Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players, its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators. In rugby league, points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing team's goal line; the opposing team attempts to stop the attacking side scoring points by tackling the player carrying the ball. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals. After each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Kicks at goal may be awarded for penalties, field goals can be attempted at any time. Rugby league is the national sport of Papua New Guinea, is a popular sport in Northern England, the states of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, South Auckland in New Zealand, southwest France and Lebanon.
The Super League and the National Rugby League are the premier club competitions. Rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European and Pacific Island countries, is governed by the Rugby League International Federation; the first Rugby League World Cup was held in France in 1954. Rugby league football takes its name from the bodies that split to create a new form of rugby, distinct from that run by the Rugby Football Unions, in Britain and New Zealand between 1895 and 1908; the first of these, the Northern Rugby Football Union, was established in 1895 as a breakaway faction of England's Rugby Football Union. Both organisations played the game under the same rules at first, although the Northern Union began to modify rules immediately, thus creating a new faster, stronger paced form of rugby football. Similar breakaway factions split from RFU-affiliated unions in Australia and New Zealand in 1907 and 1908, renaming themselves "rugby football leagues" and introducing Northern Union rules.
In 1922, the Northern Union changed its name to the Rugby Football League and thus over time the sport itself became known as "rugby league" football. In 1895, a schism in Rugby football resulted in the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union. Although many factors played a part in the split, including the success of working class northern teams, the main division was caused by the RFU decision to enforce the amateur principle of the sport, preventing "broken time payments" to players who had taken time off work to play rugby. Northern teams had more working class players who could not afford to play without this compensation, in contrast to affluent southern teams who had other sources of income to sustain the amateur principle. In 1895, a decree by the RFU banning the playing of rugby at grounds where entrance fees were charged led to twenty-two clubs meeting at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 29 August 1895 and forming the "Northern Rugby Football Union". Within fifteen years of that first meeting in Huddersfield, more than 200 RFU clubs had left to join the rugby revolution.
In 1897, the line-out was in 1898 professionalism introduced. In 1906, the Northern Union changed its rules, reducing teams from 15 to 13 a side and replacing the ruck formed after every tackle with the play the ball. A similar schism to that which occurred in England took place in Australia. There, on 8 August 1907 the New South Wales Rugby Football League was founded at Bateman's Hotel in George Street. Rugby league went on to displace rugby union as the primary football code in New South Wales and Queensland. On 5 May 1954 over 100,000 spectators watched the 1953–54 Challenge Cup Final at Odsal Stadium, England, setting a new record for attendance at a rugby football match of either code. In 1954 the Rugby League World Cup, the first for either code of rugby, was formed at the instigation of the French. In 1966, the International Board introduced a rule that a team in possession was allowed three play-the-balls and on the fourth tackle a scrum was to be formed; this was increased to six tackles in 1972 and in 1983 the scrum was replaced by a handover.
1967 saw. The first sponsors, Joshua Tetley and John Player, entered the game for the 1971–72 Northern Rugby Football League season. Television would have an enormous impact on the sport of rugby league in the 1990s when Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation sought worldwide broadcasting rights and refused to take no for an answer; the media giant's "Super League" movement saw big changes for the traditional administrators of the game. In Europe, it resulted in a move from a winter sport to a summer one as the new Super League competition tried to expand its market. In Australasia, the Super League war resulted in long and costly legal battles and changing loyalties, causing significant damage to the code in an competitive sporting market. In 1997 two competitions were run alongside each other in Australia, after which a peace deal in the form of the National Rugby League was formed; the NRL has since become recognised as the sport's flagship competition and since that time has set record TV ratings and crowd figures.
