Ricky Stuart quits coaching role

On December 9, 2008 by

The coach of Australia’s Rugby League team has quit his post after intense and widespread criticism regarding his behaviour at the recent World Cup.

Ricky Stuart behaved inappropriately towards match officials after the tournament’s final, which Australia lost after an impressive performance from New Zealand.

Stuart did later apologise for making offensive remarks to the officials and was fined over eight thousand pounds but this did little to calm the feelings of those offended by his outrageous actions.

Numerous rumours have been circulating ever since the incident, which occurred after the final match of the tournament on the 22nd of November in Brisbane.

There has been mounting speculation that Ricky Stuart made actual physical contact with the match officials from England, Ashley Klein and Stuart Cunnings, the day after the World Cup defeat to bitter rivals, New Zealand. Furthermore, the verbal abuse was said to be disgusting and entirely inappropriate.

The Australian Rugby League revealed that Stuart would not be applying for the job as national coach for next season and the ex-coach has now stated that this was a

Super League play-offs revamped

On December 8, 2008 by

Last weekend, the Rugby Football League revealed that it was to introduce major changes to the Super League play-offs. These changes will be introduced next season and officials revealed that all fourteen clubs have been informed of the alterations. One of the biggest changes will see the highest-placed team after the first round able to pick their opponents for the semi-final in week three.

Furthermore, following the expansion of the league to include two extra clubs, the series, which lasts for four weeks and ends in October, will involve the top eight teams.

The format will now be as follows: the eight qualifying teams will play on the opening weekend, with the leaders of the League meeting the team in fourth position, and the second and third teams competing against each other as well. In addition, the fifth placed team will play the eighth placed team and sixth will come up against seventh.

The winners of the games which involve the top four clubs will progress straight to the third week and the qualifying semi-finals. However, the losers will face the winners of the elimination play-offs.

During the third week, the teams successful in week one’s qualifying play-offs will come up against the winners from the second week. The highest-placed team will also be able to pick from one of two opponents.

The eight team play-off series is a

Australia consider two referees

On December 1, 2008 by

Officials for the National Rugby League in Australia are set to decide whether or not to start a groundbreaking trial which would see two referees involved on the field of play during a match.

The trial would start next season and one referee would monitor the action surrounding the ball whilst the other would constantly monitor the 10m line in defence. It would only be implemented in the National Rugby League, with the current system remaining in place for every other rugby grade and competition.

The officials on the National Rugby League board will meet in early December to decide whether to set the trial in motion and the chief of the League, Dave Gallop, is keen to see the scheme approved. He believes that having two referees on the pitch will lead to

New Zealand beat Australia to win World Cup

On November 26, 2008 by

This weekend saw an impressive New Zealand side beat a strong Australian team to win the final of the Rugby League World Cup for the very first time in their history. Australia were widely expected to beat the Kiwis in the match.

After all, they had held the World Cup trophy since the mid-1970s and had not been defeated throughout the entire tournament. Furthermore, the opposition they were set to face in the final, New Zealand, had been heavily crushed by the Australian side earlier in the tournament. Australia’s opening game saw the Kiwis defeated 30-6.

However, although Australia led at half time, impressive play from Lance Hohaia and Benji Marshall saw New Zealand quickly open up a 22-16 lead. Adam Blair confirmed the victory after Australia made a series of unforced, and extremely uncharacteristic, errors.

The strength and aggression which ran throughout the New Zealand side proved too much for the Australians, who seemed surprised by the Kiwis’ attitude. The Australian team should have taken advantage of the early lead but the side became complacent and allowed New Zealand to grow in confidence.

The captain of New Zealand, Nathan Cayless, believed that the victory was one of the finest moments of his career. He was ecstatic that the team had managed to take advantage of some sloppy play by Australia, since he has painful experiences of being in situations where the team has failed to build on leads and good play. He revealed that the team were looking forward to celebrating the win after working so hard to achieve success.

Stuart reveals anxiety over England future

On November 20, 2008 by

After New Zealand thrashed and truly humiliated the English rugby league team in the semi-finals of the Rugby League World Cup, the last thing that fans of the team needed was an anxious message concerning the national side’s future from the coach of Australia, Ricky Stuart.

England rugby fans have had to watch their side suffer humbling defeats during three out of their four World Cup matches and the loss to New Zealand was only surpassed, in terms of humiliation, by the defeat at the hands of an impressive Australian team.

Ricky Stuart’s team beat England 52-4 in Melbourne and the coach has since spoken of his shock at what he has

Billy Slater named player of the year

On November 18, 2008 by

Billy Slater, the Australian full-back who currently plays for Melbourne, has been awarded the honour of being the Rugby League International Federation’s world player of the year.

The recipients of the numerous awards were chosen by the media as well as former rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain. The rugby players in contention for the honours were judged on their performances since October of last year.

England rugby fans will be all too aware of the talent possessed by Slater, who scored a hat-trick against the national side during the recent World Cup. The full-back, who is only twenty-five years of age, also scored a hat-trick against Fiji and has been invaluable to the Australian team throughout their World Cup campaign.

The news of Slater’s success is yet another blow for English rugby fans. After watching their team stumble at the World Cup, they have now seen several English players beaten to the award by Slater. Leon Pryce, Jamie Peacock, and Rob Burrow were short-listed for the honour but it was decided that the Australian full-back’s recent efforts on the international stage deserved to be recognised.

Australian rugby fans had further cause for celebration after it was revealed that several other members of the national team had been handed awards. Israel Folau was named the Young Player of the Year and the Centre of the Year. Folau became the country’s youngest ever international earlier this year, making his debut at the age of just 18 years and 194 days.

England humbled by Australia

On November 3, 2008 by

The coach of the national Rugby League side, Tony Smith, has spoken of his embarrassment at England’s record World Cup defeat.

Defending champions Australia humbled England during the match at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne, winning 52-4. The Kangaroos managed to score an impressive total of nine tries, with Greg Inglis and Billy Slater both scoring fantastic hat-tricks.

Tony Smith has stated that England have been left feeling hurt and embarrassed and he believes the team needs to improve quickly.

Smith was quick to praise the Australian team, stating that the

Lasting tribute planned in honour of Watene

On October 20, 2008 by

John Kear, coach for the Wakefield Wildcats, has spoken of his desire to plan a fitting and

Hartley ready for England – Wells

On May 30, 2008 by

Dylan Hartley of Northampton is ready to enter the England squad according to coach John Wells.

Despite a chequered history and a six month ban which cost him a world cup place Wells is confident that he can play for the national squad Hartley has been very impressive in training and he will step up when asked to do so”.

About Wells discipline record he added:The important thing is to give him game time: he has not played for the last four weeks.

I have spoken to him in the past about his discipline and he has worked on that at Northampton with Dorian West.

He now plays in an organised and disciplined way. The rough edges have been eliminated from his game, but there is still a physicality and an aggression about the way he plays, and we need those in English rugby.

Source : BBC News

Welcome to TalkRugbyLeague

On May 29, 2008 by

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