Rugby League Advent #1 – Cumbria in Super League & Saints lead Widdop chase

In the run up to Christmas, we’ll be bringing you a rugby league themed fact related to the day, as well as all of the latest news from the site, elsewhere and social media.

There’ll be some giveaways hidden amongst it all too, so keep an eye it.

1 – Number of seasons a Cumbrian club has been in Super League

Workington were founder members of Super League in 1996 but managed just two wins all season and were relegated at the end of the year. Some 23 seasons later, and it is still the only season that a club from the heartland of Cumbria has enjoyed in the top flight. The closest that came to changing was in 2004, when Whitehaven were beaten after extra time by Leigh in the National League 1 Grand Final, and the year after when Whitehaven were beaten by Castleford having been minor premiers that season.

Going back to 1996, Workington’s two wins came away at Oldham 29-27 and at home to Paris St Germain, 14-10. They also lost at home to Northern Ford Premiership side Widnes, thus becoming the first Super League team to lose to lower league opposition.

Their average home crowd during that campaign was 2,308 – with a new stadium on the horizon, maybe Workington can one day aspire to return to the top flight.

What’s on site

A huge story about Catalans Dragons taking their game against Wigan Warriors to the 99-354 capacity Nou Camp, home of FC Barcelona.

It’s been an eventful week at Widnes, with the Anthony Gelling saga being followed by the resignation of chief executive James Rule and then chairman Steve O’Connor saying that the board of directors will gift their shares to any parties interested in taking over the club.

Keep an eye out for the first Love Rugby League Shorts video later this morning where we debate the mid-season international in 2019 – read our piece on how a combined Celtic team could look.

With drama surrounding Gareth Widdop and Shaun Johnson in the NRL, as well as the aforementioned Gelling saga, Drew Darbyshire asks do contracts even matter anymore?

The Wimbledon of Super League – that’s how Wakefield chairman Michael Carter describes Trinity as we talk to him about their brilliant progress on the field, how they’ve done it and their fears over the new stadium.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, watch the video about 13 years of Love Rugby League.

What’s in the papers

Mr London on why he’s spent £20m on the Broncos and won’t stop now – The Guardian speak to David Hughes following his club’s promotion back to Super League.

St Helens are leading the chase for Gareth Widdop, according to reports in The Sun.

The Mirror report on a major incident at Hull KR, where winds toppled a floodlight at KCOM Craven Park.

What’s on social

There’s been an outpouring of support within the rugby league community for Jamal, the Syrian refugee who was victim of a disgraceful attack by a fellow pupil at a school in Huddersfield.

The off-season brings out all the important questions…

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