National Rugby Championship
The National Rugby Championship, known as NRC, is Australia's national professional rugby union competition. As of 2018, it is contested by seven teams from around Australia plus one from Fiji; the NRC is the top-level tournament administered by Rugby Australia. It is the most important club competition for players in Australia following the Super Rugby season; the National Rugby Championship is held in the period between late August and early November. A round-robin tournament is scheduled first; the top four teams progress to the championship playoffs consisting of two semi-final knockout matches and a grand final to determine the champion team and winner of the NRC Trophy. During the round-robin section of the tournament, teams can play for the Horan-Little Shield, a challenge trophy, put on the line by the holders when a challenge match is accepted or mandated according to the Shield rules; the National Rugby Championship has eight teams competing in the 2018 season: Two of the NRC matches each weekend are broadcast live via Fox Sports, with the remaining matches shown on the Fox Sports streaming platform.
Discussion of the NRC competition is included on Fox Sports' review show NRC Extra Time on Monday nights, the Kick & Chase program on Tuesday evenings. In December 2013, the ARU announced that Australia would get another tier of competition under Super Rugby in line with South Africa’s Currie Cup and New Zealand's Mitre 10 Cup. Eleven bids were tendered from teams wanting to participate in the tournament, with nine being accepted. Applicants that were not successful were advised that they could bid again as the competition matured, as early as 2015; the National Rugby Championship followed a previous national competition, the Australian Rugby Championship, abandoned after the first season in 2007 due to financial losses. The construction company Buildcorp was the inaugural naming rights sponsor for the NRC competition, with other partners including Intercontinental Hotels and Allianz signed. ASICS was the official apparel supplier for the first two seasons. Matches were played under approved law variations, intended to increase the speed of the game.
A new broadcasting deal agreed in 2015 secured the funding and future of the competition until the end of the 2020 season. The competition was reduced from nine teams to eight when the ARU did not renew the NRC licence for the Sydney Stars in 2016, citing insufficient player talent to support four competitive teams in New South Wales. A team from Fiji, the Fijian Drua, joined the competition for the 2017 season. For the 2018 season, the Greater Sydney Rams were dropped from the competition, leaving Sydney with just one team, the Rays; the tournament is run by Rugby Australia with the sponsorship of Foxtel which provides television coverage on its Fox Sports channels. Gilbert is the official supplier of all rugby balls. Australia's Super Rugby players participate in the NRC under a capped allocation to ensure that all NRC teams have a mix of players from local development squads and club competitions, as well as those with Super Rugby experience. Australian national team players are required for Test match rugby during the NRC season, but each player is allocated to one of the NRC teams and is able to play if released from national duty.
Total wins Wins by State/Territory/Nation By year In 2018 an additional competition was formed for teams from so-called "Emerging States", featuring the Adelaide Black Falcons, Victoria Country Barbarians, Northern Territory Mosquitoes and Tasmania Jack Jumpers. The first Competition was held in Adelaide in September 2018, the Black Falcons were the inaugural winners. Australian Rugby Championship Australian Rugby Shield Super Rugby Super W National Rugby Championship official homepage NRC on Fox Sports NRC Live on twitter.com BuildcorpNRC at the Wayback Machine
The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are an Australian professional rugby league team based in Cronulla, in the Sutherland Shire, Southern Sydney, New South Wales. They compete in Australasia's premier rugby league competition; the Sharks, as they are known, were admitted to the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, predecessor of the Australian Rugby League and the current National Rugby League competition, in January 1967. The club competed in every premiership season since and, during the Super League war, joined the rebel competition before continuing on in the re-united NRL Premiership; the Sharks have been in competition for 50 years, appearing in four grand finals, winning their first premiership in 2016 after defeating the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium. In 1967 the New South Wales Rugby Football League added two new clubs to the competition, Cronulla-Sutherland and Penrith, the first to join the competition since Parramatta and Manly were admitted 20 years earlier in 1947. Cronulla debuted in 1967 wearing a sky blue jersey adorned with a white V and red numbers on the back, at the club home ground of Sutherland Oval, under the captaincy of multiple premiership-winner Monty Porter and the coaching of Ken Kearney.
