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1994–95 Rugby Football League season

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Title: 1994–95 Rugby Football League season  
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Subject: Rugby Football League Championship, Rugby Football League Championship Second Division, Rugby League Premiership, St Helens RLFC, Regal Trophy, Ellery Hanley, Whitehaven RLFC, Henry Paul, Garry Jack, Harvey Howard
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1994–95 Rugby Football League season

1994–95 Rugby Football League season
Stones Bitter Championship
Number of teams 16
1994–95 Season
Champions Wigan
Premiership winners Wigan
Man of Steel Dennis Betts
Selected for promotion to Championship
Elevated from Second Division London Broncos
Promotion and relegation
Relegated to new First Division



Relegated to new Second Division
Featherstone Rovers
Salford
Wakefield Trinity
Widnes
Hull

Doncaster
Second Division
Champions Keighley
Promotion and relegation
Relegated to new Second Division Hull Kingston Rovers
Ryedale-York

Hunslet
Leigh
Swinton
Bramley
Carlisle
Barrow
Highfield

< 1993–94 Seasons 1995–96 >

The 1994–95 Rugby Football League season was the 100th ever season of professional rugby league football in Britain. Sixteen teams competed from August 1994 until May 1995 for a number of titles, primarily the Stones Bitter Championship.

Season summary

The summer Super League concept was agreed to commence in 1996.

The record for most points scored by one team in a match was broken by Huddersfield when they clocked up 142 against Blackpool Gladiators' 4 in a Regal Trophy match on 26 November 1994. This is also the record for widest margin.

The 1995 Man of Steel Award for the player of the season went to Wigan's Denis Betts. Wigan also set a new record for most points in all matches in one season with 1,735 from 45 matches as follows:

  • Division One Championship: 1,148 (from 30 games)
  • Challenge Cup 230 (from 6 games)
  • Regal Trophy 170 (from 5 games)
  • Premiership Trophy 167 (from 3 games)
  • Tour match (Australia) 20 (from 1 game)

Rule changes

The following rule changes were introduced this season by the referees' coaching director, Greg McCallum:

  • Referees were given the power to put a player suspected of foul play "on report" with the incident to be reviewed later by the disciplinary panel.[1] The system was based on the one already operating in Australian rugby league.[1] Referees signalled that an incident had been put "on report" by crossing their raised arms above their heads.[2]
  • In-goal judges were trialled, these two additional match officials are positioned behind the dead-ball line at each end of the playing field and aim to aid the referee in judging if a try has been scored.[1] The in-goal judges had been used in Australia for two years.[1]
  • McCallum ordered referees to penalise defending players lifting attackers in the tackle in a way that could lead to an illegal spear tackle.[1]

Leeds' Gary Mercer (dangerous throw), Sheffield Eagles' Paul Broadbent and Doncaster's Gordon Lynch (tripping) became the first players cited under the reporting system to be found to have a case to answer.[1]

League Tables

In preparation for the change to summer matches for the Super League, the position teams finished in this season was critical, as it determined which of the new fore-shortened three divisions they would play next season. Only the London Broncos knew where they were to play as they were controversially awarded one of the Super League franchises based on geographic location.

Regal Trophy[4]

Key
Replayed - 1st match in brackets
  Second Round Third Round Quarter-Final Semi-Final Final
                                               
 Hull 26  
 Barrow 16  
   Hull 14  
   Wigan 38  
 Wigan 34
 Rochdale Hornets 12  
   Wigan 24  
   St Helens 22  
 Batley 36  
 Ryedale-York 8  
   Batley (22)
22
   St Helens (22)
50
 
 Huddersfield 11
 St Helens 52  
   Wigan 34  
   Castleford 6  
 Workington Town 24  
 Wakefield Trinity 8  
   Workington Town 14
   Leeds 18  
 Leeds 54
 Swinton 24  
   Leeds 14
   Castleford 34  
 Carlisle 16  
 Dewsbury 30  
   Dewsbury 2
   Castleford 30  
 Castleford 32
 Halifax 26  
 Wigan 40
 Warrington 10
 Highfield 2  
 Widnes 50  
   Widnes 20  
   Oldham 6  
 Oldham 28
 Hull Kingston Rovers 0  
   Widnes 23  
   Bradford Northern 10  
 Whitehaven 18  
 Featherstone Rovers 12  
   Whitehaven 14
   Bradford Northern 34  
 Bradford Northern 32
 St Esteve 6  
   Widnes 4
   Warrington 30  
 Keighley 28  
 Bramley 4  
   Keighley 26
   Sheffield Eagles 10  
 Sheffield Eagles 46
 Leigh 10  
   Keighley 18
   Warrington 20  
 Salford 16  
 London Broncos 14  
   Salford 24
   Warrington 31  
 Warrington 44
 Doncaster 14  

Challenge Cup

Rounds One and Two were contested between amateur clubs only. Millom were the biggest winners in Round One when they defeated Northampton Knights by 62-4. The biggest win in Round Two was Wigan St Patricks who defeated Crown Malet 42-6.

