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#3266779 Live streaming today - French RL

Posted by audois on 03 February 2016 - 01:03 PM

The promoted Albi likewise Sunday at Lezignan in the lead at the break before falling away (30-14) but the Tarn side have impressed and look in far better shape than the disastrous one-year stay a near decade back when they reached the Lord Derby Cup Final only to fall in a heap seasons end with money problems. The town council appear to be getting involved with some upgrading of their ground too while their U20s are top of the comp followed by title holders SOA. Avignon 72-16 Carcassonne and FCL 28-32 Albi at the weekend tell its own story at junior level.


Back on Avignon three of their former players will line-up against Wigan tomorrow – Gigot, Yaha and Duport while Jullien is in the Wire 19 for Headingley tonight and a fifth Vauclusian - Garcia will be hoping to debut with Penrith in the NRL in the weeks to come. It shows the potential up there. 2000 was reported as the crowd Saturday and their international gates exceptional. Somebody needs to keep the kettle boiling up in Provence.



Interesting in these images Fed President Carlos Zalduendo chatting pitch side with the Dragons CEO Christophe Jouffret. I wonder what the topic was!


* Great to see too the classic shirts worn by the two clubs - along time since the Bisons wore the blue & white hoops.





#3265555 Live streaming today - French RL

Posted by audois on 01 February 2016 - 11:29 AM

The Avignon lad who got the two tries is their sole overseas player Kiernan - an Aussie I think. SOA reached the Lord Derby Cup Final a few years back but then with loads of antipodeans in tow. They struggle financially I understand and now look to their youngsters like half-back Bissiere and loose forward Goudemand. Their U20s ran riot against Carcassonne winning 76-12 and are the title holders.ASC are top dogs this year but their strength is in the pack with the likes of Vinnie Anderson and the impressive young Kiwi second rower Samson. They fielded five antipodeans and that experience sounded decisive. Its interesting too that the other U20s side doing well is Albi and their senior side led at half time yesterday at Lezignan before falling away in the second half. Really pleased for these two clubs representing different departments - Vaucluse and Tarn respectively - pushing the game forward in areas other than Perpignan, the Aude and Toulouse.

#3259479 R.I.P Brian Johnson

Posted by audois on 18 January 2016 - 08:39 PM

Piece by Roy Masters on Brian Johnson in SMH.


Has there ever been a former footballer with a fate so unfair as Brian Johnson, the blond haired St George fullback who died too young of a disease at odds with his lifestyle?

The 1979 premiership fullback was a teetotaller, a healthy eater and a fitness guru but died aged 59 of dementia and its associated problems of wasting.

"Sad" has been the dominant word of the mobile phone texts of ex Dragons lamenting a death we have been expecting for four years, ahead of his funeral in Dapto Wednesday.


dt9903030331. dave tease. steelers. sport. story Mike Gandon..Steelers state 1st division players, Patrick Gibson, left and James Wynne right, with steelers coach Brian Johnson. Photo: David Tease

How can a guy who scolded us on end of season trips for drinking too much; who finished up the front in all those 400 metre circuits of Kogarah Oval; who studied diet and health as a Physical Education teacher; who, when he and wife Karen could not have children, adopted two little boys ...  how could a man lead such a moral, decent and healthy life, yet be cruelly taken by a disease we do not understand?


Sure, some will say he is the victim of his career on the football field...too many head knocks.

Yet he was a fullback, not a combative forward.


20 March 1982 Brian Johnson - St. George R/L Footballer 1979 Fairfax Media


In fact, we would chide Brian for his tendency to slow up when the defence swept menacingly towards him, gently dubbing him "Better Brakes," suggesting he make the opposition earn the tackle.

He would argue, quite reasonably, that there is no point in getting belted when he could cover his head against the swinging arms.

Once, when an over-zealous trainer ran the boys into the ground at the Tuesday night training session after a loss, he went home to his PE textbooks and underlined the relevant pages demonstrating how punishing players can be counter productive.

