General ESL Season 2016

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
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https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-league/37422338

Super 8s Qualifiers: The cost of losing for Hull KR or Huddersfield
By Matt Newsum

BBC Sport
  • 21 Sep
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Hull KR and Huddersfield have won a game apiece in the two previous meetings this season
Super 8s Qualifiers: Hull KR v Huddersfield
Venue:
KC Lightstream Stadium Date: Saturday, 24 September Kick-off: 12:30 BST Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Humberside and BBC Radio Leeds
Leigh's promotion to the Super League has been celebrated as a success for the current Super 8s format.

The Leythers became the first Championship club to climb back to the elite level since the old franchise system was scrapped and a "three groups of eight" end-of-season set-up was introduced for 2015.

Their achievement means one of Hull KR, Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils - three of the four top-flight sides that ended up in the middle tier known as the Qualifiers - will drop out.


Rovers or Giants can ensure their spot with victory in Saturday's "shoot-out" between the pair, while the loser will ponder the uncertainty of the Million Pound Game - a tussle between fourth and fifth in the table to decide the remaining Super League place.

'Game to be relished'
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Leeds in second are already safe but only two of the three top-flight clubs below them will also secure their Super League place
From a purely sporting perspective, the return of promotion and relegation has given the format a new lease of life in 2016, perhaps outdoing Super League itself for excitement and incident.

The quirk of the fixture list to pair Huddersfield and Hull KR in the final game of the campaign has set up a dramatic finale for coaches, fans and players alike.

"These games are the reason we play," Rovers half-back Terry Campese told BBC Sport.

Campese, who has played State of Origin for New South Wales, for Australia and spent 12 NRL seasons at Canberra, has placed great significance on Saturday's encounter.

"The pressure, whoever handles it the best gets through," the 32-year-old added. "It's exciting, nerve-wracking, everything all in one.

"It's not like the loser has a repercussion but if you do lose you're in the Million Pound Game, which is a scary thought."

Jobs at stake
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Terry Campese played one Origin game for New South Wales in 2009
While the media will lap up the tense excitement and a neutral audience could be enticed into following the game, there is a darker side to the events that could unfold over the next few weekends.

Super League clubs work on Super League budgets, not just in terms of playing staff but behind the scenes from coaching to commercial.

Relegation to the Championship, where the financial rewards are much lower, forces clubs to make financial cuts.

"There's a lot more behind the scenes," Campese added. "There are a lot of backroom staff that also lose their jobs and it's a lot of money you miss out on.

Huddersfield hooker Ryan Hinchcliffe says the end-of-season stakes are huge on a private and professional level.

"We've invested a huge amount," he said after Sunday's win against Leeds kept their hopes alive.

The 31-year-old had been at NRL side Melbourne Storm for six years, winning premiership and World Club Challenge honours, but opted to bring his family to the other side of the world to play.

"This Qualifiers concept is a stressful one and the stress that goes along with it is not a nice thing," he said.

Families
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Ryan Hinchcliffe (second row, third left) enjoyed NRL premiership success with Melbourne Storm in 2012
Uncertainty is tough for everyone involved, but particularly the import players.

Some travel thousands of miles with families in tow to continue their careers in Super League, bedding into British life.

"My kids started school over here," Campese said. "They don't grow up with family back home like cousins, aunties, uncles, nan and pops etc. It's a big investment for us.

"We want to put our best foot forward, do right by the club that takes a gamble on us."

Such distractions have prompted Giants boss Rick Stone to try to shield his players.

"Everyone keeps telling you [about relegation]," he told BBC Radio Leeds. "It's hard for the players to get it out of their heads.

"They've got a lot of their life invested in what they're doing at the moment, so we've tried to focus on the process rather than worry about the ramifications."

Pressure
The notion of relegation is alien to Australian rugby league audiences, with a "closed-shop" National Rugby League and the most high profile feeder leagues in New South Wales and Queensland existing on the fringes.

It makes Saturday's game and the possibility of a one-off match to stay in the division even more significant - even for those who have the experience of playing in the the game's showpiece event in Britain and down under.

