1994–95 Rugby Football League season

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1994–95 Rugby Football League season
Stones Bitter Championship
Duration 30 Rounds
Number of teams 16
Broadcast partners United Kingdom Sky Sports
1994–95 Season
Champions Wigancolours.svg Wigan
Premiership winners Wigancolours.svg Wigan
Man of Steel Wigancolours.svg Dennis Betts
Top point-scorer(s) Wigancolours.svg Frano Botica (408)
Top try-scorer(s) Wigancolours.svg Martin Offiah (53)
Selected for promotion to Championship
Elevated from Second Division London Broncos
Promotion and relegation
Relegated to new First Division

Relegated to new Second Division
Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers
Redscolours.svg Salford
Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity
Widnes colours.svg Widnes
Hullcolours.svg Hull

Doncaster colours.svg Doncaster
Second Division
Champions Cougscolours.svg Keighley
Promotion and relegation
Relegated to new Second Division HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers

Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet
Leigh colours.svg Leigh
Swintoncolours.svg Swinton
Barrowcolours.svg Barrow

< 1993–94 Seasons 1995–96 >

The 1994–95 Rugby Football League season was the 100th ever season of professional rugby league football in Britain. Sixteen teams competed from August 1994 until May 1995 for a number of titles, primarily the Stones Bitter Championship.

Season summary[edit]

The summer Super League concept was agreed to commence in 1996.

The record for most points scored by one team in a match was broken by Huddersfield when they clocked up 142 against Blackpool Gladiators' 4 in a Regal Trophy match on 26 November 1994. This is also the record for widest margin.

The 1995 Man of Steel Award for the player of the season went to Wigan's Denis Betts. Wigan also set a new record for most points in all matches in one season with 1,735 from 45 matches as follows:

  • Division One Championship: 1,148 (from 30 games)
  • Challenge Cup 230 (from 6 games)
  • Regal Trophy 170 (from 5 games)
  • Premiership Trophy 167 (from 3 games)
  • Tour match (Australia) 20 (from 1 game)

Rule changes[edit]

The following rule changes were introduced this season by the referees' coaching director, Greg McCallum:

  • Referees were given the power to put a player suspected of foul play "on report" with the incident to be reviewed later by the disciplinary panel.[1] The system was based on the one already operating in Australian rugby league.[1] Referees signalled that an incident had been put "on report" by crossing their raised arms above their heads.[2]
  • In-goal judges were trialled, these two additional match officials are positioned behind the dead-ball line at each end of the playing field and aim to aid the referee in judging if a try has been scored.[1] The in-goal judges had been used in Australia for two years.[1]
  • McCallum ordered referees to penalise defending players lifting attackers in the tackle in a way that could lead to an illegal spear tackle.[1]

Leeds' Gary Mercer (dangerous throw), Sheffield Eagles' Paul Broadbent and Doncaster's Gordon Lynch (tripping) became the first players cited under the reporting system to be found to have a case to answer.[1]

League Tables[edit]

In preparation for the change to summer matches for the Super League, the position teams finished in this season was critical, as it determined which of the new fore-shortened three divisions they would play next season. Only the London Broncos knew where they were to play as they were controversially awarded one of the Super League franchises based on geographic location.

Regal Trophy[4][edit]

Replayed - 1st match in brackets Replayed - 1st match in brackets
Second Round Third Round Quarter-Final Semi-Final Final
Hull 26
Barrow 16
Hull 14
Wigan 38
Wigan 34
Rochdale Hornets 12
Wigan 24
St Helens 22
Batley 36
Ryedale-York 8
BatleyReplayed - 1st match in brackets (22)
St HelensReplayed - 1st match in brackets (22)
Huddersfield 11
St Helens 52
Wigan 34
Castleford 6
Workington Town 24
Wakefield Trinity 8
Workington Town 14
Leeds 18
Leeds 54
Swinton 24
Leeds 14
Castleford 34
Carlisle 16
Dewsbury 30
Dewsbury 2
Castleford 30
Castleford 32
Halifax 26
Wigan 40
Warrington 10
Highfield 2
Widnes 50
Widnes 20
Oldham 6
Oldham 28
Hull Kingston Rovers 0
Widnes 23
Bradford Northern 10
Whitehaven 18
Featherstone Rovers 12
Whitehaven 14
Bradford Northern 34
Bradford Northern 32
St Esteve 6
Widnes 4
Warrington 30
Keighley 28
Bramley 4
Keighley 26
Sheffield Eagles 10
Sheffield Eagles 46
Leigh 10
Keighley 18
Warrington 20
Salford 16
London Broncos 14
Salford 24
Warrington 31
Warrington 44
Doncaster 14

Challenge Cup[edit]

Main article: 1995 Challenge Cup

Rounds One and Two were contested between amateur clubs only. Millom were the biggest winners in Round One when they defeated Northampton Knights by 62-4. The biggest win in Round Two was Wigan St Patricks who defeated Crown Malet 42-6.

