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Wakefield Trinity Rugby Union Results 1873-1895
Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Results 1895 to Date
South Africa
Pre 1950
Super League
2017 onwards Wakefield Trinity
Semi-Finals and Finals
A-team and Sundries
Wakefield Friendlies
The Development of British Rugby League
Trinity Rhymes
Contact Me


League Champions:

1966-67, 1967-68

Challenge Cup Winners:

1908-09, 1945-46, 1959-60, 1961-62, 1962-63

Yorkshire Cup Winners:

as a union club:

1879, 1880, 1883, 1887

as a league club:

1910-11, 1924-25, 1946-47, 1947-48, 1951-52, 1956-57, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1964-65, 1992-93

Yorkshire League Winners:

1909-10, 1910-11, 1945-46, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1961-62, 1962-63

 Division One Winners: 1998



Record attendance

37,906 (21st March 1936 Leeds v Huddersfield, Challenge Cup semi-final)

Club record:

30,676 (26th Feb 1921 v Huddersfield - Challenge Cup First Round)

The Development of British Rugby League

Some history and how the rules have changed. This is by no means exhaustive and I've tried to tie back to programmes where possible. A lot of sources give slightly different dates - a year here, a year there. I've avoided mentioning what was going on in Australia with slightly different rules, as that just confused me too much...


First written rules of football at Rugby School published – in order to take a punt at goal (place kick) a ‘try at goal’ had to be earned by touching the ball down between the posts. Here they are


All matches were considered drawn after five days, but after three if no goal has been kicked...


No player could wear projecting nails or iron plates on the heels or soles of their shoes or boots


Blackheath Rugby Club formed. This is the oldest non-university rugby club still in existence


Rugby School rules were updated – see here  


Football Association formed at the Freemason’s Tavern on Great Queen Street in London – rules proposed to get rid of running with the ball and ‘hacking’ (kicking in the shins). Blackheath refused to accept the rules and other clubs followed their lead


21 clubs formed the Rugby Football Union at the Pall Mall restaurant in London. Depending on where you read it, the Wasp’s representative went to the wrong venue on the wrong day or wrong venue on the right day, realised his error but drank too much and stayed there. Good lad...


First Rugby Football Union laws were laid out – see here 


Games to be decided by majority of goals only. Reward for a ‘try’ continued to be an attempt to kick the ball over the posts


Place kicks, goals from marks and dropped goals all counted as one point. A touchdown was worth nothing except to have a ‘try at goal’


‘hacking’ (kicking opponents below the knee) was outlawed


The Glorious Wakefield Trinity were founded as the Young Men’s  rugby arm of the Holy Trinity Church on George Street (demolished in 1952)


Scoring modified slightly – number of goals still decided a match, but if the number of goals were equal or no tries had been scored, the match was decided by number of tries


Number of players reduced from 20 to 15 a side


Some clubs and unions had their own scoring systems - touching the ball down behind your own goal line was awarded a ‘minor point’ or ‘rouge’


Match decided by the scoring of points. Pre-1886 various clubs had their own points scoring system


Goal – 3 points, try – 1 point. When a goal is kicked from a try only the goal is scored


penalty goal – 2 points


Try – 2 points, penalty goal - 3 points, goal from a try – 5 points. Any other goal – 4 points


Rugby Football Union decreed that the rugby ball had to be oval in shape (some brief experimentation with round balls)


Foundation of the Yorkshire and Lancashire leagues


Try – 3 points, conversion – 2 points. Converted try - 5 points


29th August 1895 21 clubs met at the George Hotel, Huddersfield to form the Northern Rugby Football Union and break away from the Rugby Football Union – but was still against professionalism, aiming only to make broken-time payments to players – breakaway clubs played in a single league


Scrum-half had to retire behind scrum until ball was out


Introduction of Yorkshire League due to problems of travelling


A deliberate knock on led to the opposing team getting a free kick as opposed to the previous scrum


Scrum-half had to feed the ball into the scrum from the same side as where the referee was positioned


First Challenge Cup Final


Line-out was abolished and replaced with a punt-out (a kick from the touchline into the field of play). Player could kick the ball into play in any direction


