Rugby League International Four-Nations Amateur Series

Just in from Bruff RFC




Irish Wolfhounds vs English Lions


It’s nearly upon us.

We’ve only three days to go to the first ever Rugby League international game in Bruff RFC, with the possibility of seeing three of the Munster Champions (since last Saturday) the Country Cowboys lining out for their country against the Saxon opposition. Brendan Bourke, Brian Cahill and Wayne Kerr are all lining out for their county in Kilballyowen Park.  Proceedings kick off with a pre-match training game between Bruff and Galbally at 2:00pm.  The main event kicks off at 4:00pm, making for a nice mix of the two Rugby Codes in the same place on the same day.

Make sure to get there early.  This promises to be absolutely jam packed.

Country Cowboys were formed only within the last three years, based in Kilballyowen at Bruff RFC and have gone from strength to strength in this fringe sport which is gaining momentum at a rate of knots. Having successfully come out of the Munster conference for the first time this season beating the Limerick Treaty City Titans (six-time Irish champions) they face the Ballynahinch Rabbitohs on the 18th in the final.


(L To R) Brendan Bourke, Brian Cahill and Wayne Kerr of the Bruff Country Cowboys in Irish Jerseys for the international in Bruff Next Saturday between Irish Wolfhounds V English Lions in the amateur 4 nations game.


9 thoughts on “Rugby League International Four-Nations Amateur Series

  1. Not particularly relevant, but I started reffing matches for RLI this year. I was supposed to be doing touch judge for the grand final in Limerick last weekend but couldn’t make it.

    It certainly keeps the fitness levels up while Union reffing is on summer hiatus.

  2. I used to watch rugby league every Saturday when I was a kid – mostly because we had only three channels on the television and the alternatives were not exciting. League, in England, seemed to go into long-term decline from those days in the 1970s, due in much part to union turning professional.

    I always felt that the terms ‘League’ and ‘Union’, being about organisations, did not help in public understanding of the sport. The French term, Treizists (as opposed to Quinzists) is more self-explanatory to the casual onlooker. An equivalent term in English would maybe make the sport more marketable.

  3. I’m not sure that people don’t know the difference. Sure, they don’t know the ins-and-outs of league rules, but I’m sure anyone who watches either code knows the basic differences.

    FWIW, my main issue with league is that it’s quite boring and the technical aspects of the game are really quite limited. Granted there are defensive and offensive patterns, markers, shooters, and differing styles of tackle. But when compared to the plethora of rules, regulations and set-pieces in rugby union it seems fairly anaemic.

    It’s an interesting sport insofar as if you add forward passing and tackling without the ball to rugby league, you end up with (almost identically) NFL / Gridiron football.

    But, from my perspective (as someone who has played Union, and currently refs both), union is a richer more interesting sport.

  4. Union has more dimensions to it, but I think League can be very exciting when played at high intensity by skilled players.

  5. True – the Super League in England or the NRL (especially matches like the State of Origin ones) can be super. But they still have a very NFL feel to them.

    As I said – I ref both and I enjoy both for what they are, but

    Union is Fruh Kolsch; League is Budweiser
    Union is Toma; League is Calvita
    Union is a Nismo Skyline GTR ’10; League is a Nissan Almera
    Union is The Dark Knight; League is Batman & Robin
    Union is Belle & Sebastian; League is Justin Bieber
    Union is the greatest game on the planet; League is, well, League.


  6. I have played league and union and played league as a pro and coached union at lots of different levels, including defensive coaching at Leinster and Munster, and completely disagree. The plethora of rules and the set pieces, (line outs and scrums), are what makes union boring, granted the outcomes of line outs can be unpredictable, but that is usually becasue the hooker cant throw!. The League that is played in Ireland is poor, but that is because the players are union players playing league – they havent understood what league is all about – it isnt actually about big hits, its about creating space for players to run into. the reason Superleague and NRL has a lot of big hits is because defenders are very good at reading plays and adjusting so they get themselves in positions to smash players. I reffed the RLI Munster v Ulster interpro this year and a half decent amateur RL ball player could have ripped both teams to shreds, defenders werent adjusting, but no one was exploiting them
    As for your – Union is…… League is…….. it is so far off the mark.
    ( BTW I am not sure that you should be allowed ref league if you think it is so shit!!!)
    here is my version of Union is …League is…
    Union is over complicated and persists with specialist who are so lacking in basic skills of rugby it is, at times, embarrassing –
    League is misunderstood by most and as a result under-appreciated for its skills and the demands it puts on players

  7. I don’t find Union boring and I don’t find League boring either. They have different strengths. In my view, the fact that Union has so many rules (or Laws if you happen to be a purist) is part of its appeal, although the recent experimental changes can be frustrating. On the other hand, the free-running nature of League can be very exciting.

    Why not enjoy both?

  8. @Des Foy – ( BTW I am not sure that you should be allowed ref league if you think it is so shit!!!)

    It keeps my fitness up over the summer. That’s really the extent of it. I have to admit that my impressions of the sport are largely shaped by the skill levels in the matches I ref.

    That said, I think I just like the rules in Union!

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