Cronulla earned immediate recognition when they beat Eastern Suburbs at the Sydney Sports Ground in their first match. They had only two more wins, against Norths and Parramatta, finished last on the competition table. In mid-1968 the club moved permanently to Endeavour Field at Woolooware, became the only club in Sydney to own their own ground, their first match there was against Parramatta and the Cronulla Sharks won 10–7. Cronulla made their first grand final in 1973 against Manly Warringah losing 10-7. Cronulla met the Sea Eagles again in the 1978 grand final, leading 7–2 well into the second half, before Manly came back and brought the scoreboard to 7-11, it took a late penalty goal from Steve Rogers to level scores at 11-all by full-time. The replay saw the Sharks opportunity pass by as they fielded a much-weakened team due to further injuries being shut-out by Manly 16–0. Cronulla were without suspended stars Greg Pierce and Dane Sorensen in both games, while hooker John McMartin, fullback Mick Mullane and Barry Andrews were all injured for the replay.
Cronulla suffered major financial trouble in 1983, with the NSWRL appointing an administrator and providing a loan. Western Suburbs and Newtown, both in a similar predicament, were refused a loan, with Newtown being forced out of the competition. Cronulla made the final of the mid-week KB Cup, but lost again to Manly, 26–6. In 1985, Cronulla was buoyed by the arrival of'super coach' Jack Gibson, who had coached Easts and Parramatta to premierships. Gibson left the club in good shape in 1987, with the promise fulfilled in 1988 when Cronulla won the minor premiership, led by veteran second-rower Gavin Miller, named Dally M Player of the Year, Rothmans Medal winning halfback, Barry Russell. However, Russell dislocated his shoulder two weeks before the finals, missed the semi-final where Cronulla went down to Canterbury, he was rushed back in for the final against Balmain, but he was hampered by the injury, Cronulla were bundled out. A bright spot for the Sharks, was the selection in the Australian team of Miller, young centres and Mark McGaw.
In 1989, Cronulla sneaked into the finals after thrashing Illawarra 46–14 in the final round, followed by a memorable 38–14 victory over the Brisbane Broncos in the play-off for fifth position. However, they could not repeat the performance in their semi-final against eventual premiers Canberra, in what was their third game in seven days. Gavin Miller was rewarded for another great year with both the Dally M Player of the Year award and the Rothmans Medal. Cronulla again dropped into a period of poor form and financial trouble in 1990, but the appointment as coach of rugby league Immortal, Arthur Beetson, in 1992 helped turn the on-field problems around, he helped develop a batch of promising players, including five-eighth Mitch Healey, fullback David Peachey, winger Richie Barnett, prop Adam Ritson, hooker Aaron Raper, son of another Immortal, Johnny Raper. However, Cronulla were forced into receivership in 1993. Beetson was replaced as coach in 1994 by John Lang, a former Australian hooker, coach of the Brisbane Easts team.
Lang brought Paul Green, down from Brisbane with him. A golden age for the club had begun, signalled by the two lower grade teams winning their competitions. During John Lang's coaching period, from 1994 to 2001, Cronulla made the semi-finals every year except for 1994 and 1998; the club had a glamorous image and attracted record crowds, with a corresponding financial improvement. In 1995, Cronulla were one of the first clubs to join the Super League competition, which kicked off after protracted legal battles and much bitterness, in 1997; the club was motivated by a dissatisfaction with the perceived favouritism of the NSWRL administration towards other clubs, a still-risky financial situation. They reached the inaugural – and only – grand final of the ten-team Super League competition, only to lose to a vastly superior Brisbane side 26–8 in Brisbane; the game was notable for being the only grand final to be played outside Sydney. The club rejoined the reunited National Rugby League competition in 1998.
