4th February 2020, 15:04 | 125

#RFL125 | This Week in Rugby League

#RFL125 | This Week in Rugby League

This week in Rugby League history has been a notable one for Bradford Bulls who were twice crowned World Club Challenge champions, lifting the trophy in 2002 and 2006.

The Bulls became the fourth English team to win the title with a memorable 41-26 win over Newcastle Knights in Huddersfield on 1st February 2002.  

Michael Withers and Robbie Paul both notched braces alongside tries from Lesley Vainikolo and Daniel Gartner. Bradford boasted a star-studded side which also included the likes of Paul Deacon, Joe Vagana, Brian McDermott, Leon Pryce and Jamie Peacock. 

Bradford would win the title for a third time – and the second time in this week – in 2006 when they beat NRL champions Wests Tigers, also in Huddersfield. 

Marcus Bai and Stuart Fielding were the double try-scoring heroes on 3rd February 2006 while Stanley Gene also scored for Brian Noble’s Bradford Bulls side. Wests – led by Tim Sheens – crossed twice through Daniel Fitzhenry and Brett Hodgson, who would go on to represent Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves. 

However, it wasn’t just the Bulls crowned as world champions during this week. Local rivals Leeds Rhinos became the fourth English club to win the World Club Challenge on 4th February 2005.  

The Rhinos beat Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 39-32 at Elland Road in the highest-scoring World Club Challenge to date. Seven different players went over for Tony Smith’s side with Chev Walker, Mark Calderwood, Danny McGuire, Willie Poaching, Rob Burrow, Richie Mathers and Jamie Jones-Buchanan all scoring.

This past week has often marked the opening round of the Super League season, as it has in 2020. 

Last year, St Helens opened their Super League campaign with a 22-12 victory over Wigan Warriors on 31st January while Hull Kingston Rovers snatched a last gasp win against Hull FC on 1st February thanks to Jimmy Keinhorst.   

On 4th February 2018, Toronto Wolfpack won their first Championship fixture with a 12-34 win on the road against Leigh Centurions.

On the international stage, Australia suffered a shock 8-9 defeat to Hull FC as part of the 1908-09 Kangaroos Tour on the 30th January. Elsewhere, on 29th January 1977, England were dealt a blow beginning their 1967-77 European Championship campaign with a 2-6 loss to Wales.

Did you know? 

January 29: In 1908, York defeated the first touring New Zealand team 5-3 at Clarence Street Grounds. 

January 30: In 1939, Leeds signed Welsh player Dennis Madden from Huddersfield for a fee of £1250.

January 31: The sum of the gross gate money was calculated for the 3rdTest of the 1933-34 Kangaroo Tour, ending up around £1,508.14. Once all expenses were considered, Australia’s share was £817.4.

February 1: In 1919, Harold Edmondson made his debut as the youngest player to ever play professionally at 15 years and 81 days old. He made a try-scoring appearance a try in Bramley’s 21-3 victory over Bradford Bulls.

February 2: In 1972, a television sub-committee was created from representatives of Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Barrow Raiders, Workington Town and Bradford Bulls. 

February 3: In 1904, Wigan Warriors’ Roy Kinnear, father off actor Roy and grandfather to actor Roy, was born. A Scotland Rugby Union international winger, he made 181 appearances for Wigan, scoring 81 tries. He played in Wigan’s winning team at the first-ever Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in 1929.

February 4: In 1924, a request for kit was sent to various manufacturers for the Great Britain Rugby League Lions tour to Australia later in the year. The kit was to include jerseys, shin guards, underslips, knickers and straw hats. 

Born on this Day:

January 29: Charles Kingston (Former Australia International), Mo Agoro (London Skolars)

January 30: Shontayne Hape (Former New Zealand International), Mark Minichiello (Former Italy International), William Barthau (Toulouse Olympique), Chris Annakin (Dewsbury Rams), Ben Hellewell (Leigh Centurions), Izaac Farrell (Rochdale Hornets), Brad Walker (Widnes Vikings)

January 31: Steve Folkes (Former Australia International), Tyrone Taukamo (Greece International) 

February 1: Tommy Lee (Hull Kingston Rovers), Blake Austin (Warrington Wolves), Judah Mazive (York City Knights) 

February 2: Maurice Richards (Former Great Britian and Wales International), Scott Naylor (Former England International), Richard Moore (Hunslet), Tom Gilmore (Halifax), James Woodburn-Hall (Hunslet and Jamaica) 

February 3: Robbie Hunter-Paul (Former New Zealand International), Martin Taupau (New Zealand International), Luke Keary (Australia International) 

February 4: Alan Davies (Former Great Britain and England International), Bobbie Goulding (Former Great Britain International), Kevin Naiqama (St Helens and Fiji), Jake Friend (Australia International), Jack Wighton (Australia International), Tevita Pangai Jr (Tonga International), Matthew Lees (St Helens)