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
National Rugby League
The National Rugby League is a league of professional men's rugby league teams in Australia. Run by the Australian Rugby League Commission, the NRL's main competition is known as the Telstra Premiership due to sponsorship from Telstra Corporation and is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand, it attended rugby league club competition in the world. The National Rugby League is Australia's top-level domestic men's rugby-league club competition, it contains clubs from the original Sydney club Rugby League competition, running continuously since 1908. The NRL formed in the aftermath of the 1990s' Super League war as a joint partnership between the Australian governing body, the Australian Rugby League and media giant News Corporation-controlled Super League, after both organisations ran premierships parallel to each other in 1997; this partnership was dissolved in February 2012, with control of the NRL going to the independently formed Australian Rugby League Commission.
NRL matches are played in New Zealand from March to October. The season culminates in the premiership-deciding game, the NRL Grand Final, traditionally one of Australia's most popular sporting events and one of the world's largest attended sporting championship games. In addition, the NRL premiers play in the World Club Challenge, a pre-season match against the champions of the Super League competition; the reigning premiers are the Sydney Roosters winning their fourteenth official premiership. The New South Wales Rugby League ran the major rugby league competition of New South Wales from its inception in 1908 until 1994. Following the introduction of a new format for interstate rugby league, the State of Origin series in 1980, the decade of the 1980s brought about expansion of the NSWRL premiership, with the introduction of commercial sponsorship, the Winfield Cup, the addition of non-Sydney-based teams and Illawarra in 1982. Although this move brought more interest in the competition statewide in New South Wales, it would spell the beginning of the demise of some of the traditional Sydney-based clubs as well as having a negative effect on the Brisbane Rugby League premiership.
Following the 1983 season, Sydney foundation club Newtown Jets were forced to withdraw from the competition because of financial difficulties. Further expansion of the league followed in 1988, with another three teams based outside Sydney introduced to the competition; the Brisbane and Newcastle sides proved to be successful and popular and paved the way towards a push for a national competition. This was attempted in 1995 with control of the premiership passing from the NSWRFL to the Australian Rugby League, who invited four more teams from outside NSW to participate in 1995; this competition failed, but in its demise the National Rugby League was born, incorporating the traditional Sydney clubs coercing the Sydney market to follow the newly created national competition. The prospect of a national rugby league competition in addition to the introduction of pay television in Australia attracted the attention of global media organisation, News Corporation, it followed that professional rugby league was shaken to its foundations in the mid-1990s with the advent of the Super League war.
A conflict over broadcasting rights, it became a dispute as to who controlled the sport and which traditional clubs would survive into the new national era, as News Limited formed their own Super League and admitted some former ARL clubs, poaching players from the original ARL league with high salaries. With twenty-two teams of varying quality playing in two competitions that year, crowd attendances and corporate sponsorships were spread thinly, many teams found themselves in financial difficulty; the ARL undertook moves to invite the traditional clubs that had moved to the Super League competition back into a re-unified competition. Following a period of negotiation with News Corporation, on 23 September 1997 the ARL announced that it was forming a new company to conduct the competition in 1998. On 7 October News' Manaaki Ranginui announced that he was confident that there would be a single competition in 1998. On 19 December, representatives of clubs affiliated with the Australian Rugby League gathered at the Sydney Football Stadium to decide whether to accept News Limited's offer of a settlement – voting in favour by 36 votes to 4.
As a result, in the following months the National Rugby League, jointly owned by the ARL and News Limited, was formed. It was announced that the inaugural National Rugby League season of 1998 would have 20 teams competing, 19 remaining Super League and ARL teams plus the Melbourne Storm, who were created by Super League for their 1998 season. Clubs on both sides of the war were shut down. Super League decided to close the Hunter Mariners and the financially ruined Perth Reds, who were $10 million in debt at the end of 1997, while the ARL decided to close down the South Queensland Crushers, who were in severe financial trouble. Additionally, at the end of 1998 the NRL decided to close down former Super League club, the Adelaide Rams and former ARL club, the Gold Coast Chargers, despite the Gold Coast franchise being one of the few clubs to make a profit during the Super League war. One condition of the peace agreement between the ARL and News Limited was that there would be a 14 team competition in 2000.