Arguably the Sharks' best season was in 1999, when they again won the minor premiership and the J. J. Giltinan Shield in convincing fashion; the Sharks accounted for the Brisbane Broncos in the quarter-final, led 8–0 in the grand final qualifier against the St George Illawarra Dragons before losing 8–24. In 1999, the Cronulla-Suth
The Sydney Rays is an Australian rugby union team that competes in the National Rugby Championship. The team is one of two sides from New South Wales in the competition; the current Rays team in the NRC takes its identity from the Central Coast Rays side that played in the earlier national competition, the Australian Rugby Championship. The Rays drew players from four Shute Shield clubs; the Central Coast Waves club was aligned with the Rays for the ARC, but the competition was disbanded following the first season in 2007. After an absence of six years, the national competition was relaunched as the NRC in 2014. A consortium of the same four Shute clubs from the ARC reformed the team as the North Harbour Rays in 2014 to play in the NRC; the team was renamed the Sydney Rays in 2016. The Rays' name was adopted for the team's first incarnation on the Central Coast, with a manta ray chosen to represent the marine environment of the local area; the logo features a manta ray in navy blue, outlined in white, on a stylised emerald green and white rugby ball, outlined in navy blue.
The only change from the original logo has been the name prefix moving from Central Coast to North Harbour and, as of 2016, Sydney. The team plays in a harlequin-style quartered strip composed of blue, green and black colours from the four constituent clubs. All four clubs’ colours are featured on the socks. In 2007, an attempt was made to form a third tier of rugby in Australia, similar to New Zealand's ITM Cup and South Africa's Currie Cup; the newly formed competition was called the Australian Rugby Championship. Three of those teams were based in New South Wales, including a Central Coast team; the Central Coast Rays' name and colours were unveiled in March 2007 by the New South Wales Rugby Union. The Rays' navy blue and emerald colours represented the bush landscape of the region; the Rays' local rivals in the ARC were the Western Sydney Rams. The three ARC teams from New South Wales were aligned with existing regions; the clubs aligned with the Central Coast Rays were Gordon, Northern Suburbs, Warringah, from the Shute Shield competition, as well as the Central Coast Waves.
The Central Coast Rays played their home games at the Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium at Gosford, on the New South Wales Central Coast. Bluetongue Stadium, with an all-seater capacity of 20,159, had hosted numerous rugby union fixtures including Central Coast Waves matches and New South Wales Waratahs matches during the Australian Provincial Championship. John McKee was the head coach of the Central Coast team, he had coached the Eastwood club and worked with French club Montferrand and Irish team Connacht. After finishing second on the league table, the Central Coast Rays came from behind against the Perth Spirit in their semi-final, winning 27 to 19; the Rays hosted the Melbourne Rebels in the inaugural ARC Grand Final and won 20 to 12, becoming the inaugural champions of the ARC. The Australian Rugby Championship was terminated at the end of 2007 after only one season of competition, with the Australian Rugby Union citing higher costs than budgeted and further projected financial losses.
The Central Coast Rays team was disbanded at the end of the ARC. The National Rugby Championship was announced in December 2013 to commence in 2014 with expressions of interest open to any interested parties and the accepted bids announced early in 2014. In March 2014 it was announced that the Rays would be revived as the North Harbour Rays to compete in the new National Rugby Championship; the new Rays team was backed by a consortium of four Shute Shield clubs: Manly, Northern Suburbs and Gordon. The team played in a quartered harlequin-style strip composed of blue and two shades of green from the four constituent clubs; the sleeves were gold and black and shorts were white and all four clubs’ colours were featured on the socks. The Rays secured Macquarie University as their principal partner on a two-year deal, to be be known as the Macquarie University North Harbour Rays for the 2014 and 2015 NRC seasons. Phil Blake was appointed as the Rays head coach for the 2014 season, with Scott Fava, Haig Sare and Geoff Townsend as part of the coaching staff, but after Blake accepted a coaching opportunity with Leicester Tigers, Geoff Townsend was promoted to the head coaching position, Damien Cummins replaced Fava as the forwards coach.
Greg Peterson was named as captain. In 2015, Townsend was reappointed as head coach, Luke Holmes was named as captain; the team was renamed the Sydney Rays for the 2016 season. Consideration was given to the Southern Districts club switching allegiance to the Rays in 2016, but they remained with the Rams. Damien Cummins was named as the Rays head coach for the 2016 season but he stepped down and Simon Cron was appointed to the job; as of 2018, the Sydney Rays play home matches at Concord Oval, Leichhardt Oval and Woollahra Oval No.1. From 2014 to 2017, the team played at several venues north of the harbour including Macquarie University and Brookvale Oval, as well as the home grounds of three of the four clubs from the Ray's ownership consortium at the time: Northern Suburbs and Warringah. For the ARC in 2007, the Rays played at Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium. With the reemergence of the competition in the form of the NRC, fans from Manly and Warringah rugby heartland - tragic supporters of the game - formed the'STRAYS'.