The objective in rugby league is to score more points through tries and field goals than the opposition within the 80 minutes of play. If after two halves of play, each consisting of forty minutes, the two teams are drawing, a draw may be declar
Jarryd Lee Hayne is a former professional rugby league footballer who last played for the Parramatta Eels in the National Rugby League. He has played American football and rugby union sevens at the highest levels. An Australia and Fiji international and New South Wales State of Origin representative fullback or centre, he played for the Gold Coast Titans and the NRL All Stars team, he won the Dally M Medal in 2009 and 2014 as the NRL's player of the year, the Rugby League International Federation's International Player of the Year award in 2009. Hayne attracted significant attention when he made the switch from one of the NRL's top players to a rookie in the 2015 NFL season with the San Francisco 49ers. At the end of the season, Hayne ended his NFL career. Before returning to the NRL, Hayne represented Fiji in rugby union sevens. Hayne was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on 15 February 1988, he is the son of a Fijian father, Manoa Thompson, an Australian mother, Jodie Hayne. His father played professional rugby league for South Sydney, Western Suburbs and the Auckland Warriors while representing Fiji.
Hayne was one of three children raised by his single mother, grew up in a red brick Campbelltown housing commission house in Minto. In early life Hayne took up athletics winning multiple titles, he still holds the under 9 year old Public School Sports Association 100 metre records. He competed in Little Athletics until under 15 age group, he attended school at John Warby Public School, Leumeah High and Westfields Sports High School but dropped out of high school early to pursue a career in rugby league. Hayne began playing junior rugby league for Campbelltown City, East Campbelltown and Cabramatta at the age of six. Hayne made his NRL debut with the Parramatta Eels at 18 years of age on 19 May 2006 against the Penrith Panthers at CUA Stadium. Jason Taylor, making his first grade coaching debut, chose him on the wing. Taylor said, "Everyone knew his talent, it wasn't just me." Hayne made an impression on the competition scoring 17 tries within 16 games in his debut season. This tally included a personal best of four tries against the Newcastle Knights in a 46–12 win to Parramatta.
His excellent try scoring ability saw him rewarded with the 2006 Dally M'Rookie of the Year' award and a spot on the Kangaroos Squad. He was named the 2006 Parramatta Eels season's rookie of the year, he started the season at centre but moved to fullback due to an injury to Luke Burt and scored 12 tries, including the winning try against the New Zealand Warriors in the First Qualifying Final of the 2007 NRL Finals series. Following Parramatta's close victory against Brisbane in July 2007, Hayne was accused of diving to impede Brisbane's momentum after a heavy hit from Simon Louis. Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett said "You talk about ethics in our sport. You talk about not laying on the ground" and claimed Hayne should be cited for "bringing the game into disrepute." Hayne denied that he dived to deliberately impede Brisbane's momentum and claimed that he was genuinely hurt after the collision with Thaiday. He was never found guilty of any wrongdoing by the NRL Judiciary. In the 2007 Grand Final qualifier, Hayne was again accused of diving when he stayed down and received a penalty for a high shot.
Players accused Hayne of winking after the incident, Clint Newton saying "To lay down like he did and get up and wink, I don't think that's in the spirit of the game. Straight after he got up, he winked at Dallas Johnson – facing us." Hayne denied the accusations, saying, "I don't engage in that shit, I just score tries and make people happy". Before the start of the 2008 season, Hayne was on a night out with St George player Mark Gasnier when a fight broke out between them and another group. Hayne and Gasnier were subsequently shot at by a gunman in a passing taxi. In the coming years, Hayne has said that the shooting incident changed his life and was a turning point in his career. Parramatta announced. On 15 September, he was announced as Rugby League's fastest man, after becoming the highest placed league player in the Gatorade Bolt, although other noted league speedsters such as David Mead, Michael Jennings, Brett Stewart and Kevin Gordon did not participate. At the start of the 2009 NRL season, Hayne played at five-eighth with limited success.