The 20 clubs that played in 1998 would be assessed on various items such as sponsorship, crowds, on-field success and the like. It was announced that clubs that merged would
The Melbourne Storm are a rugby league team based in Melbourne, Victoria in Australia, that participate in the National Rugby League. The first professional rugby league team based in the state, the Storm entered the competition in 1998; the Storm were a Super League initiative, created in 1997 during the Super League war, following the Super League collapse, the team became a part of the newly formed, united competition. The club play their home games at AAMI Park; the Storm have won three premierships since their inception, in 1999, 2012 and 2017, have contested several more grand finals and were stripped of the 2007 and 2009 premierships, following salary cap breaches. The Storm competed in the NRL's Under-20s competition from 2008 until its demise in 2017 and now in 2018 have entered the in the Hastings Deering Colts u20s QLD competition. In addition, the club has expanded into netball with a joint venture with University of the Sunshine Coast; the Sunshine Coast Lightning commenced playing in the National Netball League in 2017.
Following record attendances at State of Origin fixtures in Melbourne of 87,161 in 1994 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Australian Rugby League had planned to establish a Melbourne-based team in the Premiership by 1998. However, the disruption caused by the Super League war caused great change to the game in Australia. By May 1997, Super League boss John Ribot pushed for a Melbourne-based club for his competition, the rival of the ARL. Former Brisbane Broncos centre Chris Johns became the CEO of the club and Ribot stepped down from the head of Super League to set up the club. In September 1997, Melbourne announced that Chris Anderson would be their foundation coach, Super League announced that the new team would be named the Melbourne Storm; the Melbourne club went forward with signing players from folding Super League clubs Perth Reds and Hunter Mariners. These players included Glenn Lazarus, Brett Kimmorley and Scott Hill. With the Super League and ARL joining into one competition for the 1998 season, the Melbourne team became part of the National Rugby League.
The Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club was unveiled at a function at the Hyatt Hotel – Melbourne in February 1998. In their first game, they defeated the Illawarra Steelers, with Glenn Lazarus as their inaugural captain. Melbourne, in a complete shock to the rest of the competition, won their first four games, before losing to the Auckland Warriors, they were defeated by the eventual premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. In January 1999, CEO John Ribot negotiated a deal that saw Melbourne Storm games televised in China every weekend; the club won eight of their first eleven games of the 1999 NRL season, went on to make the finals in third position on the Premiership ladder. The team was beaten convincingly 34–10 in the quarter final by St. George Illawarra. After narrow victories against the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Parramatta Eels. Melbourne's Premiership defence began slowly losing their first four games of the 2000 NRL season, the club went on to make the finals, but were knocked out by Newcastle Knights in the quarter-finals.
Between 2001 and 2002, the club's on field performances waned, resulting in a 10th-placed finish in 2002. Cracks were starting to appear between John Ribot and Anderson throughout the period, with Anderson quitting as coach after round 7, 2001, he was replaced by Mark Murray. The Melbourne club failed to make the finals in 2001. Johns left the club as CEO at the end of 2002 and coach Murray was sacked due to Melbourne's poor form, with the club missing the finals for the second year in a row. Wayne Bennett's assistant coach at the Brisbane Broncos, Craig Bellamy was announced as the new coach of Melbourne for 2003. In addition to a new captain in Kiwi international skipper Stephen Kearney, Bellamy's strict coaching would see the Melbourne Storm get back on track from the previous lean years. Between 2003 and 2005, Melbourne made the finals, but lost games in the semi-finals that prevented them from reaching the grand final. On 17 July 2004, during round 19 of the 2004 NRL season, Danny Williams king-hit Wests Tigers' player Mark O'Neill.
Williams defended the incident, using four medical experts to argue on his behalf that he was suffering post-traumatic amnesia when the incident occurred, which he claims was the result of a high tackle by O'Neill just prior to the incident. Despite Williams' claim, he was suspended for 18 weeks by the NRL judiciary. After the decision, Williams stated that he was "obviously disappointed with the outcome", it was the longest suspension in Australian rugby league since Steve Linnane was suspended for twenty weeks for eye-gouging in 1987. In 2005, Storm coach Craig Bellamy, in his third season as an NRL coach, gained representative honours when he was selected to start coaching the Country Origin team. Season 2006 saw the retirement of captain Robbie Kearns, the emergence of talented rookie halfback Cooper Cronk, taking the reins from Matt Orford, the recruitment of hard-man Michael Crocker. Contrary to expectation, 2006 was a standout year for the Melbourne team, winning their first Minor Premiership.