In the spirit of rugby and the NRC they came together to make sure the new club had support in the local community and to'
Rugby union known in most of the world as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end. Rugby union is a popular sport around the world, played by male and female players of all ages. In 2014, there were more than 6 million people playing worldwide, of whom 2.36 million were registered players. World Rugby called the International Rugby Football Board and the International Rugby Board, has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886, has 101 countries as full members and 18 associate members. In 1845, the first football laws were written by Rugby School pupils. An amateur sport, in 1995 restrictions on payments to players were removed, making the game professional at the highest level for the first time.
Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire. Early exponents of the sport included New Zealand, South Africa and France. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Madagascar, New Zealand and Tonga. International matches have taken place since 1871 when the first game took place between Scotland and England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh; the Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere are other major international competitions, held annually. National club or provincial competitions include the Premiership in England, the Top 14 in France, the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand, the National Rugby Championship in Australia, the Currie Cup in South Africa. Other transnational club competitions include the Pro14 in Europe and South Africa, the European Rugby Champions Cup in Europe, Super Rugby, in the Southern Hemisphere and Japan.
The origin of rugby football is reputed to be an incident during a game of English school football at Rugby School in 1823, when William Webb Ellis is said to have picked up the ball and run with it. Although the evidence for the story is doubtful, it was immortalised at the school with a plaque unveiled in 1895. Despite the doubtful evidence, the Rugby World Cup trophy is named after Webb Ellis. Rugby football stems from the form of game played at Rugby School, which former pupils introduced to their university. Old Rugbeian Albert Pell, a student at Cambridge, is credited with having formed the first "football" team. During this early period different schools used different rules, with former pupils from Rugby and Eton attempting to carry their preferred rules through to their universities. A significant event in the early development of rugby football was the production of the first written laws of the game at Rugby School in 1845, followed by the Cambridge Rules drawn up in 1848. Other important events include the Blackheath Club's decision to leave the Football Association in 1863 and the formation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871.
The code was known as "rugby football". Despite the sport's full name of rugby union, it is known as rugby throughout most of the world; the first rugby football international was played on 27 March 1871 between Scotland and England in Edinburgh. Scotland won the game 1-0. By 1881 both Ireland and Wales had representative teams, in 1883 the first international competition, the Home Nations Championship had begun. 1883 is the year of the first rugby sevens tournament, the Melrose Sevens, still held annually. Two important overseas tours took place in 1888: a British Isles team visited Australia and New Zealand—although a private venture, it laid the foundations for future British and Irish Lions tours. During the early history of rugby union, a time before commercial air travel, teams from different continents met; the first two notable tours both took place in 1888—the British Isles team touring New Zealand and Australia, followed by the New Zealand team touring Europe. Traditionally the most prestigious tours were the Southern Hemisphere countries of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa making a tour of a Northern Hemisphere, the return tours made by a joint British and Irish team.
Tours would last for months, due to the number of games undertaken. Touring international sides would play Test matches against international opponents, including national and county sides in the case of Northern Hemisphere rugby, or provincial/state sides in the case of Southern Hemisphere rugby. Between 1905 and 1908, all three major Southern Hemisphere rugby countries sent their first touring teams to the Northern Hemisphere: New Zealand in 1905, followed by South Africa in 1906 and Australia in 1908. All three teams brought new styles of play, fitness levels and tactics, were far more successful than critics had expected; the New Zealand 1905 touri
Central Coast (New South Wales)
The City of Central Coast, a peri-urban region in the Australian state of New South Wales, lies on the Tasman Sea coast north of Sydney and south of Lake Macquarie. The City of Central Coast has an estimated population of 325,082 as of June 2015, growing at 1% pa. making it the third-largest urban area in New South Wales and the ninth-largest urban area in Australia. Geographically, the Central Coast City is considered to include the region bounded by the Hawkesbury River in the south, the Watagan Mountains in the west and the southern end of Lake Macquarie in the north, it lies on the Sydney basin. Politically, the City of Central Coast has administered the area since 12 May 2016, when the Gosford City Council and the Wyong Shire Council merged. In September 2006, the New South Wales government released a revised long-term plan for the region that saw the Central Coast City classified as a regional city, along with Wollongong and the Hunter Region. Subsequently, a new junior ministerial post was established in the NSW State Parliament.