Hayne was moved back to his preferred position of fullback just before the round 8 clash with the North Queensland Cowboys. His return to form at fullback prompted Dean Ritchie of Daily Telegraph to call Hayne "the most gifted Parramatta player since the great Brett Kenny." Hayne's performances for Parramatta stepped up to another level. His influence on the game from fullback was lauded by many pundits as the Eels made a late season surge. From Round 19 to Round 24, he won six consecutive Man of the Match awards, he was described as "the best player in any code of football in Australia" by Phil Gould. Hayne has won the Dally M Medals for Fullback of the Year respectively, he became one of the youngest winners of the prestigious award and only the second fullback in history to be crowned Dally M Player of the Year. Hayne escaped a grade two charge after coming into contact with the head of Bryson Goodwin, sliding in with his knees to stop Goodwin in the act of scoring a try during the Preliminary Final against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Hayne pleaded guilty to a grade one charge, however a grade two charge would have resulted in Hayne missing the 2009 NRL Grand Final. Hayne ran 4,429 metres with the ball in 2009, more than any other player in the competition. At the start of November 2009 while on tour wit
Wayne Bennett (rugby league)
Wayne James Bennett AM is an Australian professional rugby league coach, the head coach of the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL, since 2016 he has been head coach of the England national team. He is a former rugby league footballer, he has been head coach of Australia, in 1998 and from 2004 to 2005, was an assistant coach of New Zealand in 2008. Regarded as one of the sport's greatest coaches, he holds Australian coaching records for most grand final wins and most seasons with a single club; as a player, Bennett was an Australian international and Queensland interstate representative winger or fullback of the 1970s. He worked as a Queensland Police officer before becoming a coach; as a coach, he won the Brisbane Rugby League premiership with Souths and in the 1980s earned selection as Queensland's State of Origin coach. After starting his NSWRL Premiership coaching career with the Canberra Raiders, Bennett was appointed the inaugural coach of the new Brisbane Broncos club in 1988 winning six premierships with them.
He has since coached the Newcastle Knights. Born in the small township of Allora, Wayne Bennett grew up in a working-class family in nearby Warwick with an alcoholic father who deserted the family when he was eleven years old, forcing Wayne to enter the workforce at an early age, he has two sisters and Gretta and two brothers and Dwight. In spite, or because of his upbringing, he remains an avowed non-smoker, non-drinker and non-gambler. Before becoming involved with the Queensland Rugby League on a full-time basis, Bennett started to work as a police officer at the age of 15 while playing junior rugby league in Warwick, his family had ties to the Police and rugby league in South East Queensland through his uncle, 1948 Kangaroo forward Eddie Brosnan. From 1970, Bennett played football for Warwick, in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership for Past Brothers and Souths, he was a talented wing and goal-kicker, represented Queensland 9 times between 1971 and 1973. Here Bennett was coached by Bob Bax, who he has credited as being a major influence in his own coaching career.
Bennett played two tour matches for Australia on the 1972 tour of New Zealand. In 1972 Bennett played for Toowoomba in the last Bulimba Cup Final against Brisbane. After that he had a spell playing for Huddersfield in England alongside fellow Queenslander and future brother-in-law Greg Vievers, he played for Brisbane's Brothers club and in 1974 under coach Paul Broughton reached the Grand Final which they lost to Fortitude Valley. Bennett began coaching in Ipswich in 1976, before moving to Brisbane Rugby League Premiership sides and Brothers. After the births of his 3 children, Bennett had a break from coaching, he returned in 1983 as coach of Souths Acacia Ridge under 16's as well as the Queensland Police Academy under 18's team which he took to a premiership. He worked as the Police Academy's fitness instructor. Bennett took over the Souths job and took them to the 1984 grand final, which they lost to the Wynnum-Manly Seagulls. Revenge was to come a year when the Bennett-coached Magpies defeated the Seagulls 10–8 in the BRL grand final to take the premiership.