Melbourne only lost four games in the season. They went on to win their two finals matches, were favourites in the 2006 NRL Grand Final, but lost 15–8 to the Brisbane Broncos, in a match where controversial refereeing decisions against Melbourne caused much media coverage. In 2007, the Storm finished the season Minor Premiers by finishing on top of th
The Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Football Club Ltd. referred to as the Brisbane Broncos or colloquially as Red Hill, are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the city of Brisbane, the capital of the state of Queensland. Founded in April 1988, the Broncos play in Australia's elite competition, the National Rugby League premiership, they have won six premierships,including two NSWRL titles, a Super League premiership and three NRL premierships. They have two World Club Challenges; the Broncos have achieved four minor premierships during their 29 years in multiple competitions, making them Rugby League's most successful club over the past three decades. Until 2015, Brisbane had never been defeated in a grand final, since 1991, have only failed to qualify for the finals twice, they are the most successful club in the National Rugby League, since it began in 1998, winning three premierships. It is one of the most successful clubs in the history of rugby league, having won 62.5% of games played since its induction in 1988, second only to Melbourne Storm with 65.2%.
Since the club's founding, Brisbane has never received the wooden spoon. The club records the highest annual revenue of all NRL clubs – $A32.8m for the 2012 financial year – and is one of the most valuable clubs of any code in Australia, worth over $42 million. Along with financial competitiveness, the Broncos have been voted one of Australia's most popular and most watched football teams, has one of the highest average attendances of any rugby league club in the world; the club was founded in April 1988 as part of the Winfield Cup's national expansion, along with the Gold Coast-Tweed Giants, one of Queensland's first two participants in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership. The Broncos became the dominant force in the competition before playing a significant role in the Super League War of the mid-1990s continuing to compete in the newly created National Rugby League competition; the Broncos are based in the Brisbane suburb of Red Hill where their training ground and Leagues club are located, but they play their home games at Milton's Lang Park.
It is the only publicly listed sporting club on the Australian Securities Exchange, trading as Brisbane Broncos Limited. The club's current head coach is former South Sydney Rabbitohs coach, Anthony Seibold, the Dally M coach of the year for 2018. Queensland's success in the 1980s, the early years of the State of Origin series between Queensland and New South Wales, in addition to the inclusion of a combined Brisbane Rugby League team in the mid-week competition, convinced the New South Wales Rugby League to invite a Queensland-based team into the competition. After tough competition between the various syndicates for the Brisbane licence, the Queensland Rugby League chose the bid of former Brisbane Rugby League players, Barry Maranta and Paul "Porky" Morgan. At the first meeting with the NSWRL hierarchy, the newly formed Brisbane Broncos were asked to pay a $500,000 fee; the Broncos secured the services of Australian Kangaroos captain Wally Lewis and former BRL coach Wayne Bennett. The team made their debut in the NSWRL's 1988 Winfield Cup premiership against reigning premiers, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, defeated them 44–10.
However, after this promising start they failed to make the finals. In their second season they won the 1989 Panasonic Cup; the club first tasted premiership success in 1992, again in 1993, defeating the St. George Dragons in both years at Sydney Football Stadium. In 1990, in order to increase in the Winfield Cup, Wayne Bennett controversially sacked Wally Lewis as the Broncos' captain and inserted Gene Miles into the job. Once Gene Miles retired, Wayne thought he could lessen the reliance on Wally Lewis, who he said was not a good club man or a good trainer. In 1995, the Super League War broke out. After threats of expulsion from the NSWRL, the Broncos were one of the last clubs to sign with the new league and all players followed suit. Broncos CEO John Ribot moved to take over the running of the rebel Super League, leading to a perception that the conflict was orchestrated by the club. Brisbane won the only Super League premiership in 1997, before winning the first National Rugby League trophy in the re-unified 1998 competition.1999 was disappointing for the club with a terrible early-season form hindering their attempt at a third consecutive premiership losing 8 of their first 10 matches.