As of April 2015 Scot MacDonald served as the parliamentary secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast. In November 2015 both Gosford and Wyong councils controversially voted to merge after allegations of bullying as part of the state government's "Fit for the Future" plans. Amalgamation into a single Central Coast City local government area has now passed all administrative and legislative requirements; the new Central Coast City Council held elections in September 2017. The region has been inhabited for thousands of years by Aboriginal people; the local Guringai and Darkinjung people were some of the first Aboriginal people to come in contact with British settlers. An Aboriginal man from the region named Bungaree became one of the most prominent people of the early settlement of New South Wales, he was one of the first Aboriginal people to learn English and befriended the early governors Phillip and Macquarie. He accompanied explorer Matthew Flinders in circumnavigating Australia. Macquarie declared Bungaree "The King of the Broken Bay Tribes".
Post settlement disease and disruption reduced the numbers of Aboriginal people. In 1811, the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, gave the first land grant in the region to William Nash, a former marine of the First Fleet. No further grants were made in the area until 1821; the region is a network of towns that have been linked in recent years by expanding suburban development. The main urban cluster of the region surrounds the northern shore of Brisbane Water and includes the Coast's largest population centre, stretching east to the retail centre of Erina. Other major commercial "centres" on the Coast are Wyong, Lakehaven, The Entrance and Woy Woy. Large numbers of people who live in the southern part of the region commute daily to work in Sydney; the Central Coast City is a popular tourist destination and a popular area for retirement. The Central Coast City has significant employment including services, manufacturing, building and industrial; as a result, the cultural identity of the region is distinct from that of the large and diverse metropolis of Sydney as well as from the Hunter region with its mining, heavy industry and port.
On 2 December 2005, the Central Coast City was recognised as a stand-alone region rather than an extension of Sydney or the Hunter Valley. The Central Coast City has a humid subtropical climate, with mild winters. Rainfall is spread evenly throughout the year, but is more frequent during autumn; the Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes population census data and regular population estimates on the Central Coast City under a Significant Urban Area. As at June 2015 the estimated population of this region was 325,082. Earlier, at the 2001 Census, the population was 304,753 with 157,827 females; the median age was 41. The ABS includes the Central Coast City region population wholly within Greater Sydney; the Central Coast City has a campus of the University of Newcastle located at Ourimbah. There are three campuses of the Hunter Institute of TAFE located at Gosford and Ourimbah; the Central Coast City has a large number of secondary school institutions. TelevisionThe Central Coast City has four broadcast translators across the region, located at Bouddi and Wyong,Mount Sugarloaf Due to the Central Coast City being split between the Sydney and Northern NSW licence areas, these translators carry stations from both areas.
In total eight television stations service the Central Coast City: ABC New South Wales SBS New South Wales Seven Sydney Nine Sydney Ten Sydney Prime7 Northern NSW - Seven Network affiliate Nine Northern NSW WIN Television Northern NSW - Network Ten affiliateEach station broadcasts a primary channel and several multichannels. Of the three main networks, NBN produces a bulletin containing regional and international news screening every night at 6:00pm on Channel 9. Both WIN Television and Prime7 produce short local updates to fulfill local content quotas. Foxtel is available via satellite. RadioThe Central Coast City has a number of local radio stations; the three large commercial stations are 107.7 2GO, Star 104.5, 101.3 SeaFM, all being part of national networks. The ABC has an outreach station on 92.5 FM that operates a locally produced mid-day show from 11am to 3pm weekdays, outside this it broadcasts Sydney programming from ABC 702 AM. The community radio station CoastFM 96.3 has a considerab
Gosford is a New South Wales suburb located in the heart of the Central Coast Region, about 76 kilometres north of the Sydney CBD. The suburb is situated at the northern extremity of Brisbane Water, an extensive northern branch of the Hawkesbury River estuary and Broken Bay; the suburb is the administrative centre and CBD of the Central Coast region, the third largest urban area in New South Wales after Sydney and Newcastle. Following its formation from the combination of the previous Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils, Gosford has been earmarked as a vital CBD spine under the NSW Metropolitan Strategy; the population of the suburb was 3,499 in the 2016 census. But there were 169,053 people in the Gosford area in 2016; until white settlement, the area around Gosford was inhabited by the Guringai peoples, who were principally coastal-dwellers, the Darkinjung people that inhabited the hinterland. Along with the other land around the Hawkesbury River estuary, the Brisbane Water district was explored during the early stages of the settlement of New South Wales.
