TRL Melbourne has heard the calls and is proud to partner with Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre to bring TRL to South-East Melbourne! Grab your mates and come to our Free Come and Try sessions on November 7th before the season starts on November 14th. This location is ideal for those in the South-East wanting to get your Touch Rugby Fix! Register your interest at http://www.gesac.com.au/Sports/Touch-Rugby otherwise see you there!
That’s a wrap on TRL Hawthorn Winter 2018 season! A Huge congrats to our Mixed & Mens Champs, the Melbourne sharks and Bits &Pieces, for taking out the titles on what was a highly competitive Season. The Sharks sprung to life late in the season, with these TRL veterans bringing home the chocolates for the 3rd time (2 in a row!) The Bits and Pieces seems to be the polar bears of the comp, having last won the Competition in Winter 17, to go out into the wilderness, and return in 2018 Winter to claim the glory! It goes to show, practice makes perfect! A special mention also goes to the Mens runners up Lanka Lions who nearly pulled off a true fairytale story scraping into the finals by 1 point and knocking off the ladder leaders, Wolfpack, in the semi’s. Also congrats goes to Footloose who won the For and Against Cup. $100 off next season for you!
That’s a wrap on TRL Flemington Winter 2018 season. A Huge congrats to Touchy Feely for taking out the title on what was a highly competitive Season. They sprung to life in the finals series with these TRL veterans bringing home the chocolates in their 3rd attempt. Remember practice makes perfect!
After recruiting far and wide in the off-season, Party Mix are looking difficult to beat sitting on top of the ladder with Phantom Touchers also looking like title contenders . However, you cannot underestimate last season champions, The Melbourne Sharks, who after a tough start are stringing some big wins together. Pieces and Bits are real title contenders when they have their best team on the paddock! Last years semi-finalists Touchy Mctouchface and Footloose are within striking distance of the Top 4 and both have must win games coming into the finals! The 2 point girl try will be a huge strike weapon in their upcoming games. Divide and Conquer have fought on valiantly with a couple of draws that could have gone either way. The Weston Cowboys are the hard luck story of this season having suffered some close losses but I’m sure wouldn’t mind taking out the For and Against Prize again this year! The title is still anybody’s race with six teams in contention!
Last season’s Grand Finalists, The Wolfpack, are looking to go one better sitting the top of the table with this season’s surprise packet, The Unfits, able to claim the Minor Premiership with a big win next round. Bits and Pieces have been quietly going about their business, with last three season’s champs, the Kingfishers, wanting to finish next week strongly with the Lanka Lions and Chessnas snapping at their heels for 4th spot. After a late start The Lanka Lions are my roughie to claim the title! Golden State Touchers, How I Tagged your mother & The Melbourne Wolves have fought on gallantly and will definitely be in the running for $100 off next season if they take out the For and Against Prize! The Premiership battle is heating up with the game of the round next week (Lanka Lions v Unfits) to have a huge bearing on the Top 4 outcome.
Better than Leggo are looking difficult to beat sitting at the top of the ladder with Dragon Ballerz looking like title contenders also. However, I wouldn’t underestimate the darkhorse (or should I say dark wolf?) of the league in the Melbourne Wolves, who after a slow start have started to find the try line. Touchy Feely need a few more wins to solidify their spot in the top four, however, all teams can make it with Gucci Gang and Starship Troopers just a point away from the Wolves! Gucci Gang & Starship Troopers will need to make the most of the 2 points for girl tries to help their For and Against to mount a surge to the finals!
It was a truly remarkable weekend for our sport of Touch Rugby League with over 60 teams, 850 players and 1,500 officials, staff and supporters descending on Dolphins Stadium in Redcliffe for the 2017 TRL Australian Championships held from Friday 29 September to Sunday October 1, 2017.
This was another record-breaking event for the sport and the result of an immense amount of work performed by everyone involved, headed by the Operations Manager for the TRL Australia, Mason Part, who I thank for a successful tournament.
State of Origin Series
We kicked off the weekend under the Friday night lights of Dolphins Stadium where we witnessed our first ever three-game State of Origin Series being Live Streamed across the nation – featuring a play-by-play camera, roving sideline camera, referee microphone, replays, highlights and full commentary.
We also welcomed our inaugural Queensland and New South Wales Women’s State of Origin sides.
Both teams played with incredible spirit and pride in the jersey, however it was Queensland in the end who took out the clean sweep in all divisions.
On Saturday morning we featured two standalone International Games: Australia v New Zealand (Men’s) and Vietnam v Rest of the World (Mixed).
Reece Janson and Khanui Cox, teammates for Beenleigh, lined up against each other as opposing captain’s in the inaugural Trans-Tasman Test which saw New Zealand emerge victorious.
