As we entered the final week of the regular rounds in the Betfred Championship there were still three places, in the all-important top four, up for grabs. Any three of five sides could make the four, but Toulouse, London and Halifax all knew that a victory would be enough for them to join the Toronto Wolfpack in the Qualifiers.

Toulouse were up first on Saturday afternoon against Dewsbury before Featherstone knew that a win was needed in Toronto for them to retain their outside chance of the four. The remainder of the games were scheduled on Sunday afternoon.

Halifax hosted Rochdale, London were at Barrow, and Leigh were at home to Sheffield in the crucial matches. In the final match, Batley were at home to Swinton.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 29th Jul 2018 5:04 PM | Views : 3297 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The KCOM Stadium was the venue for the Hull derby as the regular rounds drew to a close with both sides looking for form going into the play-offs in their respective eights. 

A loss for FC would come close to writing off their already unlikely chances of a top four finish but for KR it was more about gaining confidence going into a daunting looking middle eights and a fight for Super League survival.

The Airlie Birds had some pride to regain after being humiliated at Wakefield Trinity last week but with new signing Todd Carney making his debut from the bench, the Robins were seeking to inflict further pain and grab some solace after a poor season with some local bragging rights.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 27th Jul 2018 10:08 PM | Views : 2391 | Replies : 5 | READ MORE

It was first against third in the final regular round of Super League as St Helens welcomed near neighbours the Warrington Wolves to the Totally Wicked Stadium. With Saints having lost on only two occasions in 2018 they are the side to beat and were looking for a continuation of form before going into next weekends Challenge Cup semi-final.

The Wolves themselves are still in the hunt for a top two finish, and a home game in the play-offs, but after tonight they will still have seven long games to overhaul Wigan Warriors and the Castleford Tigers in the race for second, which could go down to round thirty before it is decided. 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 26th Jul 2018 9:46 PM | Views : 2161 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round twenty-three of Super League has arrived as a bit of a damp squib.  The places in the top eight are already settled with Widnes Vikings, Salford Red Devils, Hull KR and the Leeds Rhinos moving into the middle eights competition.  The top four are already seven points clear of the chasers and now likely just jostling for the remaining home tie in the end of season play-offs.

The Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR are already guaranteed four home games in the play-offs so have nothing at stake in this weeks round games.

The Championship is much more exciting with five sides still trying to squeeze into the remaining three middle eights positions with points difference likely to determine who will have the advantage of four home games.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 26th Jul 2018 8:41 AM | Views : 5436 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The penultimate games of the regular rounds in the Championship saw a couple of crunch matches which would have a considerable bearing on which sides would be playing their rugby in the qualifying eights from the middle of August.

Featherstone against London was the most appealing of fixtures, but many supporters would have had an eye on Halifax against Toulouse, and Leigh against Swinton as the sides from second to sixth jostled for the remaining three spots.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 22nd Jul 2018 5:35 PM | Views : 3415 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After the Huddersfield Giants secured their top eight spot last night, it was the first of two chances for the Catalans Dragons to register their tenth win of the season and make themselves uncatchable for the Leeds Rhinos.

Salford were still eyeing tenth place and four home games in the middle eights but needed two wins and Hull KR to lose next weekend, a tall ask for a side with only six wins all season.

It was oppressively hot in the south of France for this crunch game in front of a partisan crowd, hoping to see their side secure Super League for 2019, but concerned about the absence of Greg Bird who was at his wifes bedside as she prepares to deliver his second child.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 21st Jul 2018 6:57 PM | Views : 2566 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

All that stood in the way of the Huddersfield Giants and a place in the Super Eights was the Castleford Tigers. The Giants came into the game knowing that a win would ease them into the elite competition with a week to spare, but a loss would mean that they would likely need to beat Wakefield Trinity next weekend.

The Tigers also had an agenda. A win tonight would lift them above Wigan Warriors and into second position in the table, the place required for a home semi-final in a few weeks time as they seek to return to Old Trafford and go one better than next season.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 20th Jul 2018 9:47 PM | Views : 2108 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Wigan Warriors were seeking to put a momentary halt on the Saints charge to the Minor Premiership and to try and prevent them from opening up a ten point overnight lead in the Super League with one round of the regular season remaining.