Gosford itself was explored by Governor Phillip between 1788 and 1789. The area was difficult to access and settlement began around 1823. By the late 19th century the agriculture in the region was diversifying, with market gardens and citrus orchards occupying the rich soil left after the timber harvest; as late as 1850, the road between Hawkesbury and Brisbane Water was a cart wheel track. Typical of early Colonial settlement, convicts worked in the Gosford area. In 1825, Gosford's population reached 100. East Gosford was the first centre of settlement. Gosford was named in 1839 after Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford – a friend of the Governor of New South Wales George Gipps. Acheson's title derives its name from Gosford, a townland of Markethill in County Armagh in Northern Ireland. In 1887, the rail link to Sydney was completed, requiring a bridge over the Hawkesbury River and a tunnel through the sandstone ridge west of Woy Woy; the introduction of this transport link and the Pacific Highway in 1930 accelerated the development of the region.
Gosford became a town in 1885 and was declared a municipality in 1886. At the 2016 census, there were 3,499 people in Gosford. 59.6% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were India 4.5%, England 2.9%. 65.2% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin at 3.7%. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 33.9% and Catholic 18.2%. Gosford has a humid subtropical climate with mild winters. In summer, temperatures average about 27-28 °C in the day with high humidity and about 17-18 °C at night. Winters are mild with cool overnight temperatures and mild to warm daytime temperatures with lower humidity. Average rainfall is 1333 mm, much of which falls in autumn. Records range from a maximum of 44.8 °C on 18 January 2013, to a low of −4.2 °C on 16 July 1970. Gosford proper is located in a valley with President's Hill on the city's western border, Rumbalara Reserve on its eastern border, Brisbane water to the city's south.
Mann Street, Gosford's main street and part of the Pacific Highway, runs north-south and contains the frontage for much of the commercial district. In the centre of Gosford is a shopping and community precinct, including Kibble Park, William Street Mall, Gosford City Library, the Imperial Shopping Centre and a full range of shops, cafes and services. A renewed period of optimism has followed demolition of several derelict buildings and several infrastructure investment projects including the full fibre optic telecommunications rollout of the National Broadband Network in 2012 in the city's CBD as well as the so-called Kibbleplex project, announced in 2013 that plans to house the new regional library, tertiary teaching rooms and associated organisations. Gosford Classic Car Museum opened in 2016 at nearby suburb of West Gosford. Recent residential apartments have been built in various areas of the Gosford Central Business District. Gosford is situated along an identified business growth corridor between Erina, the West Gosford light industrial zone and Somersby.
Connectivity of main roads and rail travel times between Sydney, the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and the city of Newcastle are key issues for corporate business relocation to the region. Aged and personal care and retail are major employers in Gosford; as an entertainment hub, Mann Street enjoys good public transport links and is one of the Central Coast's most popular spots for pubs and clubs and in close proximity to cultural and sporting events. Yacht and other boat building has been undertaken by East Coast Yachts since 1964 in West Gosford. Gosford is home to: Gosford Hospital – the largest hospital on the NSW Central Coast Laycock Street Community Theatre - the only professional, proscenium arch theatre venue on the Central Coast The Central Coast Conservatorium Central Coast Stadium in Grahame Park, adjacent to the Central Coast Leagues Club. Built for the Central Coast Bears team in the NRL rugby league competition, since 2005 it is the home of the successful Central Coast Mariners A-League soccer / association football team and was the home venue of the Central Coast Rays rugby union Australian Rugby Championship team.