"I've played Grand Finals, World Club Challenges," Hinchcliffe added. "There's nothing that compares to playing for your contract, playing for your futures.

"The pressure of that is big, and if anyone says they've not been feeling any pressure I don't think they're telling the truth."

Decider
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Jamie Peacock came out of retirement in a bid to steer Hull KR to safety this season
In terms of the table, there is little to statistically separate the teams, with an identical record and only a four-point advantage for Hull KR on points difference.

Rovers, hosts on Saturday, have even been bolstered by the return from retirement of veteran prop, multiple Super League winner and former Man of Steel Jamie Peacock, 38, for the tail end of this critical period.

His presence, added to Campese's return from injury, has given the Robins hope of staving off the drop.

Huddersfield arrive in East Hull having ended Leeds' 100% record in The Qualifiers, bouncing back from a wake-up call defeat by Leigh the previous week.

Campese summed up the situation that faces both sides on Saturday lunchtime: "Everyone knows that if we win we're safe, if we don't we're playing again the following week.

"We have to worry about what is in our hands and work on what we can."
 

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
And in the third tier;

https://www.nwemail.co.uk/sport/bar...f-win-e06acfa2-bafc-48d3-99b6-9dacef01545c-ds

Toulouse waiting for Barrow Raiders after Rochdale pull off shock play-off win

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FRENCH RETURN Barrow Raiders face a potential play-off final in Toulouse after Rochdale's shock League One promotion final win ALAIN SOULA
18 September 2016 6:09PM


BARROW Raiders face the prospect of another trip to Toulouse if they are to win promotion.

The nightmare scenario for the Craven Park club played out at the weekend.

Rochdale Hornets shocked the French outfit in the Kingstone Press League One Promotion Final in the south of France on Saturday, winning 24-22.

It was a first defeat of the season for Toulouse, who went into the game as hot favourites and who now enter the play-offs.

They will host York City Knights in the semi-finals this weekend, while Barrow entertain Doncaster.

The winners from those two matches will meet in the final to decide who will join Rochdale in the Championship next season.


Should Toulouse beat York, they would have home advantage against whichever of Barrow or Doncaster progressed.
 

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
And in the third division;

https://www.nwemail.co.uk/sport/bar...ccess-e32f23fd-1780-42f9-a124-d3a62e34535c-ds

Rochdale's Toulouse win gives Barrow hopes of play-offs success

27 September 2016 4:42PM

LIKE many sports fans, Paul Crarey loves a good old-fashioned underdog.

Indeed, the Barrow Raiders head coach was just one of those pleased to see Rochdale Hornets defy the odds and secure promotion to the Kingstone Press Championship by holding on for a 24-22 win over previously unbeaten Toulouse Olympique on their own turf last week.

That result means Barrow may well have to travel to the French side again for the League One play-off final next week, if they beat Doncaster in tomorrow's semi-final and Toulouse overcome York City Knights today.

But the fact Rochdale, who were the only side to take points off Sylvain Houles' side in the regular season with a 24-24 draw, were able to overcome a full-time outfit – much as Oldham did with Super League strugglers Hull Kingston Rovers in this year's Challenge Cup – has undoubtedly given a boost to the other three teams vying for promotion.

And, while Crarey is wary of his own side falling victims to a similar defeat against Doncaster, he is delighted to see the part-timers can, on occasion, still have their day.

“Money is not the be-all-and-end-all,” said Crarey. “Rochdale have gone to a side that have spent far money than them and beat them on their own ground, and nobody expected that at all.


“It's always good for the game when an underdog wins and it proves that if you work hard enough, focus hard enough, and someone doesn't prepare for you, then you'll get your rewards.

“Even at every amateur club, people are talking about the result – like when Oldham beat Hull KR – and I think it's really good for the game that money still doesn't rule in this sport.

“This club has come a million miles in two years in terms of the development and players we are signing. We've got to be ready for what comes next year and the year after, but we're definitely heading on the right track.”

