I've just received confirmation that the RLWC European qualification match at Leigh Sports Village on 5th November has been rescheduled to Friday 4th to avoid a clash with the 4 Nations fixtures in Coventry, which means it will be possible to make it to all 3 matches now
It's been a very busy weekend for international fixtures, with 7 fixtures being played as well as the Latin 7s (which I'll discuss in a later post)
It started off on Thursday (stretching the definition of weekend slightly) with Thailand seeing off Japan 30-6 bringing the Asian Cup to one win apiece, but Japan winning on aggregate 58-46
Friday saw the European Championship A tournament kick off with Wales coming out 18-12 winners over Scotland, but France's 31-14 victory over Ireland the following day sees France move to the top of the group.
Elsewhere in Europe, Norway came back with a vengeance in the last 20 minutes of their Nordic Cup game against Sweden, losing 10-20 but scoring 4 tries at the end to run out 30-20 victors putting them second behind Denmark in the Cup.
Tonga will start their preparations next year for the 2017 World Cup after defeating Cook Islands 28-8, and Spain will progress to the next phase of World Cup qualification, with 2 victories in European Championship C after running riot of Greece, coming out 76-4 victors.
Canada take an 8 point lead into today's Colonial Cup match against the USA, and a win for either team will put them in good stead for World Cup qualification this December
Apologies for not being the quickest with the updates recently, but I'm up to date on all the results now (and even have tomorrow's result listed!
There have been wins for Russia and Serbia against Italy and Ukraine respectively in European Championship B, while Spain managed to defeat Malta 40-30 in European Championship C. Greece's inability to travel tomorrow has granted Malta a 30-0 win, meaning that Spain will need to defeat Greece next weekend to earn a place in next year's RLWC qualifiers
There have been a fair few upsets with Canada defeating USA 36-28 in the first leg of the Colonial Cup, while Niue beat Cook Islands and Czech Republic recorded their second ever win, overturning Belgium 14-4. In the unofficial (non-test) matches, Spain beat Italy B and Papua New Guinea fell to Australia's PMXIII.
I now have listed match reports for most of the matches, and there are full replays of USA v Canada and Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland (thanks to Steve from NIRL for the latter)
The recent 2 match series between Northern Ireland and Republic Of Ireland has seen the ROI come away with a 96-44 aggregate win (second match is available to watch online - link on main page). It's been a quiet month for international RL, with the next fixture this month also featuring Ireland as they travel to Serbia on the 29th which will be live-streamed (again, link on the main page)
New listings have just gone up for PNG's annual fixture against the Australia PM XIII in September, as well as the rescheduled match between Spain and Italy in Alicante the week before.
The Nordic Cup has been decided, with Denmark winning both of their matches to retain the title, having won 3 of the 5 competitions.
There are 3 matches being played this weekend, with Germany hosting The Netherlands in a friendly on Saturday, and Serbia will travel to Italy for the next match in European Championship B as the road to RLWC2017 continues. Serbia are currently leading the table on 6 points, although Italy have a game in hand, and could take the lead with a win by more than 50 points.
Sunday sees Belgium and Malta face off before the Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC match at Headingley Stadium in a match that I'm particularly looking forward to as I shall be there myself!
And finally, in a bit of housekeeping, I've corrected the date for the Ireland v Belgium match (the original press release did list it as Sunday 13th July. I should have noticed that that is actually a Monday!). There is also now a full match replay of the Spain v Germany match a couple of weeks ago.
Germany announced their intention to regain their Affiliate membership of the RLEF with a 16-32 win over the rapidly rising Spanish team in Valencia. Spain will be hoping to dust themselves down quickly ahead of their second home fixture in as many weeks, in what will be their toughest challenge to date, with 26th ranked Spain hosting 12th ranked Italy in Alicante.
Meanwhile, a little further north, Denmark will be hosting Norway in the second round of the Nordic Cup and may be able to take the cup home if they manage to follow up their defeat of Sweden in the first round with another victory.
Addendum: Spain v Italy has now been postponed.
I now have a confirmed date for the Czech Republic vs Sweden friendly in July, it is being played on the 25th in Brod.
Also a quick reminder that Spain are taking on Germany on Saturday. I'm trying to find out about a live stream, but I suspect that there won't be one
I've now managed to update the Latvia v Spain score on the main page. Apologies for the delay, I was away from my main PC for a few days so couldn't get it updated.
I've also added links for highlights of Fiji/PNG, SA/Niue, Samoa/Tonga, Netherlands/Belgium, Australia/NZ, as well as a full replay of Malta/Lebanon and text reports of Japan/Thailand and Latvia/Spain. I'll update with video as soon as I can find one.
This weekend's Serbia/Russia match is also being livestreamed here
A Yorkshireman in the south of England who can't get enough of the world of rugby league