UFRL president Artur Martyrosyan Jnr has complimented all the sides who played this season, which has seen further, steady progress for the sport . “We have completed another excellent season of senior and junior rugby league,” he said. “I would like to congratulate all the teams that have participated, and those that have had success this year.”   Legion XIII were once again the champion side, beating ‘Sokil’ Lvov in the Grand Final to maintain their run of domestic dominance, 2017 seeing them go through unbeaten and conceding their fewest number of points in games.

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It has just been announced that New Zealand will tour England from the end of October 2018 with three test matches scheduled against the hosts. The games will be played at the KCOM Stadium in Hull, Anfield in Liverpool, and Elland Road in Leeds. The news will be a boost to the Kiwis who had a shock World Cup departure at the hands of Fiji last weekend and England will be hoping for a successful climax to their Competition which would see them go into the three test series as World Champions.
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“Unprecedented media coverage of the Cedars’ World Cup campaign will lead to increased support at all levels,” claims Lebanon Rugby League Federation president Mohamed Habbous, after the side made the quarter finals for the first time, thereby ensuring their qualification for the next tournament in England in 2021.  “After the first-up pool win against France in Canberra they took significant notice,” added Habbous, who hails from Tripoli, north Lebanon. “We’ve been trying to tell them how strong the team is and how powerful a tool it can be to unite the country and they really saw that after that result.”
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After yesterday’s shock win for Fiji over New Zealand and Lebanon pushing Tonga all the way to the final hooter, nerves would have been shredded in the England dressing room as they came up against a passionate and fanatically supported Papua New Guinea in the last quarter final.

 

PNG took an unbeaten record in the group stages to Melbourne along with a massive points difference bolstered by a 64-0 win over the USA last weekend.

 

England had Sam Burgess back in the line-up after two games out through injury and last weeks experiment of Gareth Widdop at full-back with Kevin Brown and Luke Gale in the halves was repeated by coach Wayne Bennett.

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A semi-final against favourites Australia awaited the winner of the third quarter final between New Zealand and Fiji at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. The Kiwis came into the game as strong favourites with few giving the flamboyant Fiji any chance of progressing.

 

Fiji were unbeaten in the competition with a very impressive +140 points difference, and New Zealand showed that they are fallible with last weekends surprise loss to Tonga.

 

The prospect was for an open game with many neutrals looking for a great Fiji performance after they named an unchanged side after their 38-10 win over Italy last weekend. 

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The highly impressive, and fancied, Tonga faced the challenge of makeweights Lebanon as the looked to secure a semi-final spot at the Christchurch Stadium.

 

Tonga won all of their games in the group stages, including that stunning win over New Zealand last weekend whereas Lebanon have just an opening weekend win over France to their name and they came into today’s game after suffering a 34-0 defeat at the hands of Australia last week.

 

The bookies set their odds in the certainty that it would be Tonga who would progress.

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The TIO Stadium in Darwin was the venue as hosts Australia opened the knockout stage of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup with what looked he easiest of games against a Samoa side who have struggled in the competition and progressed to this stage with just a single draw.

 

While the Kangaroos have cruised through their fixtures in the group stages, Samoa have been comprehensively beaten by New Zealand and Tonga while securing their quarter final spot with an unconvincing draw against Scotland which allowed them to progress with a better points difference.

 

There could only be one victor, the bookies and pundits all agreed, the Green and Gold. 

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This double-disc set features four hours of material including highlights of all the big games from Round 1 to Old Trafford, alongside action from the Qualifiers, Million Pound Game and the Grand Final in full.

Now that's what you call a comeback! From bottom to top in little over a year. Leeds Rhinos captured the Betfred Super League Grand Final with a devastating display led by departing skipper Danny McGuire, who guided his team to victory in a sensational farewell performance.
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The maths were simple as England took on France in the second game of the Perth double-header. A French win by sixteen points would see them overtake Lebanon for third place, and a quarter final place, and thirty-two to overtake England into second. An unthinkable forty-seven point French victory would put England on the plane home.

 

Coach Wayne Bennett sprang a few surprises in the England line-up as he looked to give a run out to some of his squad players and offer them a chance to play themselves into the quarter final seventeen.

 

Expectations were high that England would discover some World Cup form.

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It was the battle of the Celts in the first of a double-header in Perth as John Kears winless Wales came up against Mark Aston’s Ireland side in the final game of the World Cup for both sides.

 

Even though both sides would be going home at the final hooter there was still pride, local bragging rights and future international places to play for. There were plenty of familiar names on show from both Super League and the Championship.

 

Wales needed a sixty-four point winning margin to finish ahead of the Irish but that looked a very difficult ask against an Irish side who have impressed in their opening two games.

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