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Two sides with contracting fortunes in the opening week of the play-offs came together for a sudden death eliminator at Bootham Crescent, as the York City Knights took on a Featherstone Rovers side who outplayed Leigh Centurions last weekend.

Featherstone comprehensively won two of the three meetings between the two sides in 2019, although it was the City Knights who won the most recent encounter, by a narrow 22-18 scorline.

One of these sides would be ending the season here and taking a well earned rest after a long season, the other would be going forward for an international trip to either Toulouse or Toronto to play in the second semi-final to keep their hopes alive.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 21st Sep 2019 4:51 PM | Views : 8511 | Replies : 38 | READ MORE

While neither the Wigan Warriors nor the Salford Red Devils would be eliminated from the competition as a result of tonights game, a victory would give a massive confidence boost ahead of next weeks semi-final against St Helens for a place in the final.

Salford have exceeded most expectations in 2019 and thoroughly deserve their third placed finish. After an awful start to the season, Adrian Lam’s Wigan have performed brilliantly to secure second spot.

The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last eight but have only won once in their last twenty-one visits to the DW Stadium. Salford have lost all three meetings against the Warriors in 2019 but the first two by less than ten points. The home side were clear favourites, but the play-offs have warned us to expect the unexpected.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 20th Sep 2019 9:40 PM | Views : 6011 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Kings of the knockout in 2019, the Warrington Wolves, came up against the Castleford Tigers in the first Elimination play-off at the Halliwell-Jones. A loss tonight would see an exit from the competition at the first hurdle, the winners could live to dream another week of Old Trafford on the 12th October.

The sides have met three times previously in the current season of Super League with the Wolves winning the first two games, but the Tigers picking up a victory in the most recent meeting at the end of July. Neither side were in great form with the visitors only winning three of their last six games, while Warrington have lost four of their last six.

The home side were odds-on favourites for the win, but the Tigers faithful were in attendance hoping that their side could finally register an away win in the Super League play-offs.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 19th Sep 2019 9:42 PM | Views : 4698 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was knock-out football as the Betfred Championship Play-Offs arrived at Leigh Sports Village, where fifth placed Featherstone Rovers met the Leigh Centurions for the priviledge of a semi-final encounter against the York City Knight next weekend.

Both sides were without some key players as they went into a nerve-wracking sudden death battle. The last time that they met was in West Yorkshire when Rovers secured a 24-20 win but when Rovers visited the LSV in February it was the home side who took the win with a 29-20 victory.

Leigh were big favourites with the bookies but this was knockout football, anything could happen.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 15th Sep 2019 8:20 PM | Views : 11489 | Replies : 20 | READ MORE

With Whitehaven already promoted to the Betfred Championship for 2020 it was time to find out who would be joining them to replace the relegated Rochdale and Barrow.

Fourth placed Doncaster were up against third placed Newcastle for the chance to travel to Oldham next weekend to secure a place in the League One play off final.

Both encounters between these two sides during the regular league season were close affairs with honours shared with one win apiece. The margins were just six points and a single drop goal so there was plenty of promise of a close game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 15th Sep 2019 4:21 PM | Views : 4708 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

While the loser of todays Betfred Championship play off match between Toulouse Olympique XIII and the York City Knights would get a second bite of the cherry, the winners would go to Toronto knowing that a victory would see them into the Championship Play Off Final and a 50:50 chance of making Super League.

Just one league point separated these two teams at the end of twenty-seven regular rounds but Toulouse won both encounters in 2019, albeit by close scorelines. Both sides came into the game with just one defeat each in their last nine outings and despite the weather conditions favouring the home side the stage was set for a battle royal between two sides who wanted to earn that trip to Toronto.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 14th Sep 2019 3:46 PM | Views : 5516 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

The drinks were being poured in the last chance saloon and the fat lady was going through her scales as Wakefield Trinity welcomed the London Broncos for the last game of the regular Super League season. It would be a devastating Friday 13th for one of four sides, and both of tonights opponents were in the mix.

While the maths were far from simple, a win for either side guaranteed them safety and a 2020 season playing the Super League. Wakefield would be safe, even if they sustain a loss, providing one of either Huddersfield (v. The Catalans Dragons) or Hull KR (v. Salford Red Devils) also lost their game tonight.