He then printed them off and handed them to me at the next training session.

When I replaced him as fullback for Glenn Burgess in 1985, he volunteered, "Burgo is playing better than me." And on the day of that year's grand final, when he played in the successful reserve grade premiership team, he said, "I want you guys to win more than anything." He played with Warrington later that year, winning trophies with Les Boyd, the former Wests and Manly international who became the godfather of his two children.

I once stayed with their families in England, sitting at a table with two men of vastly different reputations, musing silently of the days Les fired up at face slapping while Brian preferred to turn the other cheek.

But the game bonds in ways outsiders do not understand and Les drove up from Cootamundra to see his old teammate as the life force was leaving him.

When the position as inaugural head coach of the Australian Institute of Sport coach came up and Brian was an applicant, I was on the board of the Australian Sports Commission and in a position to help him.

The AIS program initially catered for young lads from indigenous families and those from remote rural areas, young fellows whose talents needed to be nurtured before being recruited to Sydney clubs.

The other short listed candidate was Mal Meninga who had just finished his fabulous career with the Raiders.

But Brian, with his background as a teacher was preferred and, as it transpired, Mal's star took on another more spectacular trajectory.

The AIS program, which was cancelled last year because of budgetary cuts, counted amongst its graduates Israel Folau, Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend, Ben Hunt, Sam Thaiday and Kevin Proctor.

When Brian's heath began to fail, the award for best and fairest player in the program was named after him.

The last time we met was at AAMI Stadium, Melbourne and he had taken his squad to observe Storm training.

Over a coffee, I noted his speech faltering, with his assistants subtly and loyally finishing his sentences.

Years before, Brian had read a travel piece I wrote on a visit to Oradour-sur- Glane, the French village where a German tank battalion slaughtered 642 villagers, including 247 women and 205 children for reasons still mysterious.

He took his young AIS team to the village every year until 2011.

The village remains today as it was in June 1944, abandoned, with rusted bikes and burnt out cars, a reminder of mans' inhumanity to man.

The words humanitarian and rugby league rarely appear in the same sentence but Brian, particularly as father and AIS coach, forged them.

Sadly the AIS medal and the man after whom it is named have both gone, too soon.


#3257114 Cathares Knights - Catalans Dragons

Posted by audois on 12 January 2016 - 11:22 AM

Marc Palanques a former French international forward is the Carcassonne lead man in this Cathare project. He wants to put this entity in the Challenge Cup in 2017. Saturday was quite a special day in the Aude for the game. Games starting at 10am and going on till 10pm at night with a grand post-match reception attracting 800 players, mangement and supporters. The near 6,000 crowd at Domec was as many as Narbonne got the night before for their Pro 2 derby against Carcassonne. The people at Limoux seem joined at the hip with the ASC in developing this project - Lezignan a little less so.I thought the whole feel of the day was a notch or two up on 2015 with plenty going on around the Stadium. The lovely weather helped. It was well presented with the Cathares having their distinctive colours, emblem and identity as well as their own anthem to match Catalans El Segadors. A real super day. We just crave for more of them.


#3253255 Mancunians

Posted by audois on 01 January 2016 - 02:30 PM

Wasn't there a group of people -like minded- on Manchester rugby league scene meeting regularly in a city centre pub a year or so back? Journalist Andy Wilson attended I think with possibily Trevor Hunt from BBC Radio Manchester. Does someone or group need to look at the idea of a strategic plan for the game in the city and beyond? Pulling the different emerging strands together.

#3247293 Conference League South 2016- Teams Confirmed

Posted by audois on 15 December 2015 - 01:43 PM

Gloucestershire Warriors have returned to the local league and there may be a 7th team called Forest Bulldogs


The latter too from the Forest of Dean I understand. The All Golds played a game at Lydney year before last. Its an old coal mining community and has more in common  with the Welsh Valleys than leafy Gloucestershire. Will certainly be keeping an eye on that one.