Dan Sarginson, Joe Greenwood and new signing from the Swinton Lions, Chris Hankinson, were all in the seventeen named by Sean Wane. Justin Holbrook made just one change to his side with Jack Ashworth being named on the bench.

St Helens won the game between the two sides on Good Friday by a slender three points and Wigan went into the game keen to level the 2018 score between the two favourites to make the Grand Final in October.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 19th Jul 2018 9:38 PM | Views : 2192 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It’s a four day weekend for round twenty-two of Super league and a potentially critical one in the race for the remaining two places in the Super Eights. Losses for either Hull KR or the Leeds Rhinos will confirm their places in the middle eights with victories for Catalans, Wakefield or Huddersfield securing their Super Eight spot.

It is equally crucial in the Championship where a loss for the Leigh Centurions could effectively  end their middle eights campaign should Featherstone, and  Halifax get wins in their tough games with London and Toulouse respectively.

On top of all that there is plenty going on in Championship one , most notably the Sunday afternoon game when the runaway top two meet at Odsal as the Bulls take on the City Knights.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 19th Jul 2018 7:46 AM | Views : 5855 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With just two rounds of both the Betfred Super League and Championship left to play before the split into the Super Eights we thought it was about time that we speculated on the likely make-up of that all-important Middle Eights Qualifiers competition.

The bottom four sides in Super League join the top four in the Championship for a seven game mini league which will see the top three clubs into Super League for the 2019 season and the teams finishing in fourth and fifth spot playing off in a sudden death ‘Million Pound Game’ for the remaining Super League place.

With Widnes Vikings and Salford Red Devils already confirmed, they could be joined by two from; Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, Catalans Dragons or Wakefield Trinity. In the Championship the only side guaranteed a Middle Eights place is Toronto with three from; Toulouse, Featherstone Rovers, London Broncos, Halifax, or Leigh Centurions joining them.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 16th Jul 2018 6:00 PM | Views : 9790 | Replies : 8 | READ MORE

Once again there were some big scores as the top six battled to squeeze into just four positions and make it into the middle eights by the split at the end of round twenty-three.

The game of the round was the visit of Halifax to London with both sides knowing that a loss could deal a fatal blow to their Middle Eights aspirations, and in the Broncos case make qualification a very big ask.

Elsewhere Batley were in Canada to take on the Bulldogs, Toulouse travelled to Barrow needing a win to ease their worries and Leigh were at bottom club Rochdale where a big win was required to help their points difference. Sheffield played Dewsbury and Featherstone visited Swinton in the remaining games.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 16th Jul 2018 9:36 AM | Views : 2909 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Leeds Rhinos have pulled up a stool and ordered a drink in the last chance saloon as they entertain a Wakefield Trinity side for whom the two points are equally as crucial as they attempted to guarantee their position in the top eight.

A win for the Rhinos would leave them in ninth spot but just a point behind their opponents and two points behind the Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants and extend them a lifeline to avoid the dreaded middle eights for the second time in three years.

An expectant Headingley held their breath to see if their returning hero Kevin Sinfield could record his first victory at the helm of the side for which he won so many playing honours.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 13th Jul 2018 9:57 PM | Views : 2259 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Depending on results elsewhere in Super League, a win for the Catalans Dragons could see them secure a top eight finish in their round twenty-one game. Standing in their way were a Warrington Wolves side, themselves wanting the points to guarantee that they would go into the Super Eights in a top four play-off place and with a shot at getting to the Grand Final.

Wolves coach Steve Price has made two changes to his side with Harvey Livett and Ben Pomeroy returning in place of Dominic Crosby and Morgan Smith. The Dragons were against the odds to get the win with the bookies favouring the Wolves as Steve McNamara named an unchanged seventeen from the side which beat Wakefield last week.