Central Coast Leagues Club - is the largest community sporting and social club in the region The Entertainment Grounds known as Gosford Racecourse Gosford Showground The headquarters of the Government of New South Wales workplace health and safety regulator, SafeWo
2003 Rugby World Cup
The 2003 Rugby World Cup was the fifth Rugby World Cup and was won by England. Planned to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, all games were shifted to Australia following a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Union and Rugby World Cup Limited; the pre-event favourites were England, regarded by many at the time as the best team in the world. New Zealand, South Africa and defending champions Australia were expected to make strong showings, with New Zealand being second favourites after victory in the southern-hemisphere Tri-Nations championship; the tournament began with host nation Australia defeating Argentina 24–8 at Telstra Stadium in Sydney. Australia went on to play England in the final. Along with a try to Jason Robinson, Jonny Wilkinson kicked four penalties and a drop-goal in extra time to win the game 20–17 for England, who became the first northern hemisphere team to win the Webb Ellis Cup; the following 20 teams, shown by region, qualified for the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Of the 20 teams, eight of those places were automatically filled by the teams that reached the quarter-final stages in 1999, including hosts and world champions Australia and did not have to play any qualification matches. A record 81 nations from five continents were involved in the qualification process designed to fill the remaining 12 spots, which began on 23 September 2000. Australia won the right to host the 2003 World Cup without the involvement of New Zealand after a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and Rugby World Cup Limited. Australia and New Zealand had been expected to co-host — with New Zealand expected to host 23 of the 48 matches — but New Zealand's insistence on amending the provisions relating to stadium advertising was unacceptable to the IRB; the overall stadium capacity was 421,311 across 11 venues. This was a reduction from the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales which had a total capacity of 654,677 across 18 venues.
The Adelaide Oval underwent a AU$20 million redevelopment for the 2003 Rugby World Cup, financed by the South Australian Cricket Association, with two new grandstands built adjacent to the Victor Richardson Gates. Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane was a new A$280 million venue designed for rugby league, rugby union and soccer, was opened just prior to the start of the 2003 World Cup with a capacity of 52,500, some 12,000 more than the old Lang Park could hold; the Central Coast Stadium was a newly built rectangular venue built for union and soccer. It was built on the site of the old Grahame Park ground and was opened in February 2000 at a cost of A$30 million; the Sydney Football Stadium was one of two venues in Sydney that were used for football during the 2000 Olympic Games. The other venue in Sydney was Stadium Australia, the centrepiece of the 2000 Olympic Games. By 2003 Stadium Australia was known as Telstra Stadium, it was built as the main stadium of the 2000 Olympics at a cost of $690 million and with a capacity of 83,500 was the biggest stadium used in the 2003 World Cup.
The only stadium with a retractable roof used was the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne. Although the Docklands Stadium has movable seating which brings four sections of the lower bowl forward by 18 metres to create a more rectangular surround for the pitch, this was not used during the World Cup as it reduces the seating capacity of the stadium by 3,500. Touch judges and television match officials Source: Following the complex format used in the 1999 Rugby World Cup a new simpler format was introduced and the twenty teams were divided into four pools of five nations, with the top two in each pool moving on to the knock-out quarter-final stage. With forty matches to be played in the pool stage on top of the knock-out matches would make the event the largest Rugby World Cup tournament to be played to date. For the first time, a bonus point system was implemented in pool play; this system is identical to that long used in Southern Hemisphere tournaments, was soon adopted in most European competitions: 4 points for a win 2 points for a draw 0 points for a loss 1 bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries, or a loss by 7 points or fewerA total of 48 matches were played throughout the tournament over 42 days from 10 October to 22 November 2003.
The ARU's main promotion for the event was "Show Your True Colours". The Australian media criticised the competition early in the tournament as the smaller nations were crushed by the rugby superpowers by 60 points or more. However, some of these smaller, third tier nations, such as Japan, acquitted themselves well in their opening matches; the South Pacific island countries of Fiji and Samoa were reported as being handicapped as several of their key players who play abroad being warned by their clubs that their contracts would not be renewed if they played in the competition. In the event, the pool stage of the competition played out as expected, with some tension as to whether some of the "developing" nations would overtake some of the weaker major countries for the second quarter-final qualification place in each pool – in pool A, Argentina lost to Ireland by only one point, which would otherwise have carried them into the quarter-finals in Ireland's place. In pool C, Samoa gave England a fr