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Canada East-West Rugby League Games Hailed Major Successes

Discussion in 'North American Rugby League' started by deluded pom?, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. deluded pom?

    deluded pom? Coach

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    https://www.nospam18.com/canada/canada-east-west-rugby-league-games-hailed-major-successes

    By Brian Lowe, (Photos: Boris Terzic)
    The inaugural Canadian East versus West men’s and women’s rugby league games are being hailed as major successes.
    The two matches, played in the Lamport Stadium ‘Thunderdome’ Saturday in Toronto, marked the first time that select sides from Canada’s eastern and western provinces squared off against each other.
    In the men’s game, the East emerged triumphant 44-14, while in the women’s curtain-raiser, the West won 24-18.
    In the men’s matchup, the East’s pack dominated proceedings. Players such as Enoch Wamalwa, Tyrone Rowe, Orlando Jones and Chuck Curran ran hard and fast up the middle, and with halfback Steve Piatek sniping off the back, the home team dominated for large chunks of the game. The East also showed good line speed and used clever chip kicks to turn the West around and keep them under pressure. Out wide, Lee Keegel and Steve Adu had speed to burn and caused the West all kinds of problems, particularly off Piatek’s kicks. In the end, the East scored eight tries with six converted to the West’s three tries, one of which was converted.
    In the women’s game, the West came out hungry for the win and jumped out to a handy 14-0 lead after the first minutes, at which point it looked as if they might run away with it, but to their credit, the East found their stride and made a game of it.
    The West was forced to hang on for the win through the final 15 minutes. Among the players who stood out was Petra Woods (East), who lit up the game every time she touched the ball on the wing. 18-year old prop Emmalena Parks (West) from Alberta produced some bustling runs up the middle, while her West teammate and former ice hockey standout Ashley Holt scored two tries on the edge. Also, for the West, Kristy Sargent (co-captain) turned in a very high work rate virtually tackling everything that moved. East captain and Canada Ravens player MacKenzie Fane had another very decent game and led by example, as she typically does, regardless of the level of the game. The West women scored five tries and kicked three conversions to the East’s four tries and one conversion.
    Canada Rugby League Association (CRLA) vice-president Josh Knight says the doubleheader was indeed a success.
    “Absolutely,” he said. “The success of the games was massive.” Knight says the difficult part of trying to get games like these scheduled is the different times of the year that everybody plays rugby league and union. In British Columbia, the season runs from September to May with a break during winter. Alberta plays in October-November and the Ontario season is in the summer. “We’ve looked into it as an association and have come up with August as the optimum time to play these (select side) games,” continued Knight. “We’re probably going to do it in Abbottsford in BC.” And based on these first two games, he says it’s clear the East-West rivalry is a marketable product. “The whole idea is to grow the game in Canada and based on the camaraderie shown by these teams, I think it makes it a massive success for growing rugby league.”
     
  2. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    Were they played in front of fans or was it a closed stadium
     
  3. deluded pom?

    deluded pom? Coach

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    From what I can gather there is a cover that goes over the pitch to enable it to be used in the winter. How that works for a RL game is anyone's guess but I doubt there were any spectators there.
     
  4. deluded pom?

    deluded pom? Coach

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  5. yakstorm

    yakstorm Bench

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    They look to have let non-playing personnel stand on the sidelines to watch the match, but there was no intentional push to try and attract spectators to the game.
     
  6. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    That's kinda odd
     
  7. Western_Eel

    Western_Eel Juniors

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    how was it a success if no one watched it?
     
  8. Walter sobchak

    Walter sobchak First Grade

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    This. I can remember when Canadian RL events used to attract crowds of 5k+ at lamport stadium.
     
  9. Western_Eel

    Western_Eel Juniors

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    I can understand that they might be impressed by the quality of the game and im not bagging them in anyway but you cant call it a success if no one watched it at the game or online.
     
