EurFed RLEF - League Overseas - General

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The Netherlands warmed up for their upcoming Euro D campaign by taking home the Griffin Cup after a glorious win over Germany.

Joran Schoemaker scored a hat-trick as the Dutch ran in 12 tries on a warm afternoon in Dusseldorf in front of a small, but vocal crowd.

It was the third time in a row the Dutch had won the cup, having won by two points icn September last year, and was the biggest win against Germany in any competition.
 

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France: Toulouse's win in the Million Pound Game puts them in the ESL Super League for 2022.

Two French sides now in the top level.
 

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A sensational end to the running game season saw Jamaica and Scotland share the spoils, 30-all, at the Millennium Stadium, Featherstone in a Test match for world ranking points.

The Reggae Warriors scored six tries to five and came back from 30-10 down two minutes into the second half, superbly led by Ashton Golding - starting at loose forward for the first time - and Izzac Farrell on debut.

Scotland were excellently served by St Helens-bound James Bell, Barrow’s Charlie Emslie posting a try double for them on his international bow.

Jamaica raced into a 10-0 lead with tries from Jymel Coleman and an 85 metre pick up by Ben Jones-Bishop after Sam Luckley had lost the ball, the Bravehearts then holding out Golding and Izzac Farrell and preventing Mo Agoro crossing in the corner with some outstanding goal line defence.
 

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In a first for the sport, European Rugby League has delivered a senior coaching course in Arabic, to observer member Libya. Lebanese Rugby League Federation coach educator Gaby Hadad, who graduated through the ERL CATO (consolidate, application, team, observation) program, ran the six-week level 1 coaching course on-line to 13 participants.

It is the first time a course has been delivered entirely in Arabic outside of a Lebanese RLF school educator program, which ran via the education ministry there between 2009–12. The next phase will be to oversee the participants deliver the core skills learned.

Libya Rugby League managing director, Abdul Karim Forjani, commented: “On behalf of the Libyan Rugby League, I would like to express our thanks to ERL and its Middle East Africa region for giving us this great opportunity. It was a well organized and successful course crowned by positive feedback from all participants. We believe that such an intensive course will help us to strengthen the experience of those involved and broaden the popular base of the sport here.”

ERL coaching manager, Martin Crick, added: “The course was delivered on-line due to the pandemic but it is an historic development in the MEA region. The training of coaches and coach educators in the regions, so that courses can be delivered in their native language, is one of the main aims of the program and this is another significant landmark.”
 

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Norway: The winner of the West Coast conference, Stavanger Storm, will face North/East conference top side, Lillestrom Lions, in the Norge Rugby League Grand Final at the Randeberg Arena in Stavanger tomorrow (Saturday) to decide the champions (kick off 15.00 local time).

It will be the first time the sides have met and RL Norge president, Anne Haigh, commented: “It is fantastic that we have been able to resume and complete our domestic season after the disruption cause by Covid. I am looking forward to what will be a tough challenge and wish both teams the very best of luck ahead of the game.”

The match will be livestreamed at - http://solidsport.com/stavanger-rugby-klubb/watch/rugby-league-norge-final-2021

STAVANGER STORM
Engerbakk, Kesarovski, Borsheim, Salmon, Nygaard, Cummins, Rodriguez, Meling, Nordtun, Danielsen, Hermansen, Saeby, Van de Pas. Subs: Andersen, Ajlt, Southee, Scheel

LILLESTROM LIONS
Zuniga (c), M Ponton, Lenz, Galic, Vondracek, A Ponton, Brekk, Ulveseter, Vagen, Holst, Norom, Falk, Peci. Subs: Holte, Salvemini, Eilersten, Gundersen
 

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France completed a 2-0 series win, and regained the Fassolette-Kielty Trophy, in a thrilling Wheelchair Rugby League International at Medway Park in Kent.

Inspired by Nicolas Claussells, who scored 25 of their points with three tries, six goals and a drop goal, the winners of the last World Cup in 2017 confirmed their status as favourites for the next competition when it is held in England next autumn, following this year’s postponement.

But England will draw encouragement from an improved performance on their 49-24 defeat in the first international, as they surged back from a 27-6 deficit to within a single point thanks to a 20-point haul from Nathan Collins of Leeds Rhinos.

A capacity crowd including the England Men’s Head Coach Shaun Wane were on a knife edge until the brilliant Clausells touched down a kick from France’s captain Gilles Clausells, then converted from wide out.
 