Club legend Allan Langer retired mid-season as a result of the team's form. Despite the club's mid-season turnaround, which resulted in qualification for the finals after an 11-match winning streak, the team was eliminated by the Cronulla Sharks in the first week of the finals. However, the Broncos' rebounded in 2000 with their fifth premiership; the game marked the retirement of veterans Kevin Michael Hancock. Not long after the disappointment of the previous year, in 2000, the Broncos rested on the top of the ladder from round 4. Queensland Representative, Allan Langer returned to the club in 2002 for one season before retiring. 2002 was the beginning of Brisbane's "post-Origin slump", which has haunted the club in the years since. Many players represent Queensland in the State of Origin series, with 7 Broncos players on average included in the Queensland Origin team; this extra workload has caused a loss of form for the club after the series, evidenced in 2003 when the lad
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
Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, with an urban population of around 1,628,900, it is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. A diverse and multicultural city, Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world; the Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions. The Auckland urban area ranges to Waiwera in the north, Kumeu in the north-west, Runciman in the south. Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west; the surrounding hills are covered in rainforest and the landscape is dotted with dozens of dormant volcanic cones.
The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitematā Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. Auckland is one of the few cities in the world to have a harbour on each of two separate major bodies of water; the isthmus on which Auckland resides was first settled around 1350 and was valued for its rich and fertile land. The Māori population in the area is estimated to have peaked at 20,000 before the arrival of Europeans. After a British colony was established in 1840, William Hobson Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, chose the area as his new capital, he named the area for Earl of Auckland, British First Lord of the Admiralty. It was replaced as the capital in 1865 by Wellington, but immigration to Auckland stayed strong, it has remained the country's most populous city. Today, Auckland's central business district is the major financial centre of New Zealand. Auckland is classified as a Beta + World City because of its importance in commerce, the arts, education.
The University of Auckland, established in 1883, is the largest university in New Zealand. Landmarks such as the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the Harbour Bridge, the Sky Tower, many museums, parks and theatres are among the city's significant tourist attractions. Auckland Airport handles around one million international passengers a month. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Auckland is ranked third on the 2016 Mercer Quality of Living Survey, making it one of the most liveable cities; the isthmus was settled by Māori circa 1350, was valued for its rich and fertile land. Many pā were created on the volcanic peaks; the Māori population in the area is estimated to have been about 20,000 before the arrival of Europeans. The introduction of firearms at the end of the eighteenth century, which began in Northland, upset the balance of power and led to devastating intertribal warfare beginning in 1807, causing iwi who lacked the new weapons to seek refuge in areas less exposed to coastal raids.
As a result, the region had low numbers of Māori when European settlement of New Zealand began. On 27 January 1832, Joseph Brooks Weller, eldest of the Weller brothers of Otago and Sydney, bought land including the site of the modern city of Auckland, the North Shore, part of Rodney District for "one large cask of powder" from "Cohi Rangatira". After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840, the new Governor of New Zealand, William Hobson, chose the area as his new capital and named it for George Eden, Earl of Auckland Viceroy of India; the land that Auckland was established on was given to the Governor by a local iwi, Ngāti Whātua, as a sign of goodwill and in the hope that the building of a city would attract commercial and political opportunities for iwi. Auckland was declared New Zealand's capital in 1841, the transfer of the administration from Russell in the Bay of Islands was completed in 1842; however in 1840 Port Nicholson was seen as a better choice for an administrative capital because of its proximity to the South Island, Wellington became the capital in 1865.
After losing its status as capital, Auckland remained the principal city of the Auckland Province until the provincial system was abolished in 1876. In response to the ongoing rebellion by Hone Heke in the mid-1840s, the government encouraged retired but fit British soldiers and their families to migrate to Auckland to form a defence line around the port settlement as garrison soldiers. By the time the first Fencibles arrived in 1848, the rebels in the north had been defeated. Outlying defensive towns were constructed to the south, stretching in a line from the port village of Onehunga in the west to Howick in the east; each of the four settlements had about 800 settlers. In the early 1860s, Auckland became a base against the Māori King Movement, the 12,000 Imperial soldiers stationed there led to a strong boost to local commerce. This, continued road building towards the south into the Waikato, enabled Pākehā influence to spread from Auckland; the city's population grew rapidly, from 1,500 in 1841 to 3,635 in 1845 to 12,423 by 1864.
The growth occurred to other mercantile-dominated cities around the port and with problems of overcrowding and pollution. Auckland's population of ex-soldiers was far greater than that of other settlements: about 50 percent of the popula
St Helens R.F.C.