Barrow's success so far this season can perhaps be considered an underdog story of its own as well, given how they have progressed from being on their knees following relegation from the Championship to the verge of a return to the second tier in the space of two years.

This has been achieved without throwing wads of cash around either – something the club simply cannot afford to do – and those principals will remain the same should the Raiders win promotion this season.

“What you've got to look at is what's behind you to keep you in the Championship,” said Crarey. “If people are spending £1m and £1.2m on a team, and you've got £350,000 to spend, then you're behind the eight-ball straight away.

“But what you can have is systems in place, kids coming through so that if you do go down, you can regroup and go back up again.

"What you don't want when you come down is capitulation. We've come into this club twice and picked it up off its backside twice, and I don't know if we'd be able to do it a third time.

“This is a rugby club with a great history and great support from the local amateur clubs, so it will always function, but we've got to bring the players through and get the kids playing so we've got that conveyor belt of talent.”

Ensuring the club has a stable base is key, while the transformation under Crarey in the past two years has once again made Raiders an attractive proposition for players from outside the area, with those who have come in – such as Ryan Fieldhouse and Martin Aspinwall ahead of this season – adding to what he is trying to build at Craven Park.

“If you look at other clubs who have been relegated from the Championship, the exodus of players is like when I first came in here,” said Crarey. “There were a handful of players who wanted to play for Barrow, agents didn't want to send people to Barrow and that's all changed.

“Agents are pushing players our way and even if you look at people we have brought in from the reserves at Leigh, they're becoming Championship players, so it's all good.

“We're talking to players without a budget for League One and the Championship, but what we're asking the agents is 'are the players interested in coming?'

“We want players coming here with a purpose, we don't want passengers or bad attitude. We want a good playing environment and a togetherness.”
 

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
And in the third division;

https://www.nwemail.co.uk/sport/bar...ccess-e32f23fd-1780-42f9-a124-d3a62e34535c-ds

Rochdale's Toulouse win gives Barrow hopes of play-offs success

27 September 2016 4:42PM

LIKE many sports fans, Paul Crarey loves a good old-fashioned underdog.

Indeed, the Barrow Raiders head coach was just one of those pleased to see Rochdale Hornets defy the odds and secure promotion to the Kingstone Press Championship by holding on for a 24-22 win over previously unbeaten Toulouse Olympique on their own turf last week.

That result means Barrow may well have to travel to the French side again for the League One play-off final next week, if they beat Doncaster in tomorrow's semi-final and Toulouse overcome York City Knights today.

But the fact Rochdale, who were the only side to take points off Sylvain Houles' side in the regular season with a 24-24 draw, were able to overcome a full-time outfit – much as Oldham did with Super League strugglers Hull Kingston Rovers in this year's Challenge Cup – has undoubtedly given a boost to the other three teams vying for promotion.

And, while Crarey is wary of his own side falling victims to a similar defeat against Doncaster, he is delighted to see the part-timers can, on occasion, still have their day.

“Money is not the be-all-and-end-all,” said Crarey. “Rochdale have gone to a side that have spent far money than them and beat them on their own ground, and nobody expected that at all.


“It's always good for the game when an underdog wins and it proves that if you work hard enough, focus hard enough, and someone doesn't prepare for you, then you'll get your rewards.

“Even at every amateur club, people are talking about the result – like when Oldham beat Hull KR – and I think it's really good for the game that money still doesn't rule in this sport.

“This club has come a million miles in two years in terms of the development and players we are signing. We've got to be ready for what comes next year and the year after, but we're definitely heading on the right track.”

Barrow's success so far this season can perhaps be considered an underdog story of its own as well, given how they have progressed from being on their knees following relegation from the Championship to the verge of a return to the second tier in the space of two years.

This has been achieved without throwing wads of cash around either – something the club simply cannot afford to do – and those principals will remain the same should the Raiders win promotion this season.

“What you've got to look at is what's behind you to keep you in the Championship,” said Crarey. “If people are spending £1m and £1.2m on a team, and you've got £350,000 to spend, then you're behind the eight-ball straight away.

