It was second against third as two of the remaining one hundred percenters in the Betfred Championship met in Newcastle for a Toronto Wolfpack home game. The Widnes Vikings went into the game trailing their hosts by a vastly inferior points difference. A five point win would see Toronto finish the weekend at the top of the pile but if Widnes could win by more than thirty-four then they would leapfrog the Canadian outfit into top spot.

Brian McDermott came into the game knowing that his side would face one of their biggest hurdles of the season as they came up against the side who were relegated in 2018. Toronto won by 20-12 when the two sides met at Lamport Park in the September Middle 8's last season.

It was a mouthwatering prospect at the top of the Championship between two sides with clear aspirations of Super League 2020.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 16th Feb 2019 6:51 PM | Views : 250 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

The opening fixture of the Betfred Championship One season saw Doncaster head north to take on Newcastle Thunder in the first of a double-header which would later see the Toronto Wolfpack host the Widnes Vikings in a third round Championship fixture at the Kingston Park Stadium.

ExHull FC favourite Richard Horne was coaching a Doncaster side with a number of dual registered players with his old Black & Whites side, to take on Jason Payne’s promotion hopefulls whose side was sprinkled full of players with higher league experience.

Excellent conditions and a 4G pitch would ensure that there were no weather or pitch excuses for anything other than a top game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 16th Feb 2019 4:25 PM | Views : 327 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was a top of the table early season clash as second placed Sheffield Eagles and the Bradford Bulls in fourth came into the game with both sides hoping to maintain their winnings starts to the season.

It was two old timers, John Kear against Mark Aston, who both knew that this was a fascinating encounter at the beginning of a long season, which both may find increasingly difficult as it progresses.

The Olympic Legacy Park, with its 4G pitch, were ideal conditions for the players but it was a cold night for the spectators in a swirling wind as both sides looked to finish the night in top spot.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 15th Feb 2019 9:28 PM | Views : 595 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round Two of the Betfred Championship was played out over Saturday and Sunday with the Widnes Vikings travelling to Toulouse for the Saturday afternoon match. Sunday saw the Bulls at Swinton, the Centurions making the trip to Halifax, Featherstone hosting a local derby match with Batley, and the Eagles making the trip up to Cumbria to face Barrow.

Dewsbury and York had a meeting in West Yorkshire, while the Toronto Wolfpack were in Rochdale as the Lancastrian side got their season underway after last weeks postponement.

Once again there would be some close and exciting games.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 10th Feb 2019 5:25 PM | Views : 1956 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Long established National Conference Premier League side Wigan St Patricks welcomed the GB Police to Clarington Park for a Coral Challenge Cup second round game. St Patricks beat Leigh East by 24-12 in the last round while the Police recorded a 44-18 win over Wallsend Eagles.

A place in tomorrow evenings third round draw was on offer with a chance to be drawn against one of the semi-professional sides and test themselves against higher league opposition.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 10th Feb 2019 4:16 PM | Views : 568 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Two defeated sides from Round One, the Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants had an appointment in the south of France for an early season four-pointer. Both sides took an opening weekend beating, the Dragons at the hands of Castleford and Huddersfield at home to Salford.

The Giants are still injury ravaged and went into the game without six first teamers, while the Dragons were without David Mead who has returned home to Papua New Guinea on family business.

On paper this was a walkover for the home side, but could the Giants spring a surprise.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 9th Feb 2019 7:02 PM | Views : 818 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

One of the games of the second round of the 2019 Coral Challenge Cup was in Kirkstall, Leeds as the Milford Marlins played hosts to Lock Lane from Castleford in local derby to set the pulses racing.

Milford are in the National Conference Division One whereas their visitors Lock Lane ply their trade in the National Conference Premier, Although both sides were in division one last season, Lock Lane gaining promotion. Both sides were desperate to progress, both for local bragging rights and the chance to take on one of the semi-pro sides in the third round.

