2009 and has won 15 caps since then, helping Wales to win the European Cup in 2009 and 2010 on the way.

Moving to Australia in 2010, he signed for Queensland Cup side Mackay Cutters before joining local league side Moranbah Miners who are coached by his former Crusaders team-mate Josh Hannay.

“Moranbah also offered me a job away from Rugby League to go alongside me playing so I’ve gone down that route now,” he said. “I’m getting on a bit, I’m almost 32 so I wanted to look after my career outside of Rugby League.

“I was pleased to link up again with Josh Hannay as he’s a good friend of mine. He helped me to get to the club and helped me get a career outside of rugby too so I’m grateful to him for that. It’s been a good year and I’ve enjoyed playing for Moranbah, they’re a great bunch of guys.

“I had three good years in South Wales playing for Celtic Crusaders and I’d like to thank everyone for their support from when I moved to Wales in 2007 right up until now. I’ve made a lot of friends in the area over the years and I hope to see many of them on Sunday when Wales take on Cook Islands in Neath.

"It’ll be nice to see a big crowd there with a lot of familiar faces and hopefully I can leave with a win.”



#454 DugSWRLgan

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 01:21 PM

Wales captain Craig Kopczak has said that his side want to finish their Rugby League World Cup 2013 campaign with a win when they take on Cook Islands at The Gnoll in Neath this Sunday (kick-off 2pm).

 

Both sides are now unable to qualify for the quarter-finals of the tournament but Kopczak says that won’t phase either side as there is pride at stake.

 

“We want to win,” Kopczak said. “And I’m sure Cook Islands will be feeling the same too. We want to finish this competition on a high, go out there with a clear intention to finish with a win and finish second in the group.

 

“I do encourage those who haven’t got tickets yet to buy now and come down and watch us play. We play some really good Rugby League and we want to show the South Wales public what we can do. Cook Islands are in the same position as us now so I think we see a game full of skills that will show the public how good Rugby League can be.

 

“Last week was a really tough physical game. It was an arm wrestle until half-time but a few things didn’t go our way in the second half so we’ve got to put all of that right for the Cook Islands game.

 

“I was pleased by the way that we stuck in there at the end of last week’s game, we just need to show that for the entire 80 minutes this week.”

 

Kopczak says that the team were delighted with the 8,000 plus crowd at Wrexham last Sunday who didn’t stop cheering Wales on, and he hopes for a similar atmosphere in Neath this Sunday.

 

“It was really good how the crowd in Wrexham stuck by us and created a good atmosphere,” he said. “They were cheering us on and shouting ‘Wales’ the whole time. Hopefully we’ll have the same kind of atmosphere in Neath this Sunday.”



#455 jonnyg28

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 10:08 PM

Heard again today off 2 separate people that the South Wales Scorpions are highly unlikely to be playing next season, does anyone know anything?

Massive step backwards if true

#456 welshmagpie

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 10:09 PM

Heard again today off 2 separate people that the South Wales Scorpions are highly unlikely to be playing next season, does anyone know anything?
Massive step backwards if true

Wouldn't surprise me. Rumours have been circulating for months now.

On the back of a disastrous World Cup this would be a nightmare scenario.

Edited by welshmagpie, 06 November 2013 - 10:21 PM.


#457 Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 10:39 PM

To quote an official 'by hook or by crook there will be a S Wales Scorpions in some form in 2014'.

Can't shed anymore light on it than that at the minute, other than two investors are interested but as yet have to meet with the current owner.

The delays/silence are unfortunately Broncoesque....

#458 welshmagpie

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 10:41 PM

To quote an official 'by hook or by crook there will be a S Wales Scorpions in some form in 2014'.
Can't shed anymore light on it than that at the minute, other than two investors are interested but as yet have to meet with the current owner.
The delays/silence are unfortunately Broncoesque....


Here's hoping! Despite the small stature of the club they hold a vitally important position in the make up of Welsh rugby league.

#459 Pen-Y-Bont Crusader

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 10:43 PM

Too right.

There is another option that again I cannot at present divulge publicly until the current owner makes their decision but amongst people I have spoken with it makes perfect sense and provides a strong medium-long term future.

#460 jonnyg28

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 06:32 AM

Too right.

There is another option that again I cannot at present divulge publicly until the current owner makes their decision but amongst people I have spoken with it makes perfect sense and provides a strong medium-long term future.


A Super League chairman ready to invest?