S J

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Norway: The winner of the West Coast conference, Stavanger Storm, will face North/East conference top side, Lillestrom Lions, in the Norge Rugby League Grand Final at the Randeberg Arena in Stavanger tomorrow (Saturday) to decide the champions (kick off 15.00 local time).

It will be the first time the sides have met and RL Norge president, Anne Haigh, commented: “It is fantastic that we have been able to resume and complete our domestic season after the disruption cause by Covid. I am looking forward to what will be a tough challenge and wish both teams the very best of luck ahead of the game.”

The match will be livestreamed at - http://solidsport.com/stavanger-rugby-klubb/watch/rugby-league-norge-final-2021

STAVANGER STORM
Engerbakk, Kesarovski, Borsheim, Salmon, Nygaard, Cummins, Rodriguez, Meling, Nordtun, Danielsen, Hermansen, Saeby, Van de Pas. Subs: Andersen, Ajlt, Southee, Scheel

LILLESTROM LIONS
Zuniga (c), M Ponton, Lenz, Galic, Vondracek, A Ponton, Brekk, Ulveseter, Vagen, Holst, Norom, Falk, Peci. Subs: Holte, Salvemini, Eilersten, Gundersen
 

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The South African rugby league season is back up and running, with matches taking place in the Rhino and Protea Cup competitions.

Like all other sports in the wake of the Covid-19 restrictions, the South Africa Rugby League Sport Association had to ensure full compliance with the existing return-to-play protocols, however, the 20 months of inactivity did not dampen their enthusiasm for rugby league.

At the start of the new season, 14 northern-based clubs have initially returned to action, based in towns and cities as diverse as Pretoria, Brits, Boksburg, Springs, Marble Hall, Cape Town, Witbank and Ermelo.

Division 1, with the Rhino Cup at stake, includes Pretoria, University of Pretoria (Tuks RL Red and Tuks RL Blue), Grizzlies, Knights, Bulldogs, Spartan and the reformed St. Helens Vultures. Division 2, for the Protea Cup, features Loskop Leopards, Tomahawks, Silverbacks, Millstream Wolverines, St. Helens Vultures 2 and Spartan 2.
 

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European Rugby League (ERL) has become the first sporting organisation to be officially certified by the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA). The ERL has received a silver certification after being independently assessed in accordance with global good governance standards.

SIGA, the world’s leading organisation for sport integrity, has development their new Independent rating and verification system (SIRVS) to measure organisations’ compliance with standards of governance, integrity, transparency and accountability, audited by the British Standards Institute (BSI), and providing a safety net for fans, sponsors and investors.

ERL interim chair, Graeme Thompson, commented: “Our recent governance review was significantly enhanced by using the service provided by SIGA. It was vital for us to have external benchmarking added to the final changes that our members recently voted in. Those member proposals will likely move us into the gold zone with SIGA for any future review. We are always aiming to be the best we can and leading the way, as evidenced by being the inaugural users of SIGA's process.”
 

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European Rugby League, which includes the Middle East Africa confederation, has recommended to the board of International Rugby League that the officially recognised Kenya Rugby League Federation is awarded Observer status.

Kenya RLF chair, Richard Adhere Nyakwaka, commented: “We welcome this development with open arms. We have eight clubs from different regions in Kenya and are resuming competition, with the first friendly tournament scheduled for today (28 November) in Nairobi. This proposed, sanctioned affiliation is a big inspiration as KRLF start preparing for the next world cup qualifiers.”
 

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Rugby League Federation Ghana has announced their fixture schedule for 2022. The opening event will be a touch rugby festival at the University of Ghana in Legon on 16 January. At the same venue a month later, on 13 February, RLFG will host a Long Tag Rugby League event.

A series of 9's tournaments will take place from 13 March through to 10 April alongside University of Ghana Inter-Hall games, with the men’s, women’s and youth championships designated from 1 May to 1 July. Following that will be an Origin game on 27 August leading to selection for the national side for the Middle East Africa Championship the following month - national team training taking place twice a month - the season finishing in early December with a beach tournament.

Plans are also in hand for a ‘Tackle Like a Lady’ campaign between March and April, together with others linked to blood donation and cancer awareness. Coaching and match official courses are scheduled for late January, together with a ‘Know the Laws’ forum in April.
 

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School rugby league programmes have started in Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Turkey as the sport continues to expand its footprint across the Balkan region.

Montenegro Rugby League is working with U12s, 13s and 14s across five schools in the cities of Tivat and Kotor, in a programme led by PE teacher and national team player Mitar Boskovic, who completed the ERL level 1 coaching course in September.