Conditions were perfect on Leeds Rhinos 4G training pitch as the sides took the field.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 9th Feb 2019 3:39 PM | Views : 623 | Replies : 5 | READ MORE

The bottom two sides in a fledgling Super League 2019 table met at the DW Stadium as the Wigan Warriors hosted the Leeds Rhinos. Wigan needed the points to overcome their points deduction, while the Rhinos needed a win before bad habits set in under the new stewardship of Dave Furner.

This was the last chance for Wigan to hit some form ahead of their World Club Series match against the Sydney Roosters a week on Sunday, but the Rhinos and their travelling band of fans were looking to upset the overwhelming bookies odds and pick up a victory.

The only change for the Warriors was a switch of Clubb changing places with Navarrete in the starting thirteen. The Rhinos had Dwyer and Peteru in the run on side with Cuthbertson and Parcell moved onto the bench.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 8th Feb 2019 9:40 PM | Views : 901 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The opening fixture of round two saw the Castleford Tigers travel to an embattled Hull FC as they looked to follow up on last weeks opening round win over the Catalans Dragons.

FC were looking for their first win in thirteen outings, stretching back to the 29th June 2018, and coach Radford was delighted to welcome back England half-back Jake Connor after he missed the opening loss at Hull KR through suspension. He also had Hakim Miloudi and Joe Westerman in his starting thirteen, and Micky Paea on the bench.

The Tigers had just a couple of changes with Alex Foster replacing Mike McMeeken, who was ruled out with concussion.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 7th Feb 2019 9:41 PM | Views : 877 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The opening weekend of the Betfred Championship served up some interesting prospects as the Widnes Vikings, York City Knights and Bradford Bulls joined the survivors from last season in an expanded fourteen team competition, all with their sights on the play-offs final and a Super League XXV place in 2020.

The game of the round saw newly promoted York City Knights take on last years losing Million Pound Game side the Toronto Wolfpack as the Canadian side welcomed a new dawn under coach Brian McDermott. Elsewhere Bradford Bulls had a local derby against Featherstone and the relegated Widnes Vikings hosted Halifax.

It would be an exciting first Sunday.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 3rd Feb 2019 5:32 PM | Views : 3454 | Replies : 9 | READ MORE

With the Betfred Super League already underway, Sunday saw the opening round of a very competitive looking Betfred Championship, with all fourteen sides in action. New boys, the York City Knights, had the honour of welcoming the Toronto Wolfpack to a freezing Bootham Crescent as the Canadian side looked to begin their campaign with a victory.

It would have been difficult for Toronto to put last seasons last match disappointment in the Million Pound Game behind them, but with the ultra-successful Brian McDermott taking over as head coach, and a large churn in playing staff, it was likely that the Knights would be up against it in their opening fixture, despite home advantage and a big partisan crowd to welcome them to Championship One life.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 3rd Feb 2019 4:54 PM | Views : 2978 | Replies : 45 | READ MORE

Just as they did on the opening weekend last season, the Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos got their season underway with an encounter at Halliwell-Jones Stadium. Despite the Rhinos taking the honours by 16-12 in the corresponding fixture last season, the fortunes of the two sides couldn’t have been any more different, with the Wolves making the Grand Final while the Rhinos fought for their Super League place in the middle eights.

While the watchword for Warrington was continuity, with the odd well-chosen new signing to their squad, the Rhinos had big personel changes in terms as playing staff, as well as ex-player Dave Furner taking over as head coach.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 2nd Feb 2019 7:05 PM | Views : 1612 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Nothing warms the cockles of ones heart like the prospect of a Hull derby on one of the coldest nights of the year. A KCOM Craven Park, packed to the gills with the colours of the Robins and the Airlie Birds was raucous with anticipation of the season opener.

Both sides had disappointing 2018 seasons, Hull KR battling it out for survival in the middle eights and Hull FC losing their last eleven games, and had reshaped their squads over the winter. The visitors were the favourites but with a vastly changed line-up it was Tim Sheens who were the mystery package.