It was bound to be a nerve tingling night for the supporters of all four clubs in danger of the drop.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 13th Sep 2019 9:44 PM | Views : 4017 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Wigan secured second spot and a home play-off tie when the Tigers came to town. The visitors needed a win to secure fifth and their own play-off participation – while knowing that they hadn't secured a victory, or scored a try, in either of their last two visits to the DW stadium, including last season's play-off semi.

But it was Castleford who opened the scoring in this encounter. Awarded a penalty in the eighth minute, after Wigan were caught with hands in the ruck, Gareth Ellis went for the two and duly slotted the ball over.

Unfortunately for the visiting fans, it was the last time the black and amber team troubled the scoreboard operator until the 80th minute.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 13th Sep 2019 5:10 PM | Views : 5131 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

There can have been fewer more important, or more significant, matches in 2019 than tonights' clash between Hull KR and the London Broncos. A win for the home side would guarantee them Super League in 2020, but an away victory would send the relegation battle into the last weekend of the season.

KR had Craig Hall, Mitch Garbutt and Matt Parcell back to bolster their chances in an experienced side who have been in this position before. The Broncos had Daniel Hindmarsh in for Mark Iaone and know how to win when the pressure is on.

Hull KR were strong favourites with the bookies to do the business and get the crucial two points, but London have sprung plenty of surprises in 2019.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 6th Sep 2019 9:53 PM | Views : 8975 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

All that stood between Hull FC and a guaranteed play off place was a win at the Castleford Tigers as they travelled to West Yorkshire in the opening round twenty-six game. FC came into the game two points ahead of the Tigers and daren't contemplate a loss which would see Castleford go above them on points difference with just one round remaining.

The home side had Matt Cook back in the side for the first time since July, while the visitors welcomed back Albert Kelly and Ratu Naulago.

On paper it really was too close to call, and would depend on which Hull FC side had made the journey, the one that beat Castleford the last time they met, or the one which crashed to struggling Huddersfield Giants last time out.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 5th Sep 2019 9:35 PM | Views : 4446 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

Round twenty-six of the Betfred Championship was where the top five was finally decided, and where Barrow were confirmed as making the drop into Championship One for 2020, alongside the long relegated Rochdale Hornets.

The top two sides, Toulouse and Toronto, both had Saturday evening home matches against bottom of the table opposition in Dewsbury and Barrow, while the game of the round was undoubtedly at third placed Leigh on Sunday afternoon where fourth placed York City Knights were the visitors.

Elsewhere Sheffield were at Odsal to play Bradford, Halifax had a home game against Rochdale, Featherstone were at Batley and Widnes hosted Swinton.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 1st Sep 2019 6:55 PM | Views : 17411 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After the Huddersfield Giants surprised the black and white side of Hull last night, the quest of the red and white side became instantly more urgent and more important as they travelled to the south of France to take on a Catalans Dragons side who were looking to make the most of last nights losses for Castleford and Hull FC to increase their chances of a play-off place.

While still unlikley, a win for the Dragons would lift them level on points with the Tigers and within two points of the final play-off spot, a loss for Hull KR could see them drop to the bottom of the table on points difference, having played a game more than the London Broncos.

It was a game where both sides had everything to play for in front of a good crowd at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 31st Aug 2019 6:55 PM | Views : 8718 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

For minor premiers St Helens the Friday night round twenty-seven game against the Castleford Tigers was all about getting back on the bike after last weeks massive disappointment at Wembley, where they arrived as favourites and were totally outplayed.

For Castleford Tigers the game was all about a massive two points in their quest to be part of the 2019 play-off series. A win would lift the visitors into fifth place and a win by more than twenty-two points would lift them into third.

Saints were without Lachlan Coote and Dominique Peyroux while Cory Aston and Tuoyo Egodo were omitted from Daryl Powells side.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 30th Aug 2019 9:38 PM | Views : 4548 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After last Saturdays' superb Challenge Cup win over St Helens, the Warrington Wolves could be forgiven for poor preparation ahead of tonights Super League round twenty-seven encounter with the Salford Red Devils. But despite the fastest of turnarounds it was essential that they backed up their cup victory with another win to assist them in their quest for second spot.

The prize for Salford could not have been bigger. A win would lift them into third ahead of the rest of the weekends games, but a win by twenty-four points of more would see the home side go above their opponents tonight and into second spot, poised for an assault on Old Trafford.