If the Cheltenham side are still playing and the Warriors returning looks good for the county and building something up around Lionel Hursts GAG set-up.

#3239181 Aude Cathare v Dragons - 9th January

Posted by audois on 25 November 2015 - 01:03 PM

Bit surprised to see Anderson and Pau listed as backs in that 26 man squad! Not many half backs - probably go with Lezignan pair Benausse and Carrere. 5 former Dragons listed too and 9 overseas players. FCL coach Cologni will be in charge with Janzac and Couttet his assistants. First training session next week at Lezignan.


There was talk of Toulouse playing the Dragons in Perpignan but bit too early for Houles charges as they only start pre-season stuff next Monday. Toulouse though if they progress would be a good challenge to for the Aude Cathares set-up. I think these sort of games gets people talking here.

#3238200 Jullien No.29 and N'Zoungou No.32

Posted by audois on 23 November 2015 - 01:45 PM

Avignon well beaten at Carcassonne yesterday (60-22) but the Canaris took nearly half an hour to get their noses in front after the visitors scored a couple of early tries. I like watching Avignon and St Esteve because they're full of young locals. Was interested to see how Mickael Goudemand went for the visitors and must say was impressed overall. ASC had Anderson, Pau and Samson in the pack and thats what told in the end. The latter a young Kiwi who played in a Warriors Holden Cup winning team two seasons back outstanding for the Canaris yet again. Goudemand to me though stood up to the challenge - good athletic build and comfortable with ball in hand. Another one to look out for.

#3237462 Aude Cathare v Dragons - 9th January

Posted by audois on 21 November 2015 - 02:29 PM

Good they've got this on again at Stade Domec in Carcassonne. The local management group met last Tuesday in Limoux to start the planning.The Chevaliers playing four matches at U14, U16, U19 and Seniors against Catalans. It was the best day for the code in the Aude this year and the biggest crowd.You would think somebody locally would be doing more with this project.

#3237074 Jullien No.29 and N'Zoungou No.32

Posted by audois on 20 November 2015 - 12:54 PM

Two new French lads making Super League squads in 2016. N'Zoungou earlier this year in France U18s so exciting he's made the step-up so quickly at Saints. Jullien played most of last year at North Wales in Championship 1.Big step to make Wires starting line-up?

#3233177 'Coal Train' Arrives

Posted by audois on 13 November 2015 - 01:06 PM

This post was as much about the publicity and the way the club today manages it. Broughton was the other player at this press conference earlier this week. The day after this piece on Taylor we had half a page on Broughton too. Yesterday it was the turn of Pat Richards and Richie Myler to meet the Press. Next week they'll do something on Aiton, Horo and Stewart no doubt.


Monday next Catalans will launch their season ticket campaign inviting supporters to meet the players over a croissant or two and coffee before the first training session. Its about building expectations and the new season ahead. I think the back-up staff at the Dragons are hitting the right notes.


The likes of Taylor, Stewart and Carney are good for the competition in general. Escare and Bousquet have looked average in the European matches of late but put them with class acts they revel in it. Some players are like that.


If this overseas recruitment was the only story to tell in Perpignan today some people may have a point but it is'nt. Next year the Catalans U19s Academy side will be officially launched across the Channel. On Wednesday I saw their reserves in action here in Carcassonne. Basically an all-French U23s line-up against the locals with half a dozen overseas blokes on board.

#3232544 France - Scotland

Posted by audois on 12 November 2015 - 01:00 PM

Catalans reserve, with 5 players back from the Euro comp, just got beaten 30-14 by Carcassonne. 

But, of course, Carcassonne and Lezignan player cannot be selected as Agar does not know any of them.


