14th January 2020, 11:26 | 125

#RFL125 | This Week in Rugby League

#RFL125 | This Week in Rugby League

This week in Rugby League history has been a fruitful one for England who have beaten Australia, New Zealand and Wales during this period.

In 1908, England narrowly edged out the Kiwis 18-16 in Wigan with Percy Eccles, Jim Leytham, Jim Lomas and Dick Padbury crossing for the hosts on 11th January.  

The date would prove positive for England again 20 years later as they beat Wales 20-12 with Alf Ellaby – who represented St Helens and Wigan – scoring a hat-trick. 

On the 14th January 1922, England earned another narrow victory at The Willows, Salford, as tries from Frank Gallagher and Herman Hilton helped them see off Australia 6-0 in the 1921-22 Ashes Series. 

England weren’t the only side to enjoy success against Australia during this week in Rugby League history with Wigan and Batley earning victories over the Aussies as part of the 1908-09 Kangaroos Tour.

This week has hosted eight Regal Trophy Finals (League Cup) with St Helens, Wigan, Widnes, Warrington and Leeds all lifting the trophy. Wigan lifted the Regal Trophy more than any other club with eight triumphs, three of which came between January 8 and January 14. 

Wigan beat Hull Kingston Rovers 11-8 at Elland Road in 1986 before becoming the first team to defend the Regal Trophy in 1987 with an 18-4 victory over Warrington at Burnden Park, Bolton, with Henderson Gill grabbing a double. Ellery Hanley would go one better in 1990 scoring a hat-trick in the Regal Trophy Final against Halifax at Headingley, Leeds. 

St Helens narrowly edged out Leeds in the 1988 Regal Trophy Final on 9th January with Neil Holding’s drop-goal being the difference in a 15-14 triumph. Widnes beat Leeds 24-0 on 11th January 1992, Warrington defeated Bradford Northern 12-2 on 12th January 1991 and Leeds overcame Widnes 18-10 on 14th January 1984.   

Away from the field, 9th January 2018 marked a sad day for the sport as Papua New Guinea international Kato Ottio – who was set to move to Widnes Vikings – sadly passed away before playing a game for the Vikings at the age of 23. 

One day prior, Dr Marwan Koukash handed over ownership of Super League side Salford Red Devils – after five years at the helm – to a consortium of supporters.  

Did you know? 

January 8: In 1943, Albert Goldthorpe died in Leeds, aged 71. Goldthorpe spent his entire career at Hunslet RLFC and captained the club to win all four Cups in 1907-08. He was added to the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2015.

January 9: In 1912, the Northern Union gave permission to Australian winger Dan Frawley to play for Warrington once his commitments with the Kangaroo tourists were over. Frawley was inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame in 2008. 

January 10: In 1927, New Zealand Vice-Captain Neil Mouat asked the Rugby Football League Council to review his statement about his lifelong suspension. This was due to internal disputes and conflict within the team during the 1926-27 New Zealand tour of Great Britain. The Council refused his request. 

January 11: In 1961, Mick Sullivan joined St Helens from Wigan Warriors for a World Record free of £11,000 after being put on the transfer sheet – at his own request – 24 hours earlier.

January 12: In 1934, Mick Sullivan was born in Pudsey, West Yorkshire. Sullivan went on to win 46 caps for Great Britain Rugby League and established a reputation as one of the greatest wingers of all-time. He was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2013.

January 13: In 1914, the Northern Union ruled for the first time that it was ‘unproper’ to allow a suspended player to act as referee or touch judge while on suspension. 

January 14: In 1908, the Northern Union committee ruled that a ‘scrimmage’ would be called if a player accidentally knocked on over the goal-line and he – or a teammate – jumped on the ball and claimed a try. 

Born on this day: 

January 8: Bodene Thompson (Toronto Wolfpack), Jake Butler-Fleming (Hull Kingston Rovers), James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters & Australia), Keanan Brand (Warrington Wolves) 

January 9: Jodie Broughton (Halifax RLFC), Jordan Turner (Huddersfield Giants) 

January 10: Michael McIlorum (Catalans Dragons & Ireland), Carlos Tuimavave (Hull FC)

January 11: Clint Greenshields (Former France International), Glenn Stewart (Former Australia International), Kane Linnett (Hull Kingston Rovers & Scotland), Ryan Lannon (Hull Kingston Rovers), Tom Davies (Catalans Dragons) 

January 12: Mick Sullivan (Former Great Britain and England International), Maurie Fa’asavalu (Former Great Britain and England International), Ryan McGoldrick (Former USA International), Anthony Marion (Toulouse & France), Jack Hansen (Swinton Lions) 

January 13: Mick Martyn (Former Great Britain International), Jason Demetriou (Former Canada International), Justin Holbrook (Former St Helens Head Coach), Matty Fleming (Leigh Centurions)

January 14: Chris Heighington (Former England International), Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (St Helens & Ireland), Marc Shackley (Whitehaven), Josh Bowden (Hull FC), Declan Hulme (Barrow Raiders)