Gareth Wood

I'm a writer and photographer looking for new opportunities. I've written for a range of publications including Planet Ivy and Screen Robot. As a photographer I'm working on what might be my first commission.

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Passion not enough for Beleaguered Rhinos to get past Saints

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Six tries and a passion born of frustration over their stuttering title defence were not enough to see Leeds Rhinos get the better of Saint Helens last night. As with Wigan and Huddersfield this was a game where the emotions of the players were visible in the determination they showed on the pitch, and the scoreline swung back and forth in favour of one team or the other as a result. Yet this was always St Helens’s game to lose, …

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Brierley Denied By Smith’s Drop Goal Double

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The tears were running down Ryan Brierley’s face as what should have been a fairytale start to his Superleague career, a hatrick against Wigan, was denied by two drop goals from Matty Smith before Dan Sarginson secured the winning try that assured the Warriors avoided a giant killing. Wigan were lucky though. Their script for tonight read whitewash and in the first ten minutes Huddersfield looked to have read from that script. Anthony Gelling got Wigan’s first try which Matty …

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Shellshocked Hull KR Burned by Rampant Catalan Dragons

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Does Hull Kingston Rovers have a policy of giving its supporters their money back every time the team suffers a drubbing? If not, then they should seriously think about starting such a policy, for it was a wonder they were any Hull KR supporters left watching the end of the team’s pathetic shambles of a performance in last night’s game against Catalan Dragons. The French side haven’t always had a great time in South Yorkshire, with Hull KR coming into …

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Doping claims, true or not, will only add fuel to the fire

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The spectre of the doping claims cast its shadow further over the world of sport yesterday, when the Sunday Times published claims by Dr Mark Bonar that he had helped 150 British athletes and sportsmen, including Tour De France cyclists and Premier league footballers. Crucially though the paper chose not to name any of the individuals Dr Bonar is alleged to have named during his conversation with undercover journalists. While that is a responsible act of journalistic ethics from the …

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Wigan Warriors storm through demoralised Leeds Rhinos

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Wigan Warriors stormed past a demoralised and depleted Leeds Rhinos at the DW stadium last night, in a game that was prevented from becoming a rout only by Wigan’s excessive handling errors gifting the Leeds defence sorely needed lifelines. From the moment the ball was first kicked down field, Wigan utterly dominated play, with their attacks repeatedly pushing Leeds back to their own try line. Each time though Wigan’s players somehow managed to lose the ball. Leeds though were never …

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Rhinos routed by Rampant North Queensland

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Initial hopes that Leeds might salvage English pride and beat North Queensland to become World Club Champions after a first half in which the Rhinos more than held their own against the Cowboys, were utterly dashed in the second half where the Australians played in a manner to which Leeds couldn’t even hope to respond. Michael Morgan took an initial lead for North Queensland, but Rob Burrow was able to equalise in the 31st minute, with Leeds showing the kind …

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Wigan Warriors rough rode by Broncos Stampede

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What started off as a promising start for Wigan Warriors was barely kept from being an utter rout at the hands of Brisbane Broncos, who still delivered a thorough drubbing to their opponents. Wigan Warriors started off strongly enough with a good offence keeping the Broncos on the back foot and threatening to score as Brisbane repeatedly conceded penalties and goal line drop outs. Sadly for the Warriors never counts towards winning unless you can make tries from them and …

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Roosters give Saints a Master Class

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Roosters defeat Saints Keiron Cunningham made a threat to his players last week following Saints’s defeat to Salford. This week that threat had an effect, for it was a markedly better St Helens side that took the fight to Sydney Roosters. Unfortunately for Saints, Sydney visibly outclassed and outplayed them. The result was not a whitewash, nor a rout, but a master class from Sydney in how to play great Rugby League. For the first quarter of an hour St …

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The Devil to pay as Salford massacre Saints

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If you didn’t know anything about Rugby League and were watching the sport for the first time with this match, you would be forgiven for thinking Salford were a top flight team and St Helens generally left struggling to hold on to the bottom rung of the Superleague ladder. For Saints were run ragged, and exposed as helpless and hopeless in equal measure by a Salford team that haven’t played this good within the living memory of any of their …

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Wigan deliver solid victory over inconsistent Catalans

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Wigan delivered a solid victory over a Catalan Dragons side who maintained neither quality nor discipline amidst the muddy ruin of the pitch. For all that the conditions were atrocious, with the pitch visibly watterlogged in places, Wigan’s quality and drive were simply too much for the Catalans, whose poor performance effectively gifted the first half of the game to the Warriors. While there was great effort by individual Catalan players in the opening minutes of the match, including Christian Inu, …

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Prejudice masked as concern is not a good argument

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In Contact Sports, people get hurt. It’s a fact of life. And those taking part accept it just as readily as those watching it. This is as true for Rugby League as it is for Jiu-Jitsiu. That’s part of the thrill. It’s what gets the blood pumping through the veins. Sure, if you’re participating there are going to be moments where pain accrued overwhelms any sense of enjoyment. The same’s true for the crowd; there comes a moment where an …

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Can Leigh get past the Choke Point?

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Leigh has been in Wigan’s shadow for a long time. Ever since 1972 when it, along with a lot of other English towns, found itself suddenly relegated to the second division of civic standing by being made part of the borough of Wigan (officially known as Wigan and Leigh), Leigh has found itself rendered into obscurity by its more prominent neighbour. Generally the story hasn’t been much better in Rugby League terms either. Wigan Warriors are a global name. Leigh …

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Salford Red Devils vow to clear name in latest legal drama

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The Chairman of Salford Red Devils, Marwan Koukash, has protested the innocence of his club and vowed to clear its name following allegations by Marc Green, chairman of Bradford Bulls, that Salford breached the salary cap when they signed Tony Puletua from St Helens back in 2014. Writing to the League Express Newspaper, Green claimed he was prevented from raising his concerns over the transfer at a meeting of the Rugby Football League Council last month, before following that up with …

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Scrap the Cap would be a better move for Super League

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Look through the sports pages of any major newspaper, and chances are that if you see a Rugby story, it’s Rugby Union. The fifteen man code is strong the world over. In France and Wales it can spell greatness for those of humble beginnings; in Australia and New Zealand it’s part of the national psyche. Even in the United States, home of American Football, Rugby Union enjoys a strong following. Major competitions such as the Heinkeken Cup and the Six Nations …

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