The orange balls were brought out on a very firm pitch with the expectations of some snow or sleet during the eighty. While the temperatures in the stands were sub-zero, on the pitch it was likely to be red hot.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 1st Feb 2019 9:43 PM | Views : 2295 | Replies : 9 | READ MORE

The champions, Wigan Warriors, had a local derby against last seasons league leaders St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium to herald the start of the 2019 Betfred Super League season. Despite arctic conditions, the endeavours of the ground staff meant that the game was never in doubt, and the stands were packed in anticipation.

New Cherry & Whites boss Adrian Lam was dealt a blow on Wednesday when his side were docked two league points for a 2017 salary cap breach. But it was something else that he could use as motivation as a somewhat changed side looked to get their season off to a winning start.

St Helens came into the game as pre-season favourites to go all the way to Old Trafford and lift the Super League trophy, but the promise of a long season stretched out in front of both teams.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 31st Jan 2019 9:30 PM | Views : 1089 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Are you a rugby league super fan? Do you travel hundreds of miles to each game? Have you not missed a game since you were five years old? Do you own one of your favourite players unwashed playing socks? Do you have any crazy pre-game superstitions?

If so, Betfred are celebrating their sponsorship of Super League and Championship rugby by looking for your story. In exchange they will give you a chance to win up to £10,000,  and be declared the rugby league Super Fan.

You can nominate yourself, a friend, a partner or relative for consideration.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 31st Jan 2019 4:00 PM | Views : 3611 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It’s tomorrow.

We get started again tomorrow, as the Champions take on St Helens in the opening Super League fixture. The long wait is over and we are as giddy as a group of five years olds at a theme park. The long winter is over and the light is dawning on a new season.

We’ve had a look back at the news over the last week to pick up on stories which you might have missed to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening inside the greatest game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 30th Jan 2019 7:17 PM | Views : 1770 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Whatever the outcome, Challenge Cup history was being made this afternoon in the Cumbrian countryside as Millom RLFC, the oldest amateur side in the country laid out the welcome carpet for Red Star Belgrade who were making their debut in the competition.

National Converence Division Three side Millom were handed the draw of the round, in terms of interest, when they were drawn out to host a Belgrade side packed full of local Serbian players in the round one pairings.

There had been intense media attention and a decent crowd had gathered in one of the great rugby league heartlands ahead of the game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 27th Jan 2019 3:17 PM | Views : 1454 | Replies : 4 | READ MORE

Premier League Underbank Rangers from Holmfith travelled to Northwest Counties side Orrell St James for the sides’ fixture in the opening round of the Coral Challenge Cup.  Fifty-two sides were in the hat all hopeful of progress, including Red Star Belgrade who will begin their campaign on Sunday afternoon.

Underbank opted to play down the slope in the first half, in good, if slightly breezy, weather conditions, as they looked to establish an early advantage.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 26th Jan 2019 3:44 PM | Views : 1246 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

It’s been a week of friendly matches, and one not so friendly, as the Super League sides ready themselves for the competition which starts in just eight short days when Wigan and Saints will play the opening fixture of round one. Sides now seem to be settled with little actionor speculation in the transfer market.

We’ve had a look back at the news over the last week to pick up on stories which you might have missed to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening inside the greatest game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 23rd Jan 2019 6:59 PM | Views : 2949 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

In a busy week of out-of-season rugby league we’ve had friendly matches, Yorkshire Cup semi-finals, player exchanges, player signings and a 2020 coaching prospect appearing to get cold feet. It’s never dull in our game and with just over a fortnight to go until the kick-off it is all warming up nicely.

We’ve had a look back at the news over the last week to pick up on stories which you might have missed to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening inside the greatest game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 16th Jan 2019 6:46 PM | Views : 4777 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE


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