Previous Seasons' News

First-Year knights win comp 2002-09-04

Nick Walshaw - 4 Sep 2002
Rugby League Week

New York win on points after storm stops game.

Impulse Airlines has burst onto the international scene - 16 - months after going bust.

New Yorkers everywhere are desperately trying to book their next flight to Australia on the now defunct airline after the city's hometown league team, the New York Knights, won the American National Rugby League premiership in their debut season.

The Knights - who wear old Newcastle jerseys with the former airline emblazoned across their chests - were awarded the decider against the Glen Mills Bulls when (and this is true) a massive electrical storm stopped the match with 20 minutes left.

"People back home may be curious about what's going on over here and think the league is a novelty, but the AMNRL is fair dinkum".

Knights feature in Rugby League week

The Knights were leading 18-12 at the time and subsequently received the Ferrainola Cup - named after the American "godfather"of league Sam Ferrainola.

"Ït was a shame the match had to end that way," says Australian expatriate and Knights co-coach Matt Astill. "The game was fast, tough - a great ad for the game over here.

"People back home may be curious about what's going on over here and think the league is a novelty, but the AMNRL is fair dinkum and that's because of the professionalism of (chief executive and former St George five-eighth) David Niu and his tireless efoorts to build this competition."

Most League Week readers would now be well aware of the Knights mighty efforts this season. After featuring the exploits of the fledgling club in June, the boys again appeared on our pages a month later with former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, an avid reader of this magazine.

Glen Mills had been premiers for the past four seasons and their team includes Niu and former New York Giants linebacker Shayne Mains. But the reigning premiers couldn't hold off a determined Knights outfit that boasts a former SAS soldier, an English fashion intern and Hayden "Trinadaian Love God" James.

The Knights were buoyed by a congratulatory fax received from Australian skipper Andrew Johns, yet another champion who proudly wore the Impulse logo across his chest.

Asked if he now might play out his career with the new AMNRL championsJohns politley decliningsaying,"I've heard they've got problems with the salary cap."

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