MRL president, Igor Adzaip, commented: “Our goal is to expand our development and start to work with the youth in order to establish two more clubs and start a domestic competition. Montenegro is small in population but very good in team sports, we will continue cooperation with the other Balkan nations.” Further schools are set to join in seaside areas Herceg Novi, Budva and Bar, the capital Podgorica, and cities Niksic and Cetinje.
 

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Oxford University’s rugby league side has announced that they will make a tour to Ghana in July 2022. They will be the first UK side to visit Accra since the GB Student Pioneers travelled to West Africa in 2014.

Now in their 45th year, the dark blues first and second teams are currently enjoying a successful season in the British University & Colleges Sport leagues.

OURLFC president, Joseph Grosvenor, commented: “We saw the traction that rugby league was receiving in Ghana and decided to reach out to former Oxford and Ghana back rower Abeku Nelson to see if we could link in with it. Our aim is to take a travelling party of 25 players and staff, assist with some community work and then have a two-game series against a Presidents XIII and the national side.”

RLFG general manager Jafaru Mustapha, added: “Next year marks a decade since the arrival of rugby league in our nation, and the one area we are now ready to further develop is Higher Education. It is fitting that we will welcome Oxford to the University of Ghana where they will be based. Our hope is to build a solid foundation for us to take forward and one day tour England on the return leg.”

Abeku Nelson said: “I have an affinity to both groups and know the importance of this tour to each. I hope, based on the back it, that more clubs see the growth of the game in Africa and look to head there for competition. I’ll be with Oxford off the field, but 100% with Ghana on it.”
 

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Irena Lateta has become the first woman elected to the Serbia Rugby League Federation board since its original formation in 1953, taking up the position of marketing director. An expert in the field, she saw her first game at the beginning of October 2021 when the national side defeated Ukraine in Euro Championship B.

Immediately drawn to the sport, she pledged to assist to gain more awareness and popularity of it in the country. “I hope that with my expertise in the area of marketing, I will be able to contribute to the continued growth of the game, which has recently seen the national men’s side move into the top ten in the world,” she commented.
 

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The steering committee charged with planning the road map to independent federation status for the Middle East Africa region has been increased from five members to seven following a governance review. The need was identified to include independent members with specific skills and Sami Garabedian, former professional player Bolu Fagborun and Saad Boujmal have been added to existing elected member representatives, Nayef abi Said (Lebanon), Dr Frans Erasmus (South Africa), Adam Sada (Nigeria) and Ghassan Badawi (Libya).

Sami Garabedian was elected by the group as chair and commented: “It is indeed a privilege to have been entrusted with the lead role of this esteemed group. I hope that along with my other colleagues of exceptional quality, we will be able to steer MEA to new heights. It will be a collective effort in the best interests of the game.”

Dr Frans Erasmus has been elected vice chair and MEA regional director Remond Safi appointed as secretary.
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With the sanctioned return to play in Greece, Rhodes Knights undertook a 900km round trip to play two matches in Athens last weekend. They defeated the Rhinos 32-16 on Saturday, and followed that up with a 58-12 win against the Raiders on Sunday.

Knights’ head coach and Greece national assistant, Michalis Chatziioannou, commented: “Over the weekend we saw a great standard of rugby league. I am very pleased with my team's performances, especially the inexperienced teenagers that had got their first real taste of rugby league matches.
 

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Following on from Stavanger Storm winning the Norge Grand Final, defeating Lillestrøm Lions 64-12, a level 1 match officials course has been delivered in Norway. Ten candidates took part at the Idrettens Hus in Ullevål, Oslo, the headquarters of the Norwegian Sports Association.

The course was delivered by Rugby League Ireland match official and educator Paul Causby, trained through European Rugby League’s technical education programme, and covered all aspects of officiating. “All candidates came with open minds and a willingness to learn,” noted Causby. “We quickly overcame some of the terminology issues which are challenged by the language barrier, and from then on in the candidates took in as much information as they could. They cannot wait for spring so that they can put their new found knowledge into practice.”
 

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Following the recent announcement of their rise to 14th in the world rankings, Netherlands Rugby League Bond has begun planning the next phase of their development, as they look to recruit in four key posts.

Kane Krlic’s departure, after seven successful years at the helm, means the need for the appointment of a new men’s head coach for the 2025 World Cup qualifiers and beyond. Alongside, the NRLB is looking for regional development officers – a new position to build the player pool across a wider area; general volunteers – to support events across the country; and more match officials.