Code13 Rugby League Circa 2012

 


 

Code13 Rugby League, launched in November 2010, was run and managed by Code13 Sports Media (www.code13.co.uk) which itself launched in January 2006.
This was their website for a number of years.
Content is from the site's 2012 archived pages providing a glimpse of the type of information this site provided its readership.

ABOUT

The Code13 Rugby League is  independently run and focus solely on rugby league. Our regular contributors include Sky Sports Angela Powers, BBC Sports George Riley, long time writer Zack Wilson, podcasting journalist Ben Giles, Super League correspondent Christopher Faulkner, Championship correspondent Liam Claffey and chief editor Steven Devonshire.

 


 

Latest Opinion

 

bramley-champions

Conference league fixtures released

Written by: Editor

Monday 13th February 2012

 

Fixtures for the Rugby League tier 3 Conference leagues have now been released with the Premier, 1 and 2 divisions due to kick off in just 18 days time.

NCL Premier Champions Thatto Heath Crusaders will begin their title defence with a tricky looking game at Leigh East on the opening weekend of Saturday March 3.

After a break for the Carnegie Challenge Cup the Crusaders’ first home game on Saturday March 17 sees a repeat of the 2010-11 Grand Final as Siddal arrive at Close Street, whilst in round three they will hit the road again as they travel to Hull to take on Skirlaugh.

Promoted Oulton Raiders and Myton Warriors will start life in the top flight with games against Wath Brow Hornets and Skirlaugh.

In Division One new boys Hunslet Warriors and Egremont Rangers both begin with away games at Rochdale Mayfield and Castleford Panthers, whilst Wigan St Judes and York Acorn will start their push for a return to the premier division when they start against Millom and Oldham St Annes respectively.

There’s a Wakefield derby in Division Two as Normanton Knights and Eastmoor Dragons meet at Queen Elizabeth drive, and Dewsbury Celtic mark their return to the league with a home game against Heworth.

Conference 3 gets underway on Friday 21 April with Bramley Buffaloes playing host to Warrington Wizards, whilst champions Huddersfield Underbank Rangers will be looking to reclaim their crown starting with a long trip to Hemel Stags.

Opening round fixtures:
Saturday 3 March 2012

PREMIER DIVISION
Hull Dockers v Leigh Miners Rangers
Ince Rose Bridge v Saddleworth Rangers
Leigh East v Thatto Heath Crusaders
Oulton Raiders v Wath Brow Hornets
Siddal v East Hull
Skirlaugh v Myton Warriors
West Hull v Wigan St Patricks

DIVISION ONE
Castleford Panthers v Egremont Rangers
Castleford Lock Lane v Eccles
Milford Marlins v Stanningley
Millom v Wigan St Judes
Rochdale Mayfield v Wigan St Judes
Stanley Rangers v Bradford Dudley Hill
York Acorn v Oldham St Annes

DIVISION TWO
Crosfields v Ovenden
Elland v Featherstone Lions
Heworth v Dewsbury Celtic
Normanton Knights v Eastmoor Dragons
Shaw Cross Sharks v Widnes West Bank
Waterhead v Askam

CONFERENCE 3
Friday 21 April
Bramley Buffaloes v Warrington Wizards

Saturday 22 April
Coventry Bears v Nottingham Outlaws
Hemel Stags v Huddersfield Underbank Rangers
St Albans Centurions v South Wales Hornets
Kippax Knights v Bristol Sonics

 



Featherstone set sights on Super League

Written by: Editor

Monday 13th February 2012

 

Co-operative Championship club Featherstone Rovers have declared their intent to join the Super League during the next round of licences.

“I believe we have a fantastic opportunity of gaining a licence in 2014,” said Featherstone Rovers chairman and managing director Mark Campbell in an open letter to supporters, sponsors and potential partners.

The current Super League licence period runs from 2012-2014 with any new applications entering into the elite league in 2015.

“Whilst we continue to dominate the Championship we are also developing our player pathway for the outstanding talent on our doorstep – already a notable success in Zak Hardaker, I see no reason why we can’t continue the success we have all enjoyed with Daryl at the helm,” continued Campbell.

“However to apply for a licence we must improve as a business off the field to allow the club to keep improving on it. The ingredients of this are to be sustainable which includes a target of raising our turnover from 1m to 2m in 18 months, In my opinion this is totally realistic with the right expertise and drive on the board.”

The open letter finishes with a plea from Campbell, “I’m sure we all want this club back in Super league, let’s not let this opportunity slip through our hands! I sincerely hope you all attend the AGM on the 20th February when we can all have some input in the make up of the board as this is just as important as the 17 Daryl picks to pull on the famous shirt (we can’t / won’t carry passengers) and ultimately the clubs future.”

 



 

giles-opinion

Offloads: Super iEntertainment lies ahead

Written by: Ben Giles

Tuesday 7th February 2012

The brand new Stobart Super League began in earnest last weekend, and I say ‘brand new’ because it felt that way.

