18th February 2020, 14:43 | 125

#RFL125 | This Week in Rugby League

#RFL125 | This Week in Rugby League

A look back at when Magic Weekend kicked off the Super League season

This week in Rugby League history has seen a handful of World Club Challenges take place with two titles heading to Yorkshire in this time period.

Bradford Bulls lifted their second World Club Challenge on February 13, 2004 with a 22-4 victory over Penrith Panthers in Huddersfield. Rob Parker, Leon Pryce, Logan Swann and Lesley Vainikolo were the Bulls’ try-scorers on a memorable evening for the club. 

Leeds Rhinos claimed their third World Club Challenge on February 17, 2012 with a 26-12 win against Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles; a repeat of the 2009 World Club Challenge Final. 

Ryan Hall was the hero on the evening crossing four a double alongside tries from Carl Ablett, Ben Jones-Bishop and Kallum Watkins. Australia international Daly Cherry-Evans and Brett Stewart were the Sea Eagles’ scorers at Headingley. 

But the Australian sides do have the bragging rights in this week in Rugby League history picking up three World Club Challenge titles – Sydney Roosters (2003 & 2019) and Melbourne Storm (2018).

The Roosters hammered St Helens 0-38 at the University of Bolton Stadium on February 14, 2003 with former England and Great Britain international Adrian Morley scoring one of Sydney’s five tries. The Roosters beat Wigan at the DW Stadium on February 17, 2019 with Brett Morris’ hat-trick being the difference between the sides. 

In 2011, the Magic Weekend kicked off the Super League season for the first – and only – time at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, with seven fixtures taking place over the weekend of 12 and 13 February. 

Huddersfield Giants beat Warrington Wolves 28-18 in the opening game of the weekend with Danny Brough scoring twice. Harlequins – now London Broncos – would beat Catalans Dragons 4-11 before Castleford Tigers earned bragging rights in the Calder derby with a 40-20 win over Wakefield. 

Day One closed with a memorable 16-16 draw between St Helens and Wigan Warriors with St Helens battling from 16-0 down in the final 15 minutes. 

Day Two saw wins for Crusaders against Salford Red Devils, 42-12, Leeds Rhinos overcame Bradford Bulls 28-32 before Hull Kingston Rovers won the Hull derby 22-34. The second game of the day went to the wire with a late Ben Jones-Bishop penalty try proving the difference. England international Elliott Whitehead scored a hat-trick for Bradford. 

Did you know? 

February 12: In 1950, Widnes Vikings great Keith Elwell was born. He played 591 matches between 1970 and 1986 for the Chemics. He also holds the world record for the most consecutive appearances – 239 – between 1977 and 1982.

February 13: In 1922, Elland were found to be in breach of rules by cancelling a match without a joint inspection with their opponents Sharlston Rovers and were fined £1.05 – an equivalent of three days wages for a skilled tradesman.

February 14: In 1911, clubs were encouraged to ‘discourage’ boxing contests where Northern Union players were asked to join. 

February 15: In 1936, Lord Derby was asked by the Rugby Football League to present the Challenge Cup trophy at Wembley Stadium on May 8. The sport’s patron would go on to present the trophy to Jim Brough after Leeds Rhinos’ 18-2 win over Warrington Wolves. 

February 16: In 1909, the Dewsbury Rams secretary was summoned to a meeting to explain why the club had fielded two players yet to be confirmed as professionals. He was warned after he explained his mistake. Both players were barred from playing in the Cup.

February 17: In 1943, Leeds Rhinos complained that York City Knights played one of their playwrs – Eric Batten – at a match v Batley Bulldogs, without permission. 

February 18: In 1946, the second round of the Challenge Cup was drawn, the first one to be held after World War II. The eventual winners Wakefield Trinity were drawn at home at Halifax.

Born on this day: 

February 12: Brett Hodgson (Former Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves), Greg Burke (Salford Red Devils) 

February 13: Douglas Warlow (Former Great Britain and Wales International), Paul Deacon (Former Great Britain and England International), Frank-Paul Nu’uausala (Former New Zealand International), Eddy Pettybourne (USA International), Jarrad Stack (Barrow Raiders), Vitale Roqica (Fiji International) 

February 14: Brian Noble (Former Great Britain International and Head Coach), Rick Stone (Former Huddersfield Giants Head Coach), Vinnie Anderson (Former Great Britain International), Lee Jewitt (Hull Kingston Rovers), Paterika Vaiva (Toulouse Olympique)

February 15: Jarryd Hayne (Former Australia and Fiji International), Tim Mannah (Lebanon International and Parramatta Eels), Mark Kheirallah (France International and Toulouse Olympique), Shannon Wakeman (Italy International)

February 16: Des Hasler (Former Australia International), Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos), Tuoyo Egodo (London Broncos), Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers), Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Samoa International)

February 17: Sam Hopkins (Wales International and Rochdale Hornets), Tonie Carroll (Former Australia and New Zealand International), Marcelo Montoya Jnr (Fiji International)

February 18: Weller Hauraki (Hull Kingston Rovers), Danny Langtree (Oldham), Siliva Havili (Tonga International), Patrick Kaufusi (Tonga International), Jake Trbojevic (Australia International), Kieran Cross (Doncaster)