Round Three saw teams from Division Two matched at home against an amateur opponent. There was one shock result, when Beverley beat Highfield by 27-4. Dewsbury recorded the most points in Round Three when they defeated Kells by 72-12, though the biggest margin of victory went to Keighley who beat Chorley 68-0.

In Round Four, the Division One sides entered the competition with no seeding. There were two shock results when Huddersfield defeated Halifax 36-30 and Whitehaven beat Wakefield Trinity by 24-12. Hunslet drew with Salford 32-32 to take them to a replay before going down by 52-10.[5]

Results (from Fifth round)[6][edit]

Fifth Round Quarter Finals Semi Finals Final
Batley 4
Wigan 70
Widnes 12
Wigan 26
Sheffield Eagles 7
Widnes 19
Wigan 48
Oldham 20
Warrington 6
Oldham 17
Oldham 23
Huddersfield 12
Keighley 0
Huddersfield 30
Wigan 30
Leeds 10
Hull Kingston Rovers 14
Whitehaven 18
Whitehaven 14
Featherstone Rovers 42
Salford 10
Featherstone Rovers 30
Leeds 39
Featherstone Rovers 22
Workington Town 94
Leigh 4
Leeds 50
Workington Town 16
Leeds 44
Ryedale-York 14


The 1995 Silk Cut Challenge Cup Final was a replay of the previous season's final between Wigan and Leeds. The match was played at 2:30pm on the dry Saturday afternoon of 29 April 1995 at London's Wembley Stadium. This was the first Wembley Challenge Cup Final to use in-goal judges.


Kangaroos Tour of Great Britain & France[edit]

In October, November and December 1994 the Australian National team, known as the Kangaroos, toured Great Britain and France playing three Tests against Great Britain, one against Wales, one against France, eight club games and five other representative matches. The Kangaroos were coached by Bob Fulton, assisted by Brian Hollis, Dave Ryan and Frank Ponnisi.[7] Andrew Ettinghausen, of Cronulla, was the leading points and try scorer on tour with 60 points from 15 tries.

John Smith's European Championship[edit]

The tri-nation tournament was played in February and March 1995 as single round robin games between England, France and Wales. The tournament was won by Wales. Jonathan Davies of Wales and Deryck Fox of England were joint top points scorers with sixteen points each. Davies scored seven goals and two drop goals, whilst Fox scored one try and three goals. Kevin Ellis of Wales and France's Frédéric Banquet and Jean-Marc Garcia all scored two tries apiece.[8]
Match Details

Date Venue Home Team Score Away Team Attendance Referee
1 Feb 1995 Ninian Park, Cardiff Wales 18 - 6
(HT 8 -6)
England 6,232 Russell Smith (Castleford)
15 Feb 1995 Gateshead Stadium, Gateshead England 19 - 16
(HT 14 - 8)
France 6,103 Jean-Louis Aribaud (France)
5 Mar 1995 Stade d'Albert Domec, Carcassonne France 10 - 22
(HT 10 - 8)
Wales 6,000 John Connelly (Wales)

Final Standings

Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Points
Wales 2 2 0 0 40 26 4
England 2 1 0 1 35 34 2
France 2 0 0 2 26 41 0


The following are the top points scorers in all competitions in the 1994–95 season.[9]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Dave Hadfield (1995-03-22). "Trio face referee reports". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  2. ^ BBC Sport (2004-10-27). "Referee signals: Incident on report/holding down a tackled player". BBC. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  3. ^ a b Raymond Fletcher; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. p. 304. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2. 
  4. ^ Raymond Fletcher; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. p. 211. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2. 
  5. ^ Raymond Fletcher; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. p. 189. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2. 
  6. ^ Raymond Fletcher; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. p. 190. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2. 
  7. ^ Raymond Fletcher; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. pp. 338–360. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2. 
  8. ^ Raymond Fletcher; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. pp. 421–423. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2. 
  9. ^ Fletcher, Raymond; Howes, David. Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1997. London: Headline. pp. 163–7. ISBN 978-0-7472-7764-4.