This was against a Seagulls line-up featuring Australian captain Wally Lewis and centre Gene Miles, both of whom would captain the Brisbane Broncos under Bennett. In 1986 Bennett took over from Des Morris as coach of the Queensland State of Origin team; the Maroons were beaten 3–0 in a series whitewash that year, however Bennett was retained as Queensland's coach for two more years. In 1987 Bennett moved south to join the NSWRL's Winfield Cup Premiership when he was appointed co-coach of the Canberra Raiders alongside Australian team coach Don Furner. With the Queensland side, Bennett won the 1987 State of Origin series. By the end of the 1987 NSWRL season, He and Furner had guided the Raiders to their first Grand Final, lost to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18–8. Bennett was appointed to be the first coach of the Brisbane Broncos when the club was formed in 1988; that season with the Maroons he defeated New South Wales in a 3 nil whitewash in the State of Origin, but Bennett discontinued his representative coaching to focus on the Broncos.
Bennett's reputation for being able to make tough and unpopular decisions was characterised by his sacking of Wally Lewis as club captain in 1990. At the end of the season Lewis was not made an offer large enough to retain him, with Bennett citing salary cap restrictions and the need to keep Sydney clubs away from more junior talent coming through; the Broncos won their first premierships in 1992 under Bennett. In the weeks following the grand final Bennett travelled with the Broncos to England, where they played the 1992 World Club Challenge against British champions Wigan, helping Brisbane become the first NSWRL club to win the match in Britain; the following season the Broncos again won the grand final, gaining a second consecutive premiership. During the 1994 NSWRL season, Bennett coached defending premiers Brisbane when they hosted British champions Wigan for the 1994 World Club Challenge and lost. Bennett was appointed as Queensland coach again for the 1995 State of Origin series but pulled out of the position after players aligned with the breakaway Super League organisation were refused selection.
In the 1997 Super League season, the Broncos dominated under Bennett, winning the 1997 World Club Championship as well as the Telstra Cup grand final in Brisbane. Bennett resumed representative coaching dut
2008 Rugby League World Cup
The 2008 Rugby League World Cup was the thirteenth staging of the Rugby League World Cup since its inauguration in 1954, the first since the 2000 tournament. The tournament was held in Australia from 26 October, culminating in the final between Australia and New Zealand on 22 November. 2008 was the fourth time that the World Cup was held in Australia, the first being in 1957. The tournament was won by New Zealand, who defeated Australia 34–20 in the final in one of the greatest upsets in the history of the sport; the tournament featured the best ten teams around the globe. A total of eighteen matches; the tournament ended a year of celebrations commemorating the centenary of the game in the southern hemisphere and was part of the Festival of World Cups. The thirteenth Cup was scheduled to be held in Australia in 2004, however the lack of international success by Great Britain and New Zealand after the 2000 World Cup and the rise of the Tri-Nations tournament meant that it was delayed for a further four years.
The Rugby League International Federation announced this tournament on 6 May 2006, with further details on scheduling and dates following on 19 April 2007. The first match took place in Townsville between England and Papua New Guinea, although the official opening ceremony of the competition occurred before the Australia and New Zealand match the following day in Sydney; the final took place at Lang Park in Brisbane. The tournament proved a commercial success, delivering a profit of A$5 million and re-establishing the credibility of the competition; the draw, after being confirmed by the RLIF on 19 April 2007, involved three groups. The first group was made up of four teams. Whilst the other two groups involved three teams each; the semi finals were made up of the first three teams in the first group and the winner of a playoff between the winners of the second and third groups. The draw was put into doubt after the Papua New Guinea team claimed that it was unfair to them and threatened to boycott the tournament should it not be changed.
Marcus Bai, former Papua New Guinean winger and captain, said: They have to change it and if they don't, we won't come. We will ring up the other island nations and teams elsewhere who don't qualify and we can have our own competition, they have shown no respect for our efforts to promote the game up there. For the tournament, this separate island competition did not eventuate. Papua New Guinea still remained upset with the draw, seeing it as a huge challenge but one which would have seen them be rewarded if they had won; the draw was finalised on 4 October 2007. Teams received 2 points for a win, 1-point for a draw; this meant that, unlike in the Australasian National Rugby League, there was no "golden point" rule enforced. In group stages, if two teams had the same number of points positions were determined on points difference, the number of points scored minus the number of points conceded. After group matches were completed, a match featuring the second placed teams in Group B and Group C took place with the winner receiving 7th place.
