With Warrington Wolves and Hull KR having just booked their places in Super League 2018, all attention turned to the south of France and the battle for the remaining spot, and the two places in the Million Pound game, as a winless Featherstone Rovers made the trip to the South of France to take on a so-far disappointing Catalans Dragons.

The Dragons were without the services of the suspended Greg Bird as they went into the game desperate for the two points against the side from West Yorkshire who have struggled in the qualifiers.

A massive points win for the Dragons would incredibly see them above Widnes into third spot but a win of any description would see them go fourth and into the home berth for the Million Pound game.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 9th Sep 2017 7:25 PM | Views : 2041 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
The second Saturday in September promised to be a defining one in the season of our sides fighting for places and promotion in the Qualifying eights. While Warrington were hosting Leigh with a change to practically guarantee Super League rugby in 2018, Hull KR and the Widnes Vikings were meeting at the KCOM Craven Park with each looking to get the upper hand in their struggle for a top three place.

A win for Hull KR would maintain their unbeaten run and depending on the outcome at the Halliwell-Jones could guarantee promotion to Super League but a win for the visitors would lift them above KR into second spot in the table and leave both clubs needing more points.

Both sides were without a number of key first teamers and the stakes couldn’t have been higher as careers and club futures were on the line.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 9th Sep 2017 5:16 PM | Views : 3001 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
In a repeat of the Challenge Cup Final, Hull FC were the hosts as a Wigan Warriors side intent on revenge, visited the The KCOM Stadium.

Wigan’s coach Wane initially stuck with the same seventeen who were defeated by 18-14 at Wembley a fortnight ago but the very late withdrawal of Joe Burgess saw Liam Marshall come into the starting line up. FC’s coach Radford made a number of forced changes for the Airlie Birds with Thompson for Tuimavave, Bowden for Ellis and three changed faces on the bench including Fash, Green and Masimbaashe Matongo making only his fifth appearance since his debut against Wigan two years ago.

A win for Hull would put them within a point of securing a play-off place and keep alive their outside hopes of second (depending on the Rhinos outcome at Castleford). A win for Wigan would lift them into the third play-off place above last nights narrow losers Wakefield Trinity and push tonights hosts into fourth.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 8th Sep 2017 10:17 PM | Views : 2495 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
Tonight’s game at the Beaumont Legal Stadium was critical for both sides. A win for Trinity would lift them up to third place in a congested top of the table and with third placed Hull FC and Wigan playing each other on Friday night it would ensure that they retain a top four place going into the last two games of the season.

A win for Saints would leave them outside the top four but throw them a lifeline for their own scramble for the play-offs. A loss would practically end any hopes of a top four finish.

Saints had a big 41-16 win in Wakefield back in July but Wakefield won the early season game over in St Helens by 16-12.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 7th Sep 2017 10:03 PM | Views : 2257 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
The Catalans Dragons have been dealt a major blow with the loss of the inspirational Greg Bird for the rest of the season through suspension.

Bird appeared before the disciplinary this evening a pleaded guilty to the Grade D charge for a dangerous throw against Halifax during Sunday's fixture at the New Shay.

Bird appealed against the grading, but not the charge, but he was unsuccessful.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 5th Sep 2017 8:33 PM | Views : 8572 | Replies : 67 | READ MORE
It's been a busy day in the video review room at the RFL disciplinary.

Out of the weekends Super Eights and Qualifiers they've spotted seven offences which they deem worthy of a charge and another three which have brought forward cautions for the offenders.

Tuesday nights disciplinary is, however, likely to be less busy as only one of the charges brought does not have an associated Early Guilty Plea (EGP) which will mean that the offender will be called in front of the committee.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 4th Sep 2017 6:54 PM | Views : 14294 | Replies : 29 | READ MORE
On paper, the game of the round looked like being Sunday’s clash at the Leigh Sports Village between fourth placed Centurions and a Vikings side currently residing in third. The outcome would go some way to suggesting the three sides who would definitely be playing Super League next season.

On Saturday evening the Warrington Wolves were strong favourites as they travelled to a London Broncos side who have pushed sides close in the Qualifiers without getting the points.

