4th March 2020, 10:24 | 125

#RFL125 | This week in Rugby League

#RFL125 | This week in Rugby League

This year we saw a ‘Leap Day’ celebrated and despite the additional day in February only coming around every four years, there have been some noticeable Rugby League contributions. 

Most notably in 2008 when the annual World Club Challenge took place on 29th February between Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos and NRL Premiers Melbourne Storm at Elland Road.

A kicking masterclass from Kevin Sinfield – which saw him convert three goals and a drop-goal – proved the difference between the two sides. Melbourne had opened the scoring through Ryan Hoffman before Rhinos winger Scott Donald levelled the scores just before the interval. 

Leeds lifted their second World Club Challenge in front of 33,204 spectators and the Rhinos would go on to face Melbourne in another four World Club Challenge contests (2010, 2013 and 2018). Leeds’ 2010 contest took place on February 28th and saw the Rhinos fall to a 10-18 defeat.

‘Leap Day’ seems to be ‘Leeds Day’ as their great Queensland winger Eric Harris also set a new try-scoring record when he scored his 36th try in his 17th successive match in 1936.

Harris also holds the joint record for most ‘tries in a match’ for Leeds scoring 8 tries against Bradford Northern. Overall, he scored 391 tries in 383 games for the Rhinos. 

February 27th sees the birthdays of two former Super League Men of Steel in Paul Wellens and Pat Richards. Wellens was handed the award after a sterling season with St Helens in 2006 while Richards earned the accolade in 2010. 

Wigan fell to a 15-21 on February 27th 2011 in the World Club Challenge against St George Illawarra Dragons. George Carmont’s double wasn’t enough for the Warriors with a brace from Brett Morris alongside tries from Mike Cooper and Cameron King sealing the victory for the Australian visitors. 

Born on this Day: 

February 26: Ashton Sims (Former Fiji International), Michael Chee-Kam (Samoa and Wests Tigers) 

February 27: Keith England (Former Great Britain International), Paul Wellens (Former England and Great Britain International), Pat Richards (Former Ireland International), Brett Stewart (Former Australia International), Scott Taylor (England and Hull FC), Ryan Shaw (Hull Kingston Rovers) 

February 28: Sam Gee (Oldham), Kevin Proctor (New Zealand and Gold Coast Titans), Andrew Dixon (Toronto Wolfpack), Kameron Pearce-Paul (London Skolars) 

February 29: Nelson Asofa-Solomona (New Zealand and Melbourne Storm)

March 1: Jack Beames (Former England and Wales International), David Heron (Former Great Britain International), David Cairns (Former Great Britain International), Kyle Trout (Hull Kingston Rovers), Rhyse Martin (Leeds Rhinos), Cory Aston (London Broncos), Benjamin Jullien (Catalans Dragons) 

March 2: Josh McGuire (Australia), Tom Holmes (Featherstone Rovers), Ryan Gray (Swinton Lions)

March 3: Brent Tate (Former Australia International), Darrell Goulding (Former England International), James Roberts (New South Wales and Brisbane), Matty Fozard (London Broncos and Wales) 

Did you know?

February 26: In 1920, the Referees Society asked for a pay rise for referees and touch judges in Cup ties but were told by the Rugby Football League that ‘nothing could be done at present’. 

February 27: In 1933, due to horrendous weather, seven of the eight Cup ties were postponed. The committee added two more days for matches to be played.

February 28: In 1939, a fight broke out between Dewsbury Station and Hull Station in the Yorkshire Transport League, causing the match to be terminated five minutes from time. The players who sparked the fight could not be identified and both clubs were warned about future conduct. 

February 29: In 1936, Leeds Rhinos’ great Queensland winger Eric Harris set a new scoring record when he scored a 36th try in his 17th successive match, a record that still stands today.

March 1: In 1935, a meeting was held between the Committee and headmasters concerning school trips to Wembley Stadium, and how to accommodate up to 3000-3500 schoolboys. 

March 2: In 1900, both the Wigan and Tyldesley Club were in breach of Professional Byelaws of playing, as well as the player W. Jolley. The former for playing him without Jolley being registered as a professional, and the latter not forming an agreement with said player in the last season.

March 3: In 1924, rules were defined in playing a benefit match, where applications won’t be accepted if said player has either already transferred, or if it arises out of the transfer negotiations.