The third placed teams in Group B and Group C played off for 9th place. It was believed; the hosts, were given automatic entry into the World Cup, along with New Zealand, England and Papua New Guinea. The five remaining places in the World Cup were determined by qualification rounds. Two European rounds and Pacific and Repêchage rounds were scheduled. Tonga and Fiji became the first two nations to qualify after Tonga defeated Samoa 18–10 in Leeds on 22 October, forcing Samoa to enter the repêchage. In the European Group Two, Ireland drew 16–16 with Lebanon to ensure qualification, while Lebanon were forced to enter the repêchage; the final automatic place went to Scotland. Wales faced Lebanon in the repêchage semi-final, where they lost in a surprise 50–26 defeat, to knock them out of World Cup Qualifying. Lebanon faced Samoa, who beat USA 42–10 in the first semi-final, on 14 November for the final qualifying position; the game was won by Samoa, 38–16, so they booked the tenth and final place. Many qualification matches were broadcast live by Sky Sports in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, whilst BigPondTV broadcast matches online for other fans around the world.
Six referees from four countries controlled matches in the tournament. These four nations provided touch judges while England and Australia provided the video referees. In support of the Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation, the referees wore pastel pink shirts while officiating matches to raise awareness; the shirts, which carried the NBCF logo on the collar, were signed by the team captains at each World Cup game and were auctioned off with the proceeds going to the NBCF. Due to Rugby League World Cup rules prohibiting the use of commercial venue names, all venues were known by their non-commercial names, e.g. Suncorp Stadium was known as Lang Park during the tournament. Lang Park would host the World Cup Final. On Sunday night, 26 October, the Sydney Football Stadium hosted the Opening Ceremony of the World Cup, it started with Greg Inglis reciting a speech about "Playing Fair". Following Inglis' speech there was an Aboriginal Smoking ceremony to welcome all the athletes and participants.
This included a rather large sized Rainbow Serpent. The last part of the ceremony involved a performance of the Rugby League World Cup anthem "Hero" by Natalie Bassingthwaighte. A curtai
Jamie Lyon is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 2000s and 2010s. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative goal-kicking centre, he played his first club football for the Parramatta Eels before joining Super League with English club St. Helens, with whom he won the 2006 Championship and Challenge Cup titles and regarded as saints best centre. Lyon returned to the NRL with Manly Warringah, winning the 2008 and 2011 grand finals with them. A five-eighth, he switched to the centre position in 2009 and was regarded as one of the best centres in the game, winning the Dally M Centre of the year in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014, RLIF Centre of the Year in 2011 and 2013, Dally M Captain of the Year in 2012 and again in 2014 individually. In 2016, he became the fourth player to score 500 goals. Born in Narrabri in north-central New South Wales on 24 January 1982 and growing up in Wee Waa, New South Wales, Lyon played junior rugby league for the Wee Waa Panthers.
Selected to play for the Australian Schoolboys team, while attending Parramatta Marist High School he was part of the 1999 squad who went undefeated in their tour of France and England. Parramatta Eels' club development officer at the time, Noel Cleal, saw potential in the young centre and managed to lure Lyon to sign with the Sydney club. Lyon made his NRL début coming off the bench in the Eels' round 21 clash against the newly merged Wests Tigers on 25 June 2000 becoming the 622nd first grader for Parramatta in the process, he scored his first try just three rounds and he finished his début season with a try in Parramatta's 32–24 defeat of the St George Illawarra Dragons. In 2001, Lyon found himself in the run-on squad. By season's end Parramatta took out the J. J. Giltinan Shield as the minor premiers thanks in part to Lyon's 11 tries. After defeating the New Zealand Warriors and the Brisbane Broncos in the qualifying and preliminary finals Parramatta fell just short of becoming premiers losing to the Newcastle Knights in 2001 NRL Grand Final, in which Lyon played at centre, scoring two tries.