Sunday also saw a struggling Catalans Dragons at Halifax, and Hull KR travel to Featherstone.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 3rd Sep 2017 5:26 PM | Views : 3666 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
After a disappointing start to the Qualifiers, London Broncos faced their stiffest test of the competition as they came up against the nailed-on certainties for an automatic Super League 2018 place, the Warrington Wolves.

London knew that a win would lift them into the second of the Million Pound game positions in advance of the Catalans facing Halifax tomorrow at the Shay. A loss would almost certainly signify Championship rugby for 2018.

Warrington made just one change from the side who beat Halifax with Kurt Gidley coming in on the bench after missing the last four. London welcomed back Api Pewhairangi, Eddie Battye, Tom Spencer, Matt Garside and Ben Evans to the side which lost narrowly to Hull KR last time out.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 2nd Sep 2017 9:56 PM | Views : 4978 | Replies : 43 | READ MORE
Rarely before has a St. Helens derby with Wigan Warriors borne such importance as tonight's fixture at the Totally Wicked Stadium with both sides knowing that a loss would as good as end their 2017 season. Wigan Warriors were still smarting from last weeks Wembley loss and needed to pick themselves up to get a victory against the old enemy.

Both sides started the game sitting on twenty-seven Super League points and knew that while a loss wouldn't mathematically end their chances of a play-off berth, but would will make it extremely unlikely.

Ben Barba made his St Helens debut, completing his twelve game rugby league suspension after an illicit drugs ban, and since being released by the Cronulla Sharks. Theo Fages was the one to miss out as Jonny Lomax was moved into the halves. Wigan too made a couple of changes due to illness with Tom Davies and Ryan Sutton being replaced by Liam Marshall and Jack Wells.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 1st Sep 2017 10:03 PM | Views : 2351 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
With the Ladbroke's Challenge Cup safely returned to the trophy cabinet, Hull FC turned their attention to a top two finish and semi-final home advantage in the play-offs. They needed to defeat the Leeds Rhinos at a Headingley which would seem a little less atmospheric than normal as the demolition crews moved into the South Stand. A win for the home side would almost guarantee them a home play-off.

There were a couple of changes for the Leeds Rhinos with Mitch Garbutt returning from injury and on the bench and Rob Burrow being brought from the bench into the starting line up after Joel Moon was a very late withdrawal with a groin tweak in the warm up. Lee Radford made a number of changes to his cup winning side bringing in Steve Michaels for the injured Griffin, Josh Bowden came off the bench for Watts, and Jansin Turgut replaced Minichiello in the second row, Brad Fash and Jordan Thompson were both named on the bench.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 31st Aug 2017 10:03 PM | Views : 2366 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
If you find yourself at a loose end and craving a bit of live rugby league then why not get yourself to Headingley tomorrow night (Wednesday) for the Yorkshire v. Lancashire Legends game in support of Ryan Hall’s and Mark Gleeson’s Testimonials.

Some of the greats of the Super League era will be pulling on their boots for a full contact, full eighty minutes, full blooded battle of the counties as a Ryan Hall coached Yorkshire take on a Sam Tomkins coached Lancashire.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 29th Aug 2017 9:23 AM | Views : 7958 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE
For most neutrals today's Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final was just too close to call as Hull FC defended their trophy against the most successful side in the competitions history, the Wigan Warriors.

Both coaches had near fully fit squads to choose from, many with cup winning experience, and fully understanding what today's massive event means to both sets of supporters and the game in general.

Wigan were the slight favourites with the bookies, but there really was nothing to choose between the sides, and the scene was set for a cracker of an encounter.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 26th Aug 2017 5:12 PM | Views : 5911 | Replies : 22 | READ MORE
Coaches Wane and Radford have named their squads for this weekends much anticipated Challenge Cup final between the cup holders and the most successful side in the competitions history.