Good effort by St Esteve. Never give it up. They like Avignon and Toulouse just U23s and all French. ASC with 6 overseas players undefeated and team to beat this year. Men v Boys in away Anderson and Pau experienced Kiwis infront of them. Catalans blew several chances through youthfulness. Jouffret looked sharp and man of the moment Perez shows real potential - a football playing backrower. Good afternoon in the sunshine with a fair turn out.

#3228067 RLIF meeting in Paris

Posted by audois on 05 November 2015 - 01:28 PM

The thinking is to have a world 9s every two years....which will mean theres gonna be a RLIF event ever year between world cups..and that means more money for the RLIF...which is only a good thing

So from a RLIF point of view the schedule will look like this

2017 RLWC
2018 RLIF 9s (pre season)
2020 RLIF 9s (pre season)
2021 RLWC

and before anyone screams player burnout...my england 9s team looks nowt like the full test team...so its not like all the players will be backing up..


What will the Federation Cup competition look like

#3223557 France : What Now?

Posted by audois on 30 October 2015 - 01:56 PM

I could see a belligerent Catalans just buying more English players. They don't seem to want to be responsible for a French International side.


Are they bothered about Toulouse entering do you or anyone else know??


From what I've picked up Catalans are keen to see Toulouse back playing again across the Channel. Frayssinous would be interested in dual-registration eventually as when St Esteve stop playing in May his fringe players have nowhere to go. Trent Robinson probably didn't have quite enough time back in 2011 to make it work properly - from what I remember both Gigot and Barthau spent some time there.


They got 14,000 in Toulouse too against Hull KR in 2013. If they got it right a French derby 20,000 for Olympique-Dragons a real possibility. SL games in France every weekend covered by BeIN Sports television raises the stakes re-tv rights hopefully.


Guasch has entered the fray too quoted in yesterdays paper,"Elima, Bosc, and Mounis have put an end to their international careers two years ago and the French Federation know very well, why."


Guisset and Elima from 2000 on have been the most celebrated of French players both with 300 SL games behind them. The former at Warrington, Wigan and the Dragons while the latter Castleford, Wakefield, Bradford and Dragons.The Federation should have had these players eating out of their hands.

#3221718 France : What Now?

Posted by audois on 27 October 2015 - 01:38 PM

Dragons assistant coach Jerome Guisset was once involved with the French set up but I think that important link was broken when Bobby Goulding was appointed by the previous Federation President Larrat. To me both he and Zalduendo have struggled to find common ground with the Dragons since day one.


From what I understand Zalduendo was critical of the decision of Catalans launching there U19s Academy side and didn't he want to send the Tricolours initially to NZ this autumn - far too demanding a schedule? There's been something not quite right since the WC 2013 with the French senior players which may explain why the likes of Elima, Mounis and Bosc have had enough.


Saying that Mounis was injured and hasn't played since July while Bosc finished the season with his knee strapped up. These two though have been spending this past month working with the U19s Academy side in preparation for their full debut in 2016 passing on their experience.


None of the half dozen French players with more than 100 games with the Dragons under their belt featured at Leigh. Only Escare and Bousquet with 81/61games respectively played and these are the only ones likely to play regularly for Catalans in 2016. You just cannot expect France to get anywhere near an England side with seven players expected to play NRL next year. The gaps just enormous. Just add up the value of the individual contracts head-to-head England-France last Saturday. Another world.


It was interesting too that BeIN sports television prefer to be in Cardiff Friday to cover Wales-France and not interested in what happened at Leigh. The French leadership to me is lacking - they sent those young lads into something they weren't prepared for.


In hindsight may be they should have had a different squad all together just for the Leigh game - to give England a physical challenge of sorts. Both the Anderson brothers would qualify now on residential grounds and Dureau could have said his goodbyes wearing a Tricolour jumper.Vaccari and Stacul wingers both with experience behind them could have offered something too.


I understand Agar's desire to look ahead; he talked last week of not just 2017 but the WC after that when some of the present U18s Academys side will have matured hopefully. But England for now far too soon.