At the end of the 2001 NRL season, Lyon became the 697th player to represent Australia when he made his national representative début in the test match at Lloyd Robson Oval, Port Moresby against Papua New Guinea where he scored two tries off the bench. That year, he became the youngest-ever Kangaroo tourist when he was selected for the 2001 Kangaroo Tour; the start of the 2002 NRL season started off well for Lyon, he made his New South Wales Blues début in Game I of the 2002 State of Origin series, scoring a try in 32–4 points victory. He played again in Game II of the series however an ankle injury, sustained in the Eels round 14 match against the defending premiers, found Lyon out for the remainder of the season. In June 2002, he extended his contract with the Parramatta club until the end of 2006 at around $250,000 per season. Lyon made his return in Round 1 of the 2003 NRL season. Starting off well again, he scored four tries in four games; that year, he played in all three games for the Blues in their 2–1 2003 State of Origin series victory.
A hamstring injury though saw Lyon again on the sideline. However, he recovered and in round 24, he set the club record for the most tries in first grade match when he ran in 5 in Parramatta's 74–4 defeat of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, helping the Eels set their highest score and largest winning margin in process, but this was not enough for the Eels as they just missed the finals for the first time since 1996, for the first time in Brian Smith's time at the club. During his time at Parramatta, Lyon had received several club awards including the Jack Gibson Award in 2001 awarded by the first grade coach, the Ron Lynch Media Award in 2003, the Members People Choice Award in 2003 and, along with Matthew Petersen, was jointly awarded the Murray Wilson Try Scoring Award as the top try scorers for the club in the 2003 NRL season. Lyon made headlines when on 15 March 2004, after four seasons, 70 games and at the age of just 22, announced that he was retiring from Parramatta and the NRL, he did so just two days after Parramatta's round one 48–14 loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs and without talking to his team mates.
He had around two years remaining on his contract. In reaction to the announcement, fellow country players Justin Hodges and David Peachey publicly supported his decision. With both players themselves taking breaks from the game, Hodges was quoted as saying that "footy does get a hold on you and it does get you down sometimes. People say it's the life but sometimes there's more bad than good. He's only 22 and he's from the country so it's pretty hard living in a big city like this. I struggled." Terry Hill added to the controversy when at the press conference to announce his own retirement, he predicted more young players would take Lyon's lead and leave the top grade. Lyon said, "I would’ve changed a few things with the Parramatta, the finish up there, it wasn’t the best way to go and, you know, I was still pretty young and I let my teammates and the club down out there and I’d love to change that if I could, but I can’t and at that time I was just finishing up from footy, I wasn’t going to play anymore."
On 9 April 2004, Lyon's manager Alan Gainey announced that Lyon was seeking a clearance to return to his junior club – the Wee Waa Panthers. On 14 April 2004, one month after he walked out and Gainey meet with Parramatta officials for two hours to determine Lyon's future; the following day, it was announced this that his pay would be suspended and that the initial We
North Queensland Cowboys
The North Queensland Cowboys are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in Townsville, the largest city in North Queensland. They compete in the National Rugby League premiership. Since their foundation in 1995, the club has appeared in three grand finals winning in 2015, has reached the finals ten times; the team's management headquarters and home ground, the Willows Sports Complex known as 1300SMILES Stadium due to sponsorship rights, are located in the Townsville suburb of Kirwan. The Cowboys were admitted to the premiership for the 1995 ARL season, they played in the breakaway Super League competition in 1997 before continuing to compete in the re-unified National Rugby League competition the following year. After running into financial trouble in 2001, the club was taken over by News Limited. In 2007, the team was sold by News Limited to the Cowboys Leagues Club. In 2015, the Cowboys played in the first all-Queensland grand final, defeating the Brisbane Broncos 17-16 in golden point to win their first premiership.
