Portal:Rugby league

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Rugby league football, usually called simply rugby league, is a full-contact form of football, played by two teams of 13 players on a rectangular grass field over 80 minutes. The primary aim is to carry or kick the ball towards the opponent's goal line where points can be scored by grounding the ball; this is called a try. After scoring a try, the team is allowed the chance to try at goal with a conversion - a kick for further points. The opposing team will attempt to stop the attacking side gaining points by preventing their progress up the field by tackling the player carrying the ball.

Rugby league is one of the two codes of rugby football, the other being rugby union. Rugby league originated following a series of disputes within the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) culminating in a breakaway during 1895 and the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union. When similar breakaways occurred in RFU-affiliated Rugby Unions in Australia and New Zealand, in 1907 and 1908, they formed associations known as Rugby Leagues and used the modified Northern Union rules. The Northern Union later changed its name to the Rugby Football League. Thus, the sport became known as rugby league.

Over the decades following the split, or schism, in 1895, rugby league's rules have been gradually changed, deliberately resulting in a faster and more open spectator sport.

Rugby league is most prominent in Australia, England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, being the national sport in the latter.

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The team in action
The Sydney Roosters is a professional rugby league football club based in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, Australia. The club competes in the National Rugby League and is one of the most successful clubs in Australian rugby league history, having won twelve New South Wales Rugby League and National Rugby League titles, and several other competitions.

The club was founded in 1908 in Paddington, Sydney, under the name Eastern Suburbs; in 1995 the name was changed to the Sydney City Roosters and, in 2000, to simply the Sydney Roosters. The Bondi Junction and Moore Park-based Roosters have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with other Sydney-based clubs, especially the South Sydney Rabbitohs, a fellow foundation club based in neighbouring Redfern.

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Batley and St Helens pose before the 1897 Final
Credit: Unknown

The first ever Challenge Cup Final in 1897. Batley are on the left, St Helens are on the right, the Challenge Cup trophy is in the centre. The match was played at Headingley Stadium, Leeds in front of a crowd of 13,492. Batley won the match 10-3.

Did you know...

Did you know that the most tries ever scored in a match by an individual is 11. This occurred on 4 March 1905 by George West (Hull Kingston Rovers) v Brookland Rovers.

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In its modern dress or its old, it is a fine, fine game - the best of all, I reckon, played by men with a ball in their hands.
Frank Hyde, commentator
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History of St Helens RLFC, St Helens RLFC was a founder member of the Northern Rugby Football Union in the Great Schism of 1895. They played in the first ever Challenge Cup Final in 1897 and have since been winners of the competition on 12 occasions...

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