The value of all goals was reduced to two points


Professionalism legalised but included ‘work clauses’ that players had to be in employment


Location of restart following a try was moved from 25-yard line of the non-scoring team to the halfway line


Loose scrum now restarted play after a player had been tackled


Defenders banned from charging at players taking a kick at goal


Location of where a penalty was awarded for obstruction was moved from where the incident occurred to where the ball landed


Northern Rugby League formed


Two divisions introduced


If a player went into touch with the ball the game restarted with a scrum, not a punt-out. Punt outs still used if the ball was kicked into touch


Knock-on rule – a clean catch was no longer required and a knock-on given when if the ball was juggled forward but then caught


If an attacker knocked on and a defender caught the ball without it touching the ground, play continued


Punt-out or kick-in was abolished. Scrum from 10 yards infield if ball was kicked into touch


Kicking ball directly into touch was outlawed except for penalties


Penalty for ‘feet up’ in the scrum was introduced


Rules changed to allow for full time professionals


Team had to have only 3 players in the front row of the scrum. Previously unlimited


If an attacker knocked on and a defender caught the ball, either with or without it touching the ground, play continued


The ‘work clauses’ were repealed by the Northern Union


The Yorkshire and Lancashire Cups were introduced


One league re-introduced


Play-the-ball rule introduced to replace a scrum after each tackle


Number of players reduced from 15 to 13 to allow more room for creative play


Player could be ‘held’ whilst on the ground or still on their feet


If the ball was kicked out on the full a scrum would be formed from where it was kicked out


Top 4 play-off introduced


Play-the-ball rule altered to allow two defensive markers, tackled player and acting half-back


First Challenge Cup Final at Wembley


Loose forward had to be at the back of the scrum between the second rowers -


Scrum feed switched from attacking to defending team


Scrums had to be formed at least ten yards from touch with referees on the blind-side


Tackled player was required to drop the ball and heel it back, instead of placing it on the ground


If a defender made the ball ‘dead’ a drop-out from under the posts was awarded rather than from the 25 yard line


Play-the-ball rule changed – acting half-back had to be two yards behind tackled player/tackler and all other players had to be five yards behind


International Rugby League Board established


Field goal abolished (scored by kicking a loose ball above the cross bar and between the posts)


First Rugby League World Cup took place in France


Option of tap penalty was abolished - had to kick for touch or for goal


Substitutes could be used to replace an injured player up to and including half-time


Introduction of  two divisions


Top 16 play off replaced top 4 play off


Re-introduction of one division


Substitutes could be used for any reason up to and including half-time


Four tackle rule introduced ending unlimited tackles


No-tap penalty rule abolished as the attacking team got a tap after finding touch following a penalty


Teams allowed to play on Sundays to avoid competition with football


Substitutions now allowed after half-time


Rugby league gains recognition as a sport in British Universities and Colleges. That was nice of them...


Final Yorkshire County League Championship


A substituted injured player could return to the pitch and replace the substitute, but only once in a game


Six tackle rule introduced


Introduction of timekeepers to replace referees


Two divisions re-introduced


Top 16 play-offs abandoned


Drop-goals value reduced to 1 point


Premiership play-off introduced for top eight Division One teams


Introduction of differential penalty at the scrum (i.e. any scrum offences)


Three point drop goal introduced -  if a player was fouled whilst attempting a drop goal he would get a penalty kick under the posts


Maximum of four substitutions allowed


County Championship ended


Differential penalty if scrum-half is adjudged offside at the scrum


Hand-over introduced after sixth tackle, replacing a scrum


Non-offending team got head and ball at the scrum (previously varied according to which half of the field the scrum was being formed in)


Value of a try increased from 3 to 4 points


10 minute sin-bin introduced for technical offences or dissent


Feeding the ball at the scrum must be on the ground (previously fed below the waist in a downward direction)


Loose forward had to remain in the scrum unless team wasn't at full strength (could previously detach from scrum at any time)


From kick-off, if the ball bounces over the dead ball line or goes to touch-in-goal without being touched by a defender, the defending team have to drop out (previously a 25 yard tap)