After many years of stability under the previous branding, the truck designs, new stadiums and even a new team in the Widnes Vikings has freshened up the competition no end. It feels like there’s a brighter, more unpredictable future (in the best sense) for rugby league at the elite level.

The thing is, none of us want to know what’s going to happen. No matter how much we share our views and are adamant in our knowledge about the game we love, that feeling of surprise when something happens out of the blue to confound all the analysis and expectation is the best.

Jon Wilkin expressed as much in his column last week, and the ‘margin meter’ introduced by Sky’s coverage of games at the weekend gave it even more credence. Why on earth would the primary Super League broadcaster want their viewers to know what the result might be before the game has finished? Talk about turn off tele! Luckily, the meter seems to be a non-starter as far as effectiveness goes, and long may it stay that way.

We love the unexpected, and the Rhinos unlikely play-off triumph last year has helped open up the mind to limitless possibilities. Add that to the new vibe surrounding the competition, plus some opening round upsets such as the Giants beating Wigan on their own patch, and a very promising start (albeit a defeat) from the fully funded London Broncos, and optimism reigns.

On to the iPitch, another introduction to the competition that has created all sorts of controversy and conversation across the first weekend. Widnes made a bold move by breaking the trend and placing their trust in a synthetic surface for a highly physical sport such as this, and the freezing weather conditions certainly tested the surface to the max on Friday night. Scrapes and scratches were displayed on social site Twitter by Wakefield fullback Richard Mathers, who proclaimed the iPitch wasn’t up to scratch as a result, but at Salford the following night the extremity of the weather was on view as clear as an irregular Super League summer’s day.

When reports came in that Widnes player Thomas Coyle had suffered a compound fracture to his leg in an U20’s game on that same iPitch, the argument raged on. We at Code13 would like to wish Thomas a very speedy recovery, and since that incident the iPitch has been cleared of causing the injury (though I don’t think it was placed on report at the time).

With iPitch allegedly going to look the same all the year round, the effects of the weather will be harder to see for crowds and pundits alike, but the weather will always have some effect until we have teams playing in bubbles. For what it’s worth, I thought the speed of the game on Friday was electric, but I will hold judgement until the end of the season on whether the iPitch is a feat of genius or a waste of money.

For now, as long as those scrapes and injuries could have happened anywhere in those conditions, I’m hopeful it will enhance the rugby league on display at the Stobart. Who knows, in a few years every club could have one, or Widnes could have ripped it up, what do you think?

 



wembley-challenge-cup

Rescheduled Challenge Cup ties

Written by: Editor

Monday 13th February 2012

Grassroots clubs will be hoping that it’s third time lucky this week after the majority of scheduled Carnegie Challenge Cup preliminary round ties were again postponed over the weekend.

14 preliminary round ties have been rescheduled with two games taking place under floodlights on Wednesday evening and the other 12 being played on the weekend of February 18 and 19.

The weekend of February 18 and 19 was originally scheduled for the Carnegie Challenge Cup first round and those ties involving teams that have not yet played their preliminary round games will be moved back to the weekend of February 25 and 26.

Carnegie Challenge Cup preliminary round ties

Wednesday February 15
Normanton Knights v Milford Marlins 19:30
Castleford Lock Lane v Elland 19:30

Saturday February 18
Warrington Wizards v East Leeds 13:30 At Wilderspool Stadium
Featherstone Lions v Askam 14:00
Eastmoor Dragons v Wigan St Judes 14:00
York Acorn v Norland Sharks 13:30
Bradford Dudley Hill v Castleford Panthers 13:30
Egremont Rangers v Leeds Met University 13:30
Loughborough University v Hunslet Warriors 13:30
Oldham St Annes v Bentley Good Companions 13:30
Rochdale Mayfield v University of Gloucestershire All Golds 14:00
Nottingham Outlaws v Hunslet Old Boys 16:00

Sunday February 19
Stanley Rangers v Edinburgh Eagles 14:00
Hull University v Waterhead 14:00

 



George Riley: Opening round questions

Written by: George Riley

Wednesday 8th February 2012

 

The opening round of Stobart Super League left me with three main questions.

Do Wigan’s home defeat and London’s impressive performance in defeat to St Helens bode for the clichéd “most competitive season ever”? Are all the players’ moaning about the plastic pitch at Widnes justified, and if so has this opened a massive can of worms? And thirdly how on earth can the UK continually be taken by surprise at a much – forecast cold snap?!

In reverse order: I have no idea, but the return journey from Twickenham Stoop to South Manchester was one of the most frightening I’ve experienced in my years covering the sport. A worsening snow storm in West London and the Midlands led to a 40mph journey back north with a driving visibility of less than 20 yards. Two 90 degree spins and seven hours later and I was home contemplating the definition of summer rugby.

The second question is one I will be assessing in my BBC blog this week but suffice to say the Wakefield players were not happy with the effect the artificial surface at Widnes had on their joints. Anyone who has played 5-a-side football will be familiar with the red raw elbows and knees that follow a session. Wildcats’ new full-back Richie Mathers was one of the most outspoken critics of the surface. I’m heading down to the stadium this week to throw myself around on the pitch to see exactly what it is actually like.