Ahead of kick-off there were nerves on both sides for a crucial encounter.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 12th Jul 2018 9:53 PM | Views : 1869 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

There are just three rounds of the regular season of Super League 2018 left before the split into the Super Eights and all eyes will be on two games this weekend as the Huddersfield Giants host Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos welcome Wakefield Trinity to Headingley. The Giants currently have the all-important eighth Super Eights position with the Rhinos, under the fledgling control of Sinfield and Lowes will be desperate for them to slip up.

The Championship is also hotting up with just three games remaining.  Leigh Centurions need a big win at Rochdale and to keep in touch with the top four, and London Broncos eyeing up a four pointer to jump back into the four if they can win at home against Halifax on Sunday afternoon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 12th Jul 2018 7:38 AM | Views : 6393 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

With the series win already in the bag it was a tough choice for Blues coach Brad Fittler whether to push for the whitewash or blood a number of inexpereinced players and prepare for the future. The opted for the former making just one enforced change to his seventeen with Sims replacing Campbell-Gillard, out with a fractured jaw.

Queensland threw the dice with five changes to the starting line up including the recall of scrum half Daly Cherry-Evans after three years in the Origin wilderness. Greg Inglis had failed to make enough progress on his broken thumb and the skipper missed out while Oates, Arrow, and Papalii were all named in the starting thirteen.

The Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane would ensure a partisan Queensland crowd, with most wondering whether their side could restore some Maroon pride and bid a fond farewell to the retiring Billy Slater. 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 11th Jul 2018 1:14 PM | Views : 1629 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round Twenty of the Betfred Championship gave the Toronto Wolfpack their opportunity to secure top spot going in to the middle eights but also threw up a game between Halifax and Featherstone Rovers which would go some way to determining who would join them in the top four.

Elsewhere Toulouse and London had their own top four, four pointer, as the two sides met in the South of France.

Leigh knew that anything other than a victory at Batley would be a disaster while Dewsbury faced Barrow and Rochdale hosted Swinton in the competition for the lower places.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 8th Jul 2018 5:43 PM | Views : 3914 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The game of the twentieth round drew the SKY cameras to the DW Stadium as second placed Wigan Warriors hosted third placed Warrington Wolves with both sides looking to consolidate their top four spots ahead of the split into the Super Eights.

This is the fourth 2018 meeting between the two sides with the Wolves having been the victors on two previous occasions, the last meeting being their 23-0 win in the Challenge Cup on the 2nd June.

A rejuvinated Warriors were favourites with the bookies, but the Wolves are a side who have a recent habit of beating their hosts.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 6th Jul 2018 9:45 PM | Views : 3000 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Two sides with very different needs met in the Thursday fixture at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield. 

The two points on offer would lift the Giants into seventh place in the Super League and push the Leeds Rhinos into a middle eights position. Hull FC would remain in touch with the top four if they could get the win, but a loss could see them with five points to make up to get into the play off positions.

Danny Brough was back from another suspension for the Giants while Hull FC were still suffering from a massive injury and suspension list. Although the Airlie Birds were the bookies favourites, the promise was of a close match.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 5th Jul 2018 9:41 PM | Views : 2894 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round nineteen of the Betfred Championship saw the continued march of the Toronto Wolfpack, Toulouse Olympique, Featherstone Rovers and Halifax into the middle eights while London Broncos kept themselves within touching distance, awaiting a slip up from one of the sides above them.

The match of the weekend was in Toronto where the Leigh Centurions were the visitors but there were plenty of points scored elsewhere throughout the division.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 1st Jul 2018 6:40 PM | Views : 4133 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round nineteen defeats for the Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants have left the door open for a rejuvinated Catalans Dragons to leapfrog both into the top eight. All that stood in their way for this afternoons game in Perpignan was the Castleford Tigers who themselves would go third with a win in the scorching south of France.

Castleford thrashed the Dragons at the Men-A-Hose Jungle with a 41-0 scoreline in mid-April but ten weeks later they visited a side brimming with confidence after winning eight of their ten games since the sides last met.

There was very little to choose between the sides for the bookies, the Dragons given a slender two point start on the coupon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 30th Jun 2018 7:10 PM | Views : 2643 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE


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