If balll is kicked out on the full at kick off, the defending team get a penalty kick from the centre spot


At the play-the-ball both sides must remain onside until the ball is clear of the tackled player and the player marking him (previously players could move up once the ball touched the ground)


Any infringement after 5th tackle that didn't incur a penalty (knock-on, forward pass or direct kick into touch) was followed by a handover as opposed to the previous scrum


Sin bin used for any aspect of foul play


Tap from 22m line if the defending player catches a kick from his opponent on the full in general play (i.e. not following the kick-off or from a penalty kick) and does not elect to run


No longer obligatory to send off a previously sin binned player


Player could no longer play the ball to himself if there was a marker


Only one marker allowed for the defending team


Blood bin introduced


Illegal to steal the ball in the tackle


Heading the ball forward illegal


County Cups abolished


10 metre rule introduced for the defending team at the play-the-ball


Players could now go ‘on report’


Players lifting in the tackle to be penalised – ‘spear’ tackle


The three British Armed Services recognise rugby league as a sport


Super League War


Super League International Board formed to administer Super League globally


Rugby union declared an ‘open’ professional game by the International Rugby Board


Historic Wigan v Bath rugby games


Scrums now set 20m from the touch-line


After a try the scoring team was now to restart


Play-the-ball – defending team could no longer challenge for the ball


Play-the-ball – tackled player could no longer  tap forward to himself


Video referee first trialled at the Super League World Nines


Zero tackle rule introduced – first tackle doesn’t count if a player gets the ball from the opposing team in general play


Ball stealing allowed in a one-on-one situation


6 interchanges allowed in Super League only


If the attacking team kick for touch and the ball goes bounces into touch off a defender who didn’t attempt to gain possession of the ball, the defending team still get head and feed at the ensuing scrum


Automatic two year ban for anyone testing positive for anabolic steroids. Lifetime ban if a second offence occurs


The Rugby League International Federation was founded in Sydney, replacing the Super League International Board and is now responsible for the laws of the game


40/20 rule introduced


20 metre restart no longer delayed by referees


First and second halves end when hooter blows.


Interchanges increased from 6 to 12


Knock-on given if no attempt was made by the attacking player to play the ball


If a team kicks from the 20m restart and the ball bounces into touch or over the dead ball line they will get head and feed at the scrum


Loose forwards can no longer trap the ball in the scrum


Defenders  must stand with both feet behind the referee’s front foot to be onside at the play-the-ball


Defenders (when more than one involved) stealing the ball over the line will result in a penalty rather than a penalty try


Golden point rule first applied in the UK in the Challenge Cup only to settle a drawn game


Player ‘held’ if one leg of the ball carrier is lifted by a defender in the tackle. Previously only complete if both were lifted


Player held if being dragged by more than one defender


Only 10 interchanges in a match – down from 12


If a player  in possession touches the corner flag he is no longer deemed to be ‘in touch’


Ken Traill 1958-70         

Neil Fox 1970-74

Peter Fox 1974-76     

Geoff Gunney 1976     

Brian Lockwood 1976-78 

Ian Brooke 1978-79   

Bill Kirkbride 1979-80    

Bill Ashurst 1981-82     

Ray Batten 1982-83  

Derek Turner 1983-84 

Geoff Wraith 1984   

David Lamming 1984-85 

Len Casey 1985-86    

Tony Dean 1986     

Trevor Bailey 1986-87

David Topliss 1987-94 

David Hobbs 1994-95   

Paul Harkin 1995-96   

Mitch Brennan 1996-97 

Andy Kelly 1997-2000   

Tony Kemp 2000       

John Harbin 2000-01  

Peter Roe 2001-02    

Shane McNally/Adrian Vowles 2002-03     

Shane McNally 2003-05 

Tony Smith 2005-06    

John Kear 2006-11  

Richard Agar 2011-2014

James Webster 2014-2015

Brian Smith 2015-2016

Chris Chester 2016-2021

Willie Poching Sept 2021 to 2022

Mark Applegarth 2022 to 2023

Daryl Powell 2023 to date