With the success of the Broncos in 1988, speculation intensified as to if the NSWRL would admit a new team based in North Queensland. In 1993, the NSWRL announced that North Queensland would enter the competition in 1995, along with three other new sides. One of the major difficulties that faced the club in their early years was attracting followers from the more established Queensland-based Winfield Cup side, the Brisbane Broncos; this was exacerbated by an initial lack of onfield stability. In their first two seasons, the Cowboys had eight different captains and finished last in their inaugural season. After much court action in 1995 and 1996, a ten team Super League competition was held in 1997; the Cowboys competed in this competition, their squad was bolstered by a number of new signings including Ian Roberts and Steve Walters. However, they were unable to improve on the club's results in previous years, for the second time in three seasons they were to finish the season in last place; the Cowboys first game of the Super League season, a 24–16 win over new team the Adelaide Rams played on 1 March at Stockland Stadium in front of 17,738 fans was the first game of the Super League's competition.
In 1998 the Super League and Australian Rugby League competitions merged to form the National Rugby League. The Cowboys began their first season in this competition and after six rounds they were in equal first place. Although they fell away in the season, they were to record the largest come-back to date in an Australian first grade rugby league match, defeating the Penrith Panthers 36–28 after trailing 26–0 at half-time. 1998 saw the Cowboys record their largest loss to date, being defeated 62–0 by the North Sydney Bears in the last round of the home and away season. The Cowboys signed their eleventh captain in Noel Goldthorpe. Paul Bowman was to serve in that role during the season. Although their on-field performances were not spectacular, continuing high attendance figures saw aggregate attendances exceed one million spectators; this season the Cowboys provided their first State of Origin representative when Paul Green was selected as Queensland's halfback for game 2 of the 1999 State of Origin series.
In the years 2000 through to 2002 the Cowboys continued to struggle with off-field dramas and poor on-field performances. After finishing last in 2000, season 2001 began Tim Sheens]] resigned on the 25th of May and was replaced by his assistant Murray Hurst. 4 straight losses in the opening rounds of 2002 led to Hurst being replaced early in the 2002 season, by former Illawarra Steelers and Leeds Rhinos coachGraham Murray. Murray stamped his authority and coaching prowess on the club and the NQ Cowboys looked far more competitive towards the end of the 2002 season; the Cowboys spent much of the 2003 season in the top eight with much improved performances from a host of players, including local talents Matt Bowen and Josh Hannay. The 2003 season ended with the Cowboys four points adrift of a top eight play-off position. After a slow start to the season that saw them at 13th on the ladder with just one win and five losses, the Cowboys turned it around in the second half of the season to finish with 12 wins and 11 loses and 7th spot, giving the club their first top eight appearance.
The Cowboys fairytale year continued when they upset the 2nd place Bulldogs away from home in the first week of the finals, 30–22, thanks to hat-trick hero Matt Sing. The following week the Cowboys defeated their state rivals the Brisbane Broncos at home, 10–0, in the club's most famous victory, they ended up falling one game short of the grand final, losing to the Sydney Roosters, 19–16. The Cowboys would go one better in 2005. With the help of new recruits Carl Webb and Johnathan Thurston, the side finished in 5th spot and with back-to-back finals appearances, they would lose the grand final to the Wests Tigers. In his first year with the club, Johnathan Thurston won the Dally M Medal and made his State of Origin debut for Queensland. In 2006, the Cowboys started the year with a 6-game winning streak and looked destined for another finals appearance, before ending the season with just 5 wins from 19 games and finishing in 9th position; the 2007 season saw their first top 4 finish. They faced the Bulldogs in Townsville in week 1 of the finals.
The following week, they defeated the Warriors at home by 37 points. They fell one game short of the grand final again, this time losing t
The Huddersfield Giants are an English professional rugby league club from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the birthplace of rugby league, who play in the Super League competition. They play their home games at the John Smiths Stadium, shared with Huddersfield Town F. C.. Huddersfield is one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league teams; the club is the world's oldest professional rugby league club. They have won 7 Championships and 6 Challenge Cups, but have not won a major trophy since 1962, some 53 years ago; the club amongst older supporters, is sometimes referred to as Fartown, named after the ground in Fartown, Huddersfield, the club's home venue from 1878 to 1992. The club was known as Huddersfield Barracudas from 1984–88 and Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants for the 2000 season; the team plays in a distinctive strip of a claret shirt with thin gold hoops, claret shorts and claret and gold hooped socks.
