Sheffield Hallam’s Rugby Union and Rugby League teams will face off for the first time ever in a cross codes game.
The game will see the sides play each other in a one off match. With the first half played by rugby league rules and the second by rugby union’s law book.
The two sides have faired very differently this season with the Union team being relegated from Premier B following four wins and ten losses.
Whereas the League team finished comfortably in mid-table and made it to the final of the Men’s Trophy, were they lost 36-30 to Leeds met 2’s.
Despite this the game should be a tightly contested affair. With several rivalries to settle and the serious matter of bragging rights to compete for.
Ross White, 20, social secretary for Sheffield Hallam Rugby Union believes that the league team will not be able to handle the technical side of union.
“We’ll beat them hands down in scrums, line-outs and in the loose. They don’t know how to ruck and maul. They won’t be able to live with us at the set piece, whereas in league we won’t have to much to learn.”
Sean Burke, 22, player for Sheffield Hallam Rugby League says that the league side will be too powerful for the union team.
“All our players are strong and athletic. In union only a few of the lads are really strong, you still have some fatter, slower players on the park. We’ll be fitter and more powerful than them all over the pitch. An easy win for league.”
Since the two codes separated, due to a dispute over the payment of players, to form different games in 1895 there has been a constant argument over which form of the game is better. With both sports claiming that they are the superior side.
This has been contested in several high profile games over the past. With the three biggest games spanning back to the turn of the last century.
The first cross codes game took place in 1909 when the Australian Kangaroos took on the Australian Wallabies. With the Kangaroos winning 29-26 for rugby league.
The second recorded cross codes game was between Leeds Rugby League and the Royal Navy Rugby Union, in 1917. With two games played, one in each code. This time the Union side came out on top, with the Navy winning 9-3 in union and 24-3 in league.
In 1995 rugby union turned professional and in 1996 Bath RUFC and Wigan RLFC made history by playing the first ever professional cross codes games. The first match took place at Maine Road, Manchester, under league rules and Wigan cruised to a 82 – 6 victory.
Two weeks later a bigger shock was in store when Wigan once again beat Bath 44-19 under union rules at Twickenham.
This game will allow rugby union to regain some credibility following it’s previous losses at the hand of rugby league opposition.
The game will be played at Abbeydale Sports Centre on Wednesday 27th April, with all proceeds going to charity.