A history of gaffes with the cup draw

There was a bit of an error in Thursday’s Challenge Cup first round draw – when the name of East Leeds ARLFC was read out twice – and Stanningley’s wasn’t announced at all.

It prompted this tweet from East Leeds themselves, to which presenter Dave Woods replied himself on Twitter:



And perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s not the first time the Challenge Cup and gaffes with the draw have gone hand in hand.

The latest episode before today’s mishap was in the 2015 draw, not even 12 months ago. Somehow, the identifying digits on each ball managed to fall off the number 10 – leading the company who supplied the balls to make an apology.

“We are deeply embarrassed and disappointed that the balls fell short of the standards to which Valpro UK aspire in the course of our business,’ Valpro’s statement read

“Whilst the mini rugby balls may look simple, they are highly engineered and consist of several components.

“Although the balls were tried and tested before being delivered, there was an unforeseen natural flaw in one of the balls which resulted in the number becoming separated.”

As recently as 2014, there were accusations that the 6 and the 9-ball had become confused with each other — something that the RFL felt it was able to refute, although not to everyone’s satisfaction.

Then in 2013, the year before that, there was a spectacular gaffe involving Radio 5 Live and Richard Bacon. Workington was mis-pronounced Woking Town, Hull KR were announced as playing two different opponents and Bacon made regular apologies to his listeners for interrupting the show’s previous feature.

People say only in Rugby League. Sometimes, you have to wonder if they’re right.