Huddersfield’s win at Wigan did not surprise me one bit. All that did surprise me about the Giants was the way they faded last year. They have such a talented bunch and exceptional coach they will claim plenty more big scalps this season.

I was very impressed by the new look Broncos as I popped down to London to witness their second coming. I always felt Saints would win even through the Broncos purple patches in the game, but there is a definite air of expectancy at the Stoop this season that I have not experienced for many years, if ever. Craig Gower and Michael Witt caused Saints youngsters all manner of problems and it will be interesting to see where young Dan Sarginson fits him when he returns to fitness. The gate of just under 5,000 was a real plus for the home club too, almost twice what they were struggling to achieve last season.

Spare a thought too for England forward Jon Wilkin whom I’d arranged to have a quick pint with after the game. After surviving 80 freezing minutes Jon was desperate for a hot shower but was collared by the doping controllers and taken for a drugs test. It was a lengthy process and put the lengthy Wilkin post-match grooming routine on hold too.

I thought Leeds looked pretty solid at the start of their title defence and am so pleased to see Kallum Watkins start with a bang. He’s filled out and put on a lot of bulk and I think he can fulfil his potential and be one of the stars of this season.

There was a Tony Smith gripe to start the season too as Warrington drew at Hull FC. Tony wants video replays at ever Super League fixture not just the two televised games. This is something I’ve been calling for years and it has to happen to level the playing field.

 



ramsdale-opinion

Ian Ramsdale: Pre-season dreams

Written by: Ian Ramsdale

Friday 3rd February 2012

The final weeks of pre-season is one of my favourite times of the year; the anticipation of what lies ahead, the complete unknown.

Unless you’re a supporter of one of the few sides that reaches one of our sport’s showcase finals, it’s the only real time of the season where your mind can get carried away with it’s dreams.

For some, the dream is put to bed, with quite a bump, on the first day of the season. Of course, a season isn’t defined by a Northern Rail Cup Group game, or by Round 1 of Super League - in fact, far from it. But a defeat, of any sort at any time, begins to paint a matte layer over the glossy partisan view.

We’ve all been there; you’ve spent weeks reading numerous season previews, harnessing the most slender of positive pickings from the ‘experts’ predicting what season your destined to watch – subconsciously seeming to skip over any negativity. You, then, mostly disagree with the guesstimation of where your beloved side will finish. It’s a regular theme.

I seem to be painting a very gloomy picture, presuming you’re not a fan of a side everyone’s talking about; the tip for the top, the cup, the Man of Steel elect…  Well, we can’t all be Featherstone or Warrington fans.

The thing is, we keep going back, even after a defeat, or two, whether it be the opening games of the season or not. I don’t even have to explain why. You know why. You like what you see, win or lose, it entertaining.

For the many people trying to sell the game, whether it be chief-executives, marketing departments or television companies, it’s always the thing they highlight; the spectacle.

Working in a region where rugby union is the dominant code, I often find myself as one of those trying to “sell” the game, to get it the coverage it deserves. I’ve always been proud of the way I go about it too – I try to endorse the positives, the benefits – and not using any sort of compare and contrast method with the other code.

We had a radio debate on BBC London 94.9 a few years ago, where we played an audio game of league v union, arguing which was best – or rather, that was the cloak I hid it under. But my intention was purely to engage a few of the stations rugby union listeners with a league education.

I’ve often read derogatory digs at the 15-man code, online on social media, and think they’re rather unnecessary. It’s like speaking ill of a rival competitor with the aim of gaining an upper hand – something that in business wouldn’t earn you too many friends. At those times, thoughts of, “you don’t have to watch it if you don’t like it” or “why are you, therefore, giving it exposure” often run through my mind.

Being honest, I also find it rather childish. That’s why I was rather disappointed at myself, and 30 others, just a few weeks ago. When Stobart were announced as the Super League’s title sponsor, I went into over-drive on twitter, with numerous trucking related puns. Plenty “mileage” in the partnership, with both parties in it for the “long-haul”, but my most retweeted 140-character outburst was an inadvertent dig at union:

“Stobart to remove all 15-tonne trucks from circulation, replacing with “quicker, fitter & more entertaining” 13-tonne vehicles”

Although done in jest, it was sad to reflect on the fact that the rugby league fraternity valued that message as my most deserving tweet of the (rather poor) selection I published. I thought that spoke volumes.

You may not have noticed, or care for that matter, that rugby unions 6 Nations competition is about to start, and I’m sure you’ll see comments about the games being “boring” or devoid of tries on social media sites near you soon. True they may be – for you – but, for some reason, people do watch it – enjoy it, even – and that, I’m not going to hold against them.

They’re passionate about what they watch and support. So should we be.

Yes, they may take a swipe at rugby league from time to time, but let’s not look like the bitter younger-sibling. Let’s not give the other code any more coverage that its own supporters give it. We’re bigger than that. Let’s just shout about the entertainment, the drama, the scintillating skills that we watch week-in-week-out. Win or lose.

 



 

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