The Rest of the World team captained by Darren Gehrke (representing players from the Philippines, PNG, Samoa and Malaysia) were the winners against a strong Vietnam outfit captained by Lam Trinh.
The Tournament kicked off after the Internationals which featured a standalone Women’s Division competing in the Australian Championships for the very first time.
Teams played 7 round games over the course of two days with the Grand Finalists for Men’s and Mixed going as far as 10 games in a show of immense skill, endurance and stamina.
Congratulations are in order for South Brisbane (Women’s) and Logan (Mixed and Men’s) who are the 2017 Australian Champions.
I also congratulate our runners-up of the tournament – Rockhampton (Women’s), Sunshine Coast (Mixed) and Beenleigh (Men’s).
In addition to Grand Final glory we also presented a number of other accolades on the weekend.
Firstly, congratulations to our Referees of the Finals Series (recipients listed below) and Andrew Blades (Beenleigh) who was selected as Referee of the Tournament for his outstanding performance over the weekend.
We also presented the “Tim Swan Medal” for the Best and Fairest Male and Female Player of the Tournament which was awarded to Amelia Kukk (South Brisbane) and Michael Rasmussen (Logan).
Finally, we thank everyone who has contributed to the successful running of the event with a special mention to Moreton Bay Regional Council for their tremendous support and Redcliffe Dolphins for hosting our event. We also thank our partners, ISC, PhysioWorks, Steeden and DoubleTake Live.
The curtain has fallen on the Australian Championships for another year and I congratulate all players on your fantastic performance and pay tribute to the media and staff who made the event such an incredible success.
Tim Swan Medal – Best & Fairest Male Player of the Tournament
Michael Rasmussen (Logan – Men’s & Mixed)
Tim Swan Medal – Best & Fairest Female Player of the Tournament
Amelia Kukk (South Brisbane – Women’s)
Referee of the Tournament
Andrew Blades (Beenleigh)
Finals Series Referees
Joel Johnston (Gold Coast)
Stevie O’Shea (Wynnum/Redlands)
Live Stream Links
Every so often, I hear someone ask “why do you have the AFL rule” or “why can’t you initiate the touch” – for the TRL faithful, these questions may seem a little foreign but for the unacquainted, I can see why they would ask.
So lets start with “why do you have the AFL rule?”. Well if anyone is old enough to remember Willie Carne, or more recently Israel Folau (pre AFL days) you will remember how successful these two players were at taking down cross-field bombs put up by Alan Langer and Darren Lockyer respectively. At the time of TRL’s creation, we wanted to ensure that this tactic was rewarded. If the rule did not exist, the tactic simply would not be exploited as defenders would be able to make the touch before the attacker puts the ball down.
“And what about that rule where you can’t initiate the touch?” (voluntary touch). Well put simply, we want attackers to attack (and we really don’t like Touch Football). Submitting in a touch is like submitting in a tackle (in contact Rugby League). Thus it is deemed a penalty. On a deeper level, the fact we have this rule encourages teams to spread the ball and be creative as opposed to simply rucking the ball up the middle and trying to catch slow, unfit people (i.e. me) napping.
Finally, the old chestnut…”…what’s with the must take kick-off?”. Well sometimes in life you just do things because they are fun. Whether you are getting flogged on the scoreboard or you need to get the ball back in order to level the game, a spiralling torpedo or floating bomb is always great to put up. In many ways the TRL kick-off can be a game within the game. If you are still questioning its necessity after playing a game of TRL, then play a second or third for good measure.
When people think Rugby League these days, the Melbourne Storm comes to mind and in particular, the big three of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater! But TRL Melbourne have their own “big two”. Kristin Gibbs and Pat Beazley, two of the best mixed players to have played TRL since inception back in 2005. In fact Kristin is arguably the best female player in the Country having won the Tim Swan Medal in 2015 and playing a key role in last year’s Origin Series. Both are Brisbane expats and have moved to Melbourne to further their career. Kim Siauw (Coach of the Melbourne teams) is particularly excited by what his mixed team might bring to the table: “We’ve been building nicely, we have a good crop of talented kiwis down here and the structure and experience of Gibbs and Beazley. It is a nice fit of flair and stability and we would be confident of featuring in the finals.”
Not to be outdone, Canberra have been chipping away at their craft since the 2016 edition of the Australian Championships and their regional sides featured prominently at the NSW State Championships. Ben Spencer (Coach of the Canberra Vikings) is particularly excited: “We love a beer, and we love TRL….not necessarily in that order. Redcliffe will enable us to build and bond as a team and we are aiming to knock off the likes of Townsville, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast to creep into the top 8 this year.”
Finally we have the might of the Newcastle Knights. Whilst their NRL namesakes have been cellar-dwellers since the “better than lego” days of the early 2000s, this TRL unit will be a force to be reckoned with. They have a great deal of talent amongst their ranks and in fact are led by former Knights and Sharks forward, Mark Taufua. Many pundits have predicted they might actually knock off many of the QLD teams and go deep into the finals.