“But what you can have is systems in place, kids coming through so that if you do go down, you can regroup and go back up again.

"What you don't want when you come down is capitulation. We've come into this club twice and picked it up off its backside twice, and I don't know if we'd be able to do it a third time.

“This is a rugby club with a great history and great support from the local amateur clubs, so it will always function, but we've got to bring the players through and get the kids playing so we've got that conveyor belt of talent.”

Ensuring the club has a stable base is key, while the transformation under Crarey in the past two years has once again made Raiders an attractive proposition for players from outside the area, with those who have come in – such as Ryan Fieldhouse and Martin Aspinwall ahead of this season – adding to what he is trying to build at Craven Park.

“If you look at other clubs who have been relegated from the Championship, the exodus of players is like when I first came in here,” said Crarey. “There were a handful of players who wanted to play for Barrow, agents didn't want to send people to Barrow and that's all changed.

“Agents are pushing players our way and even if you look at people we have brought in from the reserves at Leigh, they're becoming Championship players, so it's all good.

“We're talking to players without a budget for League One and the Championship, but what we're asking the agents is 'are the players interested in coming?'

“We want players coming here with a purpose, we don't want passengers or bad attitude. We want a good playing environment and a togetherness.”

upload_2016-9-28_14-18-21.png
 

snake77

Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 12, 2013
10,209
Auckland
Funny video referee referral in the Wigan vs Hull game this morning.

Hull kicked through after into the in goal. Steve Michaels looks like he may have grounded the ball, Wigan pick it up and run up field. Usually the ref would wait for the next tackle to go back and review. Wigan go the length of the field. The referee goes upstairs with the ruling of try for Wigan. They review the Hull put down. So any decision is going to come back as try on the big screen it is just a matter of to who, and which end the ref blows his whistle I suppose.;)

Endless replays of the Hull put down but even if he disallowed it the way I saw it he went upstairs for a try for Wigan so even disallowing that would have put up Try on the big screen. Maybe we need to add club colours or emblems into the graphics.o_O
 

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-league/37522438

Million Pound Game: RFL to investigate crowd trouble between Hull KR-Salford




  • 1 Oct
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Owner Marwan Koukash celebrated with Salford fans after his side escaped relegation, away from the incidents that have prompted the RFL's investigation
The Rugby Football League will conduct an investigation into crowd trouble that followed Salford's Million Pound Game win against Hull KR on Saturday.

Salford won 19-18 in golden-point extra time to relegate Rovers at the Lightstream Stadium and secure their own Super League status for 2017.

"Games with so much at stake often mean emotions run high," RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said in a statement.


"That does not excuse the minority of fans who behaved unacceptably."

He added: "The RFL will conduct a full investigation into these incidents and will work with the police and club involved to ensure anyone found to have acted violently is dealt with appropriately and also banned with immediate effect."

Rovers are the first Super League team to be relegated since the introduction of the Super 8s format, which sees the top two divisions split into three after 23 regular season rounds.

Eight teams in the middle tier have points reset and play each other once for the right to feature in Super League, with three automatic places and the last place decided by the Million Pound Game between fourth and fifth.

Rovers full-back Ben Cockayne was critical of the process, which has replaced the old licensing system in the build-up and brought back relegation as a proposition for Super League clubs.

"Whilst relegation and promotion remains a part of our competition, and we believe it should, there are always going to be winners and losers," Wood said.

"It isn't a nice situation, but it is the reality of sport and it is our job at the RFL to now make sure that the club, staff and players concerned are fully supported as best they can be."
 

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
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Toulouse Olympique v Barrow Raiders: Full-time report from the Stade des Minimes


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TRY TIME Eze Harper opens the scoring against Toulouse Pascal RODRIGUEZ
2 October 2016 1:32PM


A FOUR-try blitz at the start of the second half dashed Barrow Raiders' hopes of sealing promotion back to the Kingstone Press Championship after they went down 32-22 away to Toulouse Olympique in the League One play-off final.