They have rivalries with Warrington, Bradford and Wakefield Trinity. The earliest record of a football match being played in the Huddersfield area is in 1848, when a team of men from Hepworth took on a team of men from Holmfirth near Whnuil Bank in Holmfirth. Hepworth won a close fought game which "exhibited the usual amount of confusions, bloody noses, etc" and took the prize of £5, jointly donated by each side. There appears to have been no formal structure to sport in the Huddersfield area until the opening of the Apollo Gymnasium on 3 August 1850. At this time the gymnasium was the only venue in the town where young men could take part in physical activities, it offered the opportunity to participate in fencing, bowling and many other sports. In 1864 the Apollo Gymnasium was turned into the Gymnasium Theatre; the athletes of the gymnasium responded by forming a more organised athletics association. In an advertisement headed "Huddersfield Athletic Club" they invited "gentlemen desirous of becoming members" to a public meeting at 8 o'clock on the evening of 16 November 1864 at the Queen Hotel.
The meeting went a committee was formed. Within a month a new gymnasium was in service in a basement on Back John William Street; the club's 1864 foundation means that it is the oldest Rugby League club, both in terms of foundation date and continuous history. On 27 January 1866, twenty members of the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to play a football match against twenty of the Huddersfield Rifle Corps at Rifle Field in Trinity Street. Although the result was a scoreless draw, a large crowd was attracted. In light of this, the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to start a football section, to start at the beginning of December 1866; the Huddersfield Athletic Club made no contribution to the support of the football club and each paying member was forced to pay a subscription of 2s/6d. As the football club grew, it became a useful recruiting tool for the Huddersfield Athletic Club. In 1869 six matches were played and by 1870 three of the club's players had been selected to represent Yorkshire.
By 1872 there were so many players. The growth in popularity of the club and the need for better facilities led to the Huddersfield Athletic Club approaching St John's Cricket Club with a proposal to merge the two clubs. St John's Cricket Club had moved to Fartown ground. By 1875, when amalgamation talks began, over £800 had been spent on developing the new ground. At a meeting on 27 November 1875, at the Thornhill Arms Inn the two clubs agreed to merge to form the Huddersfield Cricket and Athletics Club; the motion was passed by 55 votes to 37. The football section stayed at Rifle Field, but alterations made in the summer of 1878 meant that rugby could begin at the start of the 1878–79 season with the visit of Manchester Rangers on 2 November; the new ground would become the club's home for 114 years and would provide the club's famous "Fartown" nickname. In 1895 the club were founder members of the Northern Rugby Football Union; the club has seen many ups and downs in its long history, but for the first 60 years of rugby league it was one of the powerhouses of the game, with only Wigan as rivals in terms of trophies won.
Harold Wagstaff was only fifteen years and one hundred and seventy-five days old when he played his first match for Huddersfield, against Bramley in November 1906. At the time, he was the youngest first-team player the game had seen, he had signed on for a £5 signing-on fee. Huddersfield beat the touring 1908–09 Kangaroos 5–3, they were impressed enough with stand-off Albert Rosenfeld to sign him up that evening along with Australian Dual Code International Pat Walsh one of the best forwards of the Kangaroos. Rosenfeld played his first game against Broughton Rangers on 11 September 1909; the club's golden period came around the time of the First World War. The club was able to assemble a team of players from across the British Empire who swept all before them. Known as "The Team of All Talents", they were led by Harold Wagstaff and are still regarded as one of the finest football teams to have played. In the five years leading up to the First World War they won 13 trophies. Two members of the team, centre Harold Wagstaff and wing Albert Rosenfeld were honoured by inclusion in the original Rugby League Hall of Fame.
They were joined by the Cumberland second row Douglas Clark. Of just seventeen players to be elected to the Hall of Fame, no fewe