St Helens R. F. C. is a professional rugby league club in St Helens, Merseyside who compete in the Super League, the top tier of competition for rugby league in Europe. Formed in 1873, St Helens are one of the 22 original members of the Northern Rugby Football Union and have been league champions on 13 occasions. St Helens are the third most successful side in the Challenge Cup with 12 wins in 21 Final appearances. St Helens are founding members of the Super League and are one of only four teams to have appeared in every season since its creation in 1996. Since 1961 the club's home colours have been white, with a red "V" on the jersey. St Helens play their home games at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens, having moved from their previous home, Knowsley Road, in 2012. St Helens are one of the oldest members of the Rugby Football League. Founded as St Helens Football Club on 19 November 1873 at the Fleece Hotel by William Douglas Herman, they played their first match on 31 January 1874 against Liverpool Royal Infirmary.
They became known as St Helens Rangers up until the 1880s. The club moved from the City Ground in 1890 where they had shared with St Helens Recs when neither were members of the Northern Rugby Football Union, they defeated Manchester Rangers in the first match played at Knowsley Road. In 1895 the club were one of 22 clubs that resigned from the Rugby Football Union and established the Northern Union; the first match of the new code was an 8—3 win at home to Rochdale Hornets before 3,000 spectators, Bob Doherty scoring St Helens' first try. They played in a vertically striped blue and white jersey—a stark contrast to the well known broad red band which would become the kit for the club later; the club reverted to this kit for one season during the rugby league centenary season in 1995. The Challenge Cup was launched in 1897 and it was St Helens who contested its first final with Batley, at Headingley, Leeds; the "Gallant Youths" of Batley emerged victorious 10—3, with Dave "Red" Traynor scoring the lone St Helens' try.
Between 1897 and 1901, St Helens were not successful generally considered a mid—table side. They finished second to bottom in the 1900—01 Lancashire League season, meaning they did not qualify to compete in the national league the year later. In the 1901—02 season, they did finish third in the Lancashire league. In 1902 -- 03, the combined Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues saw. St Helens finished next to bottom and suffered relegation. Promotion was gained at the 1st attempt, only for another poor year to see them finish once again in a relegation position; however the two Divisions became one League to save the club from a 2nd relegation. The Champion fortunes that St Helens fans' greet today were not apparent in this period, with the club finishing fourth to bottom in 1907, third to bottom in 1908, mid—table between 1909 and 1913. On 14 June 1913, St Helens Recs joined the Northern Union after defecting from rugby union and association football; the Recs were based individually at the City Road ground, after sharing with St Helens, before their move to Knowsley Road, when neither played rugby league.
The Recs played their first game on 6 September 1913. St Helens now had two professional rugby league teams. In both sides first year in co—existence, St Helens finished yet again in a disappointing low mid—table finish. During the First World War, St Helens struggled to compete and failed to complete the full fixture list of the Emergency War League on two occasions, with the club finishing mid—table in the first year of the war, as well as being beaten by 37 points to 3 by Huddersfield in that year's Challenge Cup Final; the aftermath of the war was still taking its toll on national sport, not the club's ability to compete and complete fixtures, on 31 Jan 1918'close down' due to a lack of finances following a 22-0 defeat by Widnes. Saints re-open on 25 December 1918 and are beaten 20 points to nil by St Helens Recs in a friendly fixture at City Road. In the shortened 1918—1919 season, St Helens played only nine times; the clubs lack of success and disappointing league finishes continued for another seven seasons.
The club defeated town rivals the Recs in the Lancashire County Cup Final by 10 points to 2 in the 1926–27 season. The season after, they were trophyless. One year after the Challenge Cup's début at Wembley, St Helens reached the final there where they were defeated by 10 points to 3 by Widnes in 1930, they won their first National Championship in the 1931–32 season, defeating Huddersfield 9—5 in the final. This was the same season that they won their second Lancashire League, the first coming in the 1929–30 season, they lost the 1933 Lancashire Cup Final to Warrington, whilst finishing in no competitive position in the league once more. St Helens achieved any more honours during the remainder of the 1930s. What appeared to be building as something of an inter—town derby between the two St Helens clubs was struck down as St Helens Recs played their last game on 29 April 1939, as, due to the economic depression, it was not possible for the town to sustain two teams. Like during the First World War, the club could not enjoy having a full—time squad during the Second World War and struggled to compete.
They did not compete in the National Championship until a 17 team Emergency War League was formed in the 1941—42 season, did not win any regional honours. They finished bottom of the EWL in seasons 1942—43 and 1943—44 and next-to-bottom in 1944—45; the club's fortunes that had seen them be successful so the decade previous did not change in the 1940s. After the commitments of the Second World War, St Helens still found it hard to compete, the tren