  10. yakstorm

    yakstorm Bench

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    The CRL considers it a success from a Development and Quality perspective. This match was never about trying to draw a crowd, it was about trying to finally get the Eastern and Western competitions working more closely together and try and break down the silos that unfortunately have existed between the two.

    Considering Toronto is averaging a max of 1C at the moment, drawing a crowd to an open air outdoor stadium is highly unrealistic.

    If they wanted a crowd, the match would have been played in summer, that said crowds aren't as big of a focus by the CRLA since Perez finished up
     
  11. deluded pom?

    deluded pom? Coach

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    https://www.nospam18.com/canada/upbeat-response-to-canada-s-east-west-rugby-league-games

    By Brian Lowe,

    Canada’s inaugural East-West select side games continue to garner a positive response with suggestions that they have laid the groundwork for an ongoing annual series. Played at the weekend under a dome at Lamport Stadium in Toronto, home of the RFL’s Wolfpack, men’s and women’s representative teams from Canada’s eastern and western provinces faced off in the very first Canadian version of an All-Star format.
    Players from British Columbia and Alberta made up the West teams, while the East’s teams were predominantly Ontario-based players as rugby league has yet to establish a foothold in Quebec and the maritime provinces.
    The East won the men’s game 44-14, while the West was victorious 24-18 in the women’s match.
    East women’s captain MacKenzie Fane says the women opened the event and really set the tone for the rest of the day. “West came out of the gates strong and in the first 20 minutes it looked like they would take the game quite easily against the East team who got off to a shaky start,” Fane tells nospam18. “I am so proud of the East women who pulled together and did not let a challenging start prevent them from playing their game. After a rough first 20 minutes, the East women were able to battle their way back into the game.
    “In the second half, the strong West squad was showing fatigue and making mistakes, but at the end of the day the efforts of the East simply were not enough, and we lost by 6 points. For a squad made up of mainly inexperienced players, a new coaching staff and new team offensive systems and plays, I could not be more proud of the way my teammates performed.” Fane, who is also captain of Canada’s women’s national team the Ravens, says there are work-ons from the weekend, but for a team that had limited training sessions due to holidays and scrambling to secure dome time, and players who had not played with each other before the game, they came together and remained positive and constructive throughout the game.
    She says their heart and resiliency are things that cannot be coached. The rest will come with time and the East looks forward to a rematch with the West in the near future. Fane, vice-president of Ontario Rugby League (ORL), says the men’s game was very physical. “The rivalry between the East and West men has been building for years and that slow, constant build was seen on the pitch through the powerful running lines and bruising hits from both sides,” she continues.
    “At the end of the day, East's offense just could not be stopped, despite admirable efforts from the West. The East also provided suffocating defensive pressure and reacted quickly on turnovers, capitalizing on any West weaknesses. “Overall, the inaugural East vs West event was a successful first step towards an annual series. The talent that all four teams brought to the pitch was a sight to behold, and it makes me excited for upcoming provincial and national matches. “Looking ahead to the future, I see an event that expands to include more provinces as rugby league continues to expand and grow in Canada.” "It wasn't the result we were looking for, but the ladies worked hard, and I am proud of them," said Nick Hails, East women’s head coach. "The future looks bright with our talent freshly motivated and our coaches continuously identifying ways to grow and develop the players here in Ontario and across the country," added Petra Woods, East women’s player.
    And perhaps the final word should go to ORL president Ryan Murray given that he stuck his neck out beforehand by flat out guaranteeing that the East would win the men’s game, or he’d quit his position on the board. "Fair dinkum, let the record show and clarify any illusions about the talent coming from the Ontario Rugby League and our Eastern program,” he said. “We wanted these games to happen so we could humble the Western critics like Blake Stewart, prove our rightful place, and hopefully unify for the benefit of the sport in Canada."

    If you missed the games and would like to watch them, or maybe you’d like to see them again, you can do so at the ORL’s YouTube page here
     
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