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Honor James

History beckons as 2013 Northern Rail Cup begins

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A place in the historic Northern Rail Finals Day at The Shay, Halifax, on Saturday July 20 will be the ultimate goal for the eight clubs who kick off the group stages of the 2013 Northern Rail Cup this weekend.

All eight clubs will set their sights on a coveted place in the Northern Rail Cup final but will also be in contention to contest the inaugural Northern Rail Bowl final, which will feature the two highest ranked Kingstone Press Championship One clubs.

The opening fixtures of the 2013 Northern Rail Cup see Hemel Stags and University of Gloucestershire All Golds compete in the professional ranks for the first time when they go head-to-head on Sunday March 3.

They will be joined by Gateshead Thunder, London Skolars, North Wales Crusaders, Oldham, Rochdale Hornets and South Wales Scorpions competing in two groups, with the top side in each group set to progress to a knock-out round of 16 where they will join all 14 Kingstone Press Championship clubs in May.

Should a Championship One club reach the Northern Rail Cup final, the club placed second in its group will play in the Bowl final.

"The Northern Rail Cup has firmly established itself as one of the sport's most entertaining competitions and has as a prize a trophy that all Championship players want to get their hands on," said RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer. "The competition has treated us to some memorable and dramatic action during the past few years and recent finals have been among the most exciting games of recent times. "The re-structured group stages have added an extra element to the competition and promise to make for an increasingly competitive competition from start to finish. I look forward to watching the action unfold during the coming weeks.

"This is a very exciting year for the sport with an expanded Championship and three new clubs entering Championship One: with an extra trophy up for grabs, I fully expect the action to be even more cut-throat over the coming months.

"Every team now has a realistic possibility of a final appearance on the big stage: from the moment the ball is kicked-off in every Northern Rail Cup fixture, every pass, every tackle and every score will count!"

The 2013 Northern Rail Cup Groups are as follows:

Group A

Oldham

Rochdale Hornets

Gateshead Thunder

North Wales Crusaders

Group B

South Wales Scorpions

London Skolars

Gloucestershire All Golds

Hemel Stags

*Each club will play four games, two Home and two Away. Three games will be between clubs in their pool with one game played against a club in the other pool. All 14 Kingstone Press Championship sides enter the competition during the first knock-out stage which will be played on the weekend of May 18/19.

Details of ticket prices and availability for the 2013 Northern Rail Cup finals day at The Shay, Halifax, on Saturday July 20 will be announced in the next few

weeks.

-ends-

Nathan Clarke

Media Executive

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?

"historic" in the sense that it's the first 'finals day', i.e. with the Cup and Bowl finals.

Personally I reckon the Bowl is a good idea, but I'd have liked it to have semi-finals too, that way the clubs in each group would have had more to play for: as it is a team loosing in the fisr week is pretty much out of contention from topping the group.

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"historic" in the sense that it's the first 'finals day', i.e. with the Cup and Bowl finals.

his·tor·ic (hibreve.gif-stôrprime.gifibreve.gifk, -stobreve.gifrprime.gif-)adj.

Having importance in or influence on history.

ok.

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Moving the final to Halifax will half the crowd (unless Fax get home advantage), already I have no interest in this cup.

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Personally I reckon the Bowl is a good idea, but I'd have liked it to have semi-finals too, that way the clubs in each group would have had more to play for: as it is a team loosing in the fisr week is pretty much out of contention from topping the group.

It'll be a bit of a b*gger if one of the group winners goes on to qualify for the actual NRC Final ! Its unlikely but possible - what would they do with the Bowl final then ?

Edit : Just spotted the sentence that says the second team in the group will play in the Bowl final if the above occurs. Theoretically, that team could win one game and lose 2 and qualify for a final.

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It'll be a bit of a b*gger if one of the group winners goes on to qualify for the actual NRC Final ! Its unlikely but possible - what would they do with the Bowl final then ?

Despite my own fail, this bit seemed pretty clear to me. :unsure:

Should a Championship One club reach the Northern Rail Cup final, the club placed second in its group will play in the Bowl final.

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Despite my own fail, this bit seemed pretty clear to me. :unsure:

Yes I didn't spot that initially, mea culpa

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Complete mickey mouse cup.

Would it not be better to have a similar round robin in the early stages of the challenge cup?

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no.....

even though i like the NR bowl idea...i would still scrap both the NRC & NRB in favour of bringing back the lancashire & yorkshire cups for championship,champ1 & SL under19/20s

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Is Hemel Hempstead in Lancashire, or Yorkshire?

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Is Hemel Hempstead in Lancashire, or Yorkshire?

I heard its a suburb of Brisbane.

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Is Hemel Hempstead in Lancashire, or Yorkshire?

just devide the teams outside lancs & yorks along a east-west deviding line...

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