Portal:Rugby league

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Lance hohaia running into the defence (rugby league).jpg
Rugby league football, usually called simply rugby league, is a full-contact form of football, played by two teams of 13 players on a rectangular grass field over 80 minutes. The primary aim is to carry or kick the ball towards the opponent's goal line where points can be scored by grounding the ball; this is called a try. After scoring a try, the team is allowed the chance to try at goal with a conversion - a kick for further points. The opposing team will attempt to stop the attacking side gaining points by preventing their progress up the field by tackling the player carrying the ball.

Rugby league is one of the two codes of rugby football, the other being rugby union. Rugby league originated following a series of disputes within the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) culminating in a breakaway during 1895 and the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union. When similar breakaways occurred in RFU-affiliated Rugby Unions in Australia and New Zealand, in 1907 and 1908, they formed associations known as Rugby Leagues and used the modified Northern Union rules. The Northern Union later changed its name to the Rugby Football League. Thus, the sport became known as rugby league.

Over the decades following the split, or schism, in 1895, rugby league's rules have been gradually changed, deliberately resulting in a faster and more open spectator sport.

Rugby league is most prominent in Australia, England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, being the national sport in the latter.


Selected article

The Adelaide Rams were an Australian professional rugby league football club based in Adelaide, South Australia. The team was formed in 1995 for the planned rebel Super League competition, which eventually ran parallel to the rival Australian Rugby League (ARL) competition in 1997. The Rams lasted two seasons, the first in the Super League competition in 1997 and the second in the first season of the National Rugby League (NRL) in 1998. The Rams were not a successful club, winning only 13 out of 42 games. However crowd numbers in the first season were the fifth highest of any first-grade club that year, but dwindled to sixteenth in the second season. The Adelaide club was shut down at the end of the 1998 season as a result of poor on-field performances, dwindling crowd numbers, financial losses and a reduction in the number of teams in the NRL. They remain the only team from the state of South Australia to have participated in top-level rugby league in Australia.
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Batley and St Helens pose before the 1897 Final
Credit: Unknown

The first ever Challenge Cup Final in 1897. Batley are on the left, St Helens are on the right, the Challenge Cup trophy is in the centre. The match was played at Headingley Stadium, Leeds in front of a crowd of 13,492. Batley won the match 10-3.

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Did you know...

Did you know that the most tries ever scored in a match by an individual is 11. This occurred on 4 March 1905 by George West (Hull Kingston Rovers) v Brookland Rovers.


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So, in the closing of one season in triumph and some glory, and in the anticipation of the beginning of another, rugby league's cycle of the year continued. It had been 100 years since the game's pioneers had met on an autumn afternoon in England's north to write the first words of the story. Down the years there had been countless afternoons of courage and wondrous athleticism in the glorious uncertainty of the contest, men against men in the game that had been called the hardest of them all. In 1995 came a new challenge, a split that tore friend from friend, club from club; the game drew deeply then on the reserves of resilience that had always been its lifeblood and steeled itself to press on. As ever, the future lay with the youth, in the ancient and enduring image of young men pulling on the colours of their clubs and heading in spirit of mateship out onto the rough paddocks, in fair weather or foul, to play the winter game. The hand of the past reached out year by year to the hand of the future, passing on the tradition, the spirit, the very essence of the game they play. A game of hard knocks and fair play, of living with hurt and learning to win and learning to lose, of the joy of shared experience on the field of battle. Over 100 years the game has changed mightily but those things never, and that is rugby league.
The rugby cycle by Ian Heads, That's Rugby League
VEG, 1995
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Major competitions

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History of St Helens RLFC, St Helens RLFC was a founder member of the Northern Rugby Football Union in the Great Schism of 1895. They played in the first ever Challenge Cup Final in 1897 and have since been winners of the competition on 12 occasions...


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