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Hybrid rugby match between Australian and English teams still on the cards

Try time: Leeds' Danny McGuire celebrates after scoring a try against Castleford in the Challenge Cup final.

Try time: Leeds' Danny McGuire celebrates after scoring a try against Castleford in the Challenge Cup final. Photo: Getty Images

It appears that hybrid rugby game between English and Australian teams is still on the table; and Challenge Cup winners Leeds are keen. There were reports earlier this year that Great Britain rugby league and Australia rugby union were to clash at Wembley in December. Now it's more likely to be a Super League team against a Super Rugby franchise. "I've heard about that; it would be worth looking at," Rhinos coach Brian McDermott said, adding he had not been told of an opponent or venue. "The rugby union game is in great shape at the moment, they've got some fantastic athletes and it would be interesting if each game pits its best against the other."

Ex-Sharks keeping mum on show-cause notices

While Leeds hooker Paul Aiton insists he's heard nothing from anyone in authority about his involvement in the Cronulla doping scandal, Catalan's Ben Pomeroy does appear to be fighting the allegations. Sin Bin has been told Pomeroy received a show-cause notice by mail in Perpignan but did not accept the back-dated suspension by Friday's deadline. However, there was no Super League on the weekend due to the Challenge Cup final, so if he had accepted an immediate suspension, we would not necessarily know until next weekend, when his side takes on London. Josh Cordoba is training with the Broncos – and has not said if he has received a notice.

Coaches could get a rule anomaly off their chest

Thursday night's Canterbury-Wests Tigers game raised an interesting point. A try was disallowed for a fumble after a pass ricocheted off a Bulldog chest into the Tigers' in-goal. It was not a knock-on; no-one 'played at' the ball. Is it really beyond our coaches to take advantage of this interpretation? Could we see balls deliberately 'chested' forward for on-side players to chase? You might think this idea ridiculous – but why? Our coaches have shown no reluctance to exploit other obscure rules.

Even token bans should deter cheating

Should players who have admitted to unwittingly using banned substances in 2011 be blocked from receiving individual awards in 2014? Set Of Six thinks not. While the entire affair has been sad and often shambolic, even the token bans will serve a purpose. Hopefully players will start questioning their coaches and staff over treatments where previously they would only have been blind obedience. Coaches will also be less gung-ho about employing sports scientists and the NRL has already announced a new registration scheme for backroom staff. "The darkest day in Australian sport" will do some good, even if we have trouble seeing it from here.

League's international union still lacking leadership

We should have a new international head of rugby league by now. A global head hunting firm was appointed mid-year to find a CEO for the Rugby League International Federation – but still, there's been nothing. Set Of Six hears one of the sticking points is the new boss has to be based in the UK, ruling out many fine Australian candidates who don't want to move. The thing is, rugby league expansion is proceeding well in Europe but 70 per cent of players are in Australia and the Pacific. It would have made sense for the RLIF headquarters to start in Sydney or Brisbane and then move to London when the southern hemisphere starts to catch up. It's also easier to stand up to the NRL in its own backyard.

Let Reynolds have his say

Propriety is a subjective thing. Social media users decried Channel Nine using suspended Canterbury five-eighth Josh Reynolds as part of its round 24 coverage. Reynolds had been "rewarded" for his foul play, viewers said. But he is a suspended footballer, not a convicted felon. It's a sport, people. Still on the media, David Morrow will call his last game for the ABC on November 2 when Australia takes on England at AAMI Park, after announcing his retirement from the national broadcaster. But we wouldn't be surprised to see him pop up on another station.

3 comments so far

  • I think the drug cheats should not be available for any rep footy. Rugby League should take the same type of stance NZ union have on domestic violence you can play club but not for the all black and that seems to be working
    This isn't an anti Gallen thing

    Commenter
    Timbo
    Date and time
    August 25, 2014, 2:31PM
    • Hybred Union/League games never really work as players are entrenched in one or the other codes rules..However wouldn't it be great for both codes to merge into a 14 aside game taking best rules etc from both codes but that's about as likely as pigs flying.
      Nah Reynolds shouldn't have been on telly commentating while on suspension for kicking to head and foot tripping-not a good look.
      Of course coaches should use the no knockon rule and close to the line get their halves to pass the ball hard into the chest of a player resulting in ball going forward -why not that's the rule.

      Commenter
      Jacko
      Location
      Warriorville
      Date and time
      August 25, 2014, 3:21PM
      • With all due respect to the English Super league (which I regularly watch), they will not show the best of Rugby League. If we are going to do this, let's put our best foot forward, and go with an NRL team, a SOO team, or best still, let's get fair dinkum. The All Blacks and the Kangaroos both dominate their respective codes - let's see them against each other. Neither can claim to be the best Rugby (north of the equator, that term refers to both codes) team on the planet without meeting and beating the other.

        What's the matter rah rahs? You chicken?

        Commenter
        Joe the expat
        Location
        The Hague
        Date and time
        August 25, 2014, 4:25PM

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