It was a game of massive importance to both sides.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 29th Aug 2019 9:38 PM | Views : 4266 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After a stunning Challenge Cup final the attention turned to the final of the inaugural 1895 Cup between the Sheffield Eagles and Widnes Vikings as both sides chased a piece of silverware to cap what will ultimately be a 2019 of league alsorans.

Widnes sprang a surprise and beat the Leigh Centurions in the semi-final to get to the showpiece final, the location where they made four Challenge Cup finals, and win two, in the eighties and nineties. The Eagles triumphed over the Batley Bulldogs to take their place at Wembley, the site of their finest hour when they lifted the Challenge Cup back in 1998.

Widnes were slight favourites for the win but both sides had a win apiece in the two games played in the league in 2019.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 24th Aug 2019 7:40 PM | Views : 5362 | Replies : 4 | READ MORE

If you listened to the pundits, the bookies and the neutral fans, then there was only one side who would be lifting the Challenge Cup at the end of eighty Wembley minutes, runaway league leaders St Helens. But this is the Cup, and it’s a funny old thing, and anything could happen.

Warrington are the side with the recent Challenge Cup pedigree having figured in five finals, winning three since, since Saints were last represented in this auspicious event. The top two sides in Super League met in the first final of the year, with many believing that they will also meet at Old Trafford in October.

This was the fourth meeting between these two sides in 2019 with Saints having emerged victorious on every occasion, the most recent being a 30-12 win just over a fortnight ago. Both sides ran onto the sun baked field with the neutrals hoping that it would be more competitive than it appeared on paper.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 24th Aug 2019 5:01 PM | Views : 4972 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

It wouldn’t be a Challenge Cup final weekend without the now traditional Friday Night Lights encounter at London Skolars, this season the opposition being Betfred League One fourth placed side Hunslet.

The 4G pitch at the New River Stadium in Wood Green, a ten mile drive around the North Circular, always attracts a good following of diehard Rugby League supporters down in the nationals capital to make a weekend of it.

But two important league points were up for grabs as Hunslet looked to cement their play-off spot while a loss would spell the end of the Skolars chase for the play-offs and the second promotion spot for another season.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 23rd Aug 2019 9:22 PM | Views : 4783 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

This weekend’s Betfred Championship fixtures were overshadowed by the tragic death of Archie Bruce the young Batley Bulldogs player who was found dead in his hotel room in the early hours of Sunday morning, following his debut against Toulouse Olympique XIII in the south of France on Saturday evening. The whole of the rugby league community grieves with Archie’s family and the Bulldogs.

Saturday’s other game saw relegated Rochdale travel to Toronto, while the rest of the games took place on Sunday afternoon.

Leigh and Widnes met at the LSV while, on paper,  the game of the afternoon was  fourth placed York City Knights against the Featherstone Rovers. Sheffield were at home to Barrow, Halifax travelled to Swinton and there was a local derby in Dewsbury where Bradford were the visitors.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 18th Aug 2019 5:31 PM | Views : 16479 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

If today’s encounter between relegation prospects Hull KR and Wakefield Trinity wasn’t already important enough, yesterdays shock win for the London Broncos in the south of France made it doubly so.

Just four games remain in the 2019 season and a win for either of these sides, who entered the game level on league ladder points, would be a massive step towards safety for 2020. A loss, on the other hand, would leave them deeply mired in the relegation dogfight.

KR were bolstered by the returns of Mitch Garbutt, Craig Hall, Kane Linnett and importantly Danny McGuire. Trinity gave a debut for loan signing Chris Green from Hull.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 18th Aug 2019 4:53 PM | Views : 8207 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Super League team currently at the bar and taking a slurp from their glass in the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ are the London Broncos. The have travelled to the heat of the South of France to take on a Catalans Dragons who have an eye on a top five position and a play-off finish.

The Broncos had already beaten the Dragons in Perpignan and the home side took a big beating at London’s fellow strugglers the Leeds Rhinos last weekend. The bookies were favouring a home win but Danny Ward’s side knew that a win would keep them in touch with their fellow fighters to avoid the relegation spot.

The home side made a few changes in the pack after last weeks loss but London named the same starting thirteen who took the points on their last vist to the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 17th Aug 2019 6:49 PM | Views : 4550 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

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