Round Three saw teams from Division Two matched at home against an amateur opponent. There was one shock result, when Beverley beat Highfield by 27-4. Dewsbury recorded the most points in Round Three when they defeated Kells by 72-12, though the biggest margin of victory went to Keighley who beat Chorley 68-0.

In Round Four, the Division One sides entered the competition with no seeding. There were two shock results when Huddersfield defeated Halifax 36-30 and Whitehaven beat Wakefield Trinity by 24-12. Hunslet drew with Salford 32-32 to take them to a replay before going down by 52-10.[5]

Results (from Fifth round)[6]

  Fifth Round Quarter Finals Semi Finals Final
                                     
 Batley 4  
 Wigan 70  
   Widnes 12  
 
   Wigan 26  
 Sheffield Eagles 7
 
 Widnes 19  
   Wigan 48  
   Oldham 20  
 Warrington 6  
 
 Oldham 17  
   Oldham 23
 
   Huddersfield 12  
 Keighley 0
 
 Huddersfield 30  
   Wigan 30
   Leeds 10
 Hull Kingston Rovers 14  
 Whitehaven 18  
   Whitehaven 14
 
   Featherstone Rovers 42  
 Salford 10
 
 Featherstone Rovers 30  
   Leeds 39
   Featherstone Rovers 22  
 Workington Town 94  
 Leigh 4  
   Leeds 50
 
   Workington Town 16  
 Leeds 44
 Ryedale-York 14  

Final

The 1995 Silk Cut Challenge Cup Final was a replay of the previous season's final between Wigan and Leeds. The match was played at 2:30pm on the dry Saturday afternoon of 29 April 1995 at London's Wembley Stadium. This was the first Wembley Challenge Cup Final to use in-goal judges.

Referee: Russell Smith (Castleford)
Attendance: 78,550
Lance Todd Trophy winner: Jason Robinson (Wigan)

Internationals

Kangaroos Tour of Great Britain & France

In October, November and December 1994 the Australian National team, known as the Kangaroos, toured Great Britain and France playing three Tests against Great Britain, one against Wales, one against France, eight club games and five other representative matches. The Kangaroos were coached by Bob Fulton, assisted by Brian Hollis, Dave Ryan and Frank Ponnisi.[7] Andrew Ettinghausen, of Cronulla, was the leading points and try scorer on tour with 60 points from 15 tries.

John Smith's European Championship

The tri-nation tournament was played in February and March 1995 as single round robin games between England, France and Wales. The tournament was won by Wales. Jonathan Davies of Wales and Deryck Fox of England were joint top points scorers with sixteen points each. Davies scored seven goals and two drop goals, whilst Fox scored one try and three goals. Kevin Ellis of Wales and France's Frédéric Banquet and Jean-Marc Garcia all scored two tries apiece.[8]
Match Details

Date Venue Home Team Score Away Team Attendance Referee
1 Feb 1995 Ninian Park, Cardiff Wales 18 - 6
(HT 8 -6)
England 6,232 Russell Smith (Castleford)
15 Feb 1995 Gateshead Stadium, Gateshead England 19 - 16
(HT 14 - 8)
France 6,103 Jean-Louis Aribaud (France)
5 Mar 1995 Stade d'Albert Domec, Carcassonne France 10 - 22
(HT 10 - 8)
Wales 6,000 John Connelly (Wales)


Final Standings

Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Points
Wales 2 2 0 0 40 26 4
England 2 1 0 1 35 34 2
France 2 0 0 2 26 41 0

Sources

  • , 19 August 1994
  • 1994-95 Rugby Football League season at rlhalloffame.org.uk
  • 1994-95 Rugby Football League season at wigan.rlfans.com
  • at news.bbc.co.uk
  • Great Britain Competitions 1994-1995 at hunterlink.net.au
  • Championship 1994/95 at rugbyleagueproject.org

References

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