BASIC handling errors has seen the touring Russian National squad hand over a 32 ? 16 victory to the Tasman Orcas in the first match of the NZ South Island tour. Russia who have send across a 28 man squad to New Zealand in preparation for the 2004 Victory Cup and European Nations Cup tournaments were their own worse enemy in the opening clash handing over the majority of possession to the home team.
THE Tri-Nations Final will be taken to a stadium of decent size and stature in the British Sporting World, with the RFL believed to be close to signing a deal with the City of Manchester Stadium trust.
THE Australian Rugby League has confirmed today that former Queensland State of Origin, and current Brisbane Broncos coach, Wayne Bennett, will take over the reigns of the Australian Philips Kangaroos from Chris Anderson.
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO has been announced as the sixth participant for the 2004 Victory Cup which will be held in Moscow, St Petersburg and Kazan. The Victory Cup, which kicked off the first time in May last year was considered a huge success, with Russia pushing France all the way in the final in front of a crowd of over 7,000 on a weekday afternoon. The tournament helped Russia to qualify for funding from the Russian Sports Council, funding which has helped the event to expand and allow the inclusion of Serbia and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).
THE Australian Rugby League have played the safe card in their recent decsion to host the ANZAC test match between Australia and New Zealand at Newcastle?s EnergyAustralia Stadium rather than the larger Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park) in Brisbane.
SCOTT Gibbs, just a month after announcing his retirement from Rugby Union, has now been linked to the Bridgend Blue Bulls in the Rugby League Conference. The Blue Bulls, who won the national tournament in 2003 already boast former cross-code greats including Kevin Ellis, Jon Devereux and Allan Bateman, and the news that Gibbs may cross would seriously make them favourites to retain the tournament title.
FANS of Rugby League all around Australia, with the exception of Western Australia, will be able to enjoy the World Club Challenge match between the Penrith Panthers and Bradford Bulls live for the first time in the competitions history.
PAPUA New Guinea Rugby League, whilst enjoy a boom in terms of players numbers and club, is facing a new problem, with only eight out of the 31 major leagues affiliating with the PNGRFL (the national body of the game). Under an ultimatum put out by the PNGRFL, all regions must affiliate with the national body before the Annual General Meeting (in 2 weeks) or face the prospect of being excluded from domestic competitions, and having players from those competition ineligible for the Kumul national side.
THE Australian Philips Kangaroos are in for a very full international season, with the green and gold national team now being scheduled for a minimum of eight test matches. Australia will open their international campaign with the re-introduced ANZAC test against New Zealand which will be played on Friday April 23 at either Brisbane or Newcastle.
USA have opened their second match of their tour in Australia in far more convincing style than their opening clash, going down to Goulburn 42 ? 10 last night. In steamy conditions the Americans looked a far more composed side than in their first clash, however still made the simple mistakes which resulted in them being 14 ? 0 down at half time, despite having most of the possession and the territory.