It will be a fantastic experience for all three areas to travel to Redcliffe and test their skillset against the very best in the Country but they will be doing far more than simply making up the numbers. The skill level and game-play that is already on show in these areas should be a concern for all the established QLD Franchises. For me, I am predicting the Melbourne Mixed side to finish in the top 4 and go within a whisker of Grand Final glory. Go the Melbourne Magic!
A team of Australian-based Irish players will take on the best of TRL (Touch Rugby League) in Redcliffe, Queensland over the NRL Grand Final Weekend (29 Sep – 1 Oct). The Squad itself features a fantastic mix of talented individuals with an array of representative experience in Australia and Ireland. The team will compete with teams from all over Australia.
Stefan Ziesolleck, CEO for TRL Australia, said “We are extremely excited to welcome Queensland Irish as an International Team in the 2017 TRL Australian Championships. They will compete against the very best TRL talent from across the country, with teams travelling from as far north as Townsville and as far south as Melbourne. Over 50 teams are expected to attend the event and the Irish entry is a testament to our ongoing reach and international interest in the sport. We look forward to working with RLI Australia in the future.”
Queensland Irish Team Manager Declan Foy said “This is the start of something fantastic here in Queensland, the response to the call out looking for players was phenomenal and the lads who stood up to take part recognized the importance of occasion and are very keen to do their best for their country and heritage”.
Queensland Irish Team List
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Originally published on http://leagueculture.com/irish-ready-for-national-trl/
On the back of the largest event in its brief history, Touch Rugby League (TRL) has undoubtedly become one of the fastest growing social sports in the country with over 50,000 participants now Australia-wide. To accommodate the growing competitive nature of the sport, TRL has introduced several State and National representative pathways for its players.
TRL Australia’s CEO, Stefan Ziesolleck, says ‘The 2017 TRL Queensland State Championships held on May 6-7 showcased 42 Teams from as far as Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and the Gold Coast. We had our Queensland State of Origin Selectors present and we introduced Live Streaming on Facebook for the very first time with over 800 players, officials and supporters present over two days’.
The TRL Representative Scene will continue to grow with many more events remaining in the 2017 calendar.
SEQ Championships League
TRL Brisbane has introduced a Champions League for teams to compete across South East Queensland. Played at North Brisbane’s Shaw Road and East Brisbane’s Mt Gravatt fields, this ten-week Elite TRL competition comprises of both Men’s and Mixed TRL teams with the top players and teams from across SEQ competing to win a share of $4,000 in cash prizes.
TRL Australia sees the introduction of the SEQ Champions League as an opportunity to broaden the games’ social culture and competition. TRL Ambassador, Amy Milburn, agrees: ‘The opportunity to be exposed to the most competitive teams SEQ has to offer will be a great taste of what is to come at the Australian Championships later in the year – an aptly timed ‘warmup’ you could say. Additionally, the convenience of being able to enjoy a mix of social and more competitive games throughout my week will keep me on my toes and in touch with the game’.
Growth of the Queensland Representative Scene
The number of representative teams competing at the Queensland State Championships more than doubled in 2017 with teams travelling to Dolphin Stadium, Redcliffe from as far as Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and the Gold Coast. Ben Maddick, owner of TRL Sunshine Coast, said the event was ‘such a big step forward for the game’ with ‘the quality of teams also definitely increasing’.
The 2017 TRL QLD State Championships showcased the very best TRL talent from Queensland with a view to selecting the Women’s, Men’s and Mixed Queensland State of Origin Teams for the 2017 State of Origin Series later in the year.
The inaugural NSW State Championships kicked off in 2016, with TRL expanding to areas of New South Wales and Canberra. The 2017 NSW State Championships, to be held later this year, expects to see a marked increase in the number of representative teams participating. TRL Australia’s Executive Chairman, Tom Longworth, forecasts the growth of this event, stating, ‘We already have a number of new areas which will be coming into the fray – such as Newcastle and Greater Western Sydney.’
State of Origin
Players from Queensland and New South Wales, who demonstrate high levels of performance, are then selected for future representative honours including the honour of representing their state for State of Origin. The 2017 State of Origin series will feature, for the first time, a Women’s team from both Queensland and New South Wales.
The 2017 Events Calendar will conclude with the 2017 TRL Australian Championships. For the first time, a Victorian team will be represented at the event after TRL Melbourne kicked off in February.
TRL Australia’s long-term aim is to be the social sport in Australia where participants can play a brand of touch rugby league at every level including top-level representative competitions. It is expected that the TRL Representative Scene within each Franchise and TRL Australia as a whole will continue to grow rapidly and lead the way for greater competition in the future.