Eze Harper had got the Raiders off to a dream start with an unconverted try, although Toulouse eventually breached their stubborn defence when the visitors found themselves down to 11 men due to two quick yellow cards and led by two points at the break.

But Toulouse made their pressure count early on when play resumed to ultimately take the game beyond Barrow, despite a determined fightback in the final quarter which saw Paul Crarey's men fall just short.

Kick-off was put back half-an-hour due to Barrow's flight leaving Manchester Airport an hour later than scheduled, although that did not seem to affect the visitors too much as they took the lead after just six minutes.

It came following a penalty when some hard running by forwards Liam Harrison and Joe Bullock took the Raiders into the red zone, and then Ryan Fieldhouse produced the perfect cut-out pass to send winger Harper over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Harper went close to adding to his tally soon after, only for the difficult pass to slip from his clutches under pressure from the defence as he dived for the line.

The away side were defending manfully too and after interchange man Anthony Bate was penalised for throwing a punch which led to a brief scuffle, Toulouse were able to ratchet up the pressure with a long spell of possession.

But try as they might, the home side found themselves unable to find a way through as Barrow's players threw everything into tackling with little regard for their own personal safety.

However, the pressure was starting to tell and the Raiders had Dan Toal and Ryan Fieldhouse sin-binned in quick succession following two team warnings.

The numerical advantage told in the final two minutes before the break when Tony Maurel broke from just inside his own half and darted through the defence to score behind the posts, giving Mark Kheirallah a simple conversion.

It took another eight minutes after the restart for Toulouse to breach the defence again, with Gavin Marguerite finishing off following swift passing from Maurel and Kheirallah – who added the extras once more – to stretch the defence.

That signalled the start of a 15-minute onslaught which saw the League One table toppers run in a further three tries, with skipper Sebastien Planas finishing off following two quick offloads and then Kuni Minga acrobatically diving over in the corner after Curran had been halted just short.

Then an opportunist piece of play from Kheirallah, catching the defence off-guard with a tap from a 20-metre restart and racing the length of the field to score under the posts, looked to have put the seal on the game for Toulouse with 20 minutes left.

However, Barrow mounted a fightback and when Chris Fleming's try with 11 minutes left was followed two minutes later by Fieldhouse stretching out to score as Toulouse tried to drag him down – with Chris Hankinson converting both – hopes were briefly raised of an unlikely comeback.

Time was against the away side though and Kheirallah slotted a penalty to settle a few jangling nerves.

Fleming did managed to get over for a second late on and even though Hankinson added the two, there was not enough time to go again as the French side saw out the match to seal promotion.

Toulouse Olympique: Kheirallah; Maurel, Marguerite, White, Minga; Ford, Hulme; Boyer, Bentley, Canet, Planas, Curran, Marion. Interchange: Kriouache, Masselot, Hepi, Mika.

Barrow Raiders: Fieldhouse; Harper, Pitman, Wiper, Fleming; Hankinson, Dallimore; Bullock, Ashall, Wilkes, Harrison, Morrow, Aspinwall. Interchange: Mossop, Toal, Dawson, Bate.
 

snake77

Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 12, 2013
10,209
Auckland
I'm going to have to set my MySky I thought I'd be helpful and volunteered to drive my mother and my sister to the airport. Now I'm wishing I'd done my homework and checked my upcoming schedule. Then I'd have paid for the airport shuttle.;)

My wifes a good sort when we were going over getting them to the airport and moving out the kids car seats she said she could take them and I could stay and look after the baby. Queue big smile....................and I can watch the game.:D

Enjoy the UK finals a good atmosphere at Old Trafford.
 

snake77

Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 12, 2013
10,209
Auckland
Cool I thought you meaning like Wigan situation. They lost last years Grand Final and were in danger of losing two years in a row. Wigan won this year without their two highest profile players in O'Laughlin and Tomkins. Not sure how much impact those two had over the season but still a good effort to win without two of their starts. I wish our team would show heart like that.

Warrington like you mentioned made the two big finals and lost. A bit gut wrenching but that's sport.
 

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