Portal:Rugby league

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Lance hohaia running into the defence (rugby league).jpg
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 Adelaide Rams were an Australian professional rugby league football club based in Adelaide, South Australia. The team was formed in 1995 for the planned rebel Super League competition, which eventually ran parallel to the rival Australian Rugby League (ARL) competition in 1997. The Rams lasted two seasons, the first in the Super League competition in 1997 and the second in the first season of the National Rugby League (NRL) in 1998. The Rams were not a successful club, winning only 13 out of 42 games. However crowd numbers in the first season were the fifth highest of any first-grade club that year, but dwindled to sixteenth in the second season. The Adelaide club was shut down at the end of the 1998 season as a result of poor on-field performances, dwindling crowd numbers, financial losses and a reduction in the number of teams in the NRL. They remain the only team from the state of South Australia to have participated in top-level rugby league in Australia.

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Albert Baskerville
Credit: Unknown

Albert Baskerville played a large role in establishing rugby league in both Australia and New Zealand and the birth of international rugby league. He organised the 1907–1908 New Zealand rugby tour of Australia and Great Britain, gathering a group of New Zealand rugby footballers to play matches in Australia, Ceylon, England and Wales between 1907 and 1908. Most of the matches were played under the rules of the Northern Union, what is today known as rugby league. Baskerville died from pneumonia near the end of the tour, aged 25.

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.

Selected quote

This man cannot continue - and it must not be considered
— Great Britain team doctor
Memoirs and Sporting Life of Tom Mitchell, By Tom Mitchell
In reference to captain Alan Prescott's broken arm at half time during the 1958 'Battle of Brisbane' test match against Australia. Prescott led his team to victory.
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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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