This will be the Wigan Warriors thirty-second Challenge Cup final appearance, having lifted the trophy on nineteen occasions. Hull FC are taking part in the showpiece event for the seventeenth time and have four previous wins to their name, including last years 12-10 victory over the Warrington Wolves.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 24th Aug 2017 2:16 PM | Views : 3722 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE
We know that we’ll upset one, or more, groups of supporters, that we will court controversy, and that we’ll probably pick up a degree of criticism. But we can't leave it any longer.

We're so excited about the unfolding drama that is the Super Eights Qualifiers that we've taken a look at the remaining programme and made our round by round predictions. This in turn has given us our final Qualifiers table and as a result the teams that we think will be automatically playing Super League in 2018.

We will then know the participants in the Million Pound Game and we’ll take a look at that too and predict who we think will be joining the other three in the top flight.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 21st Aug 2017 7:37 PM | Views : 10316 | Replies : 29 | READ MORE
On paper the game of the third round of the Super League Qualifiers was Catalans Dragons home game against Leigh Centurions with both sides needing the post that a win would bring as they continued the fight for their Super League lives.

Also on Saturday was Warrington Wolves encounter with Halifax at the Halliwell-Jones. Warrington were looking to keep their unbeaten run going while Halifax were still looking for their first points.

On Sunday London Broncos visited Hull KR and Widnes Vikings were the hosts for the visit of Featherstone Rovers.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 20th Aug 2017 5:17 PM | Views : 3650 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
It was difficult to over-exaggerate the importance of this afternoons clash between the struggling Catalans Giants and a Leigh Centurions who suffered a setback at the hands of Hull KR last week. Both sides knew that a loss today could signal an end to automatic promotion and condemn the losing side to the dreaded Million Pound Game.

Leigh Centurions came into the game sitting third, despite last week’s loss, but the Catalans Dragons are already in all sorts of trouble in fifth spot, the away position for the end of season sudden death play off.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 19th Aug 2017 7:14 PM | Views : 3225 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE
It was top against bottom in the Super Eights Qualifiers as Warrington Wolves looked to make the best out of a poor season as they took on a Halifax side with no wins in their first two games.

Halifax lost heavily to Widnes in round two but got much closer to causing an upset against Hull KR in round one. The Wolves have been confident in their two comfortable victories and are clear favourites with the bookies to finish at the top of the pile.

The Wolves were massive favourites to take the spoils with no-one giving ‘Fax any chance of even getting close to the Super League outfit.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 19th Aug 2017 5:04 PM | Views : 2835 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
While round three of the Super League Super Eights cleared up the issue of the League Leaders Shield it still posed more questions than answers from Thursday and Friday nights games.

Wakefield went to Castleford to try and spoil their party, while Leeds used the visit of St Helens to say goodbye to their famous South Stand.

Both of next weeks Cup finalists were in action with Hull FC at home to bottom side Huddersfield and Wigan hosting a Salford Red Devils side looking to halt a long losing streak.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 19th Aug 2017 9:18 AM | Views : 3727 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
It was to be a night of emotion as the Leeds Rhinos said goodbye to the iconic South Stand, the home of the hardcore of the Rhinos supporters since its construction in 1932. While the Leeds players were undoubtedly aware of the emotion of the occasion, coach McDermott had spent the week focussing his side to get the victory to keep them on track for a top two finish.

But Saints were also keen for a win which woudl lift them into the top four as they jostle for a play-off position and a shot at the Grand Final.

There is one change for the Rhinos who lost heavily to Wakefield Trinity last weekend with Walker stepping into the full back berth in place of Golding. For Saints there were no changes to the seventeen who lost 8-6 to Hull FC last weekend.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 18th Aug 2017 10:01 PM | Views : 2568 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE
Tonight's game at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle was billed as the inauguration of the Castleford Tigers as the 2017 League Leaders. The League Leaders trophy was waiting in the wings to be presented in the case of a draw or victory for the home side, but Trinity were in town and determined to spoil the party, just as they had last week when the Rhinos visited Wakefield last week.

The last time that the two sides met it was the Tigers who recorded a 25-24 victory, thanks to a late Luke Gale drop goal, but in the early season meeting at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle it was a far more comfortable 42-24 win.

The bookies had the Tigers as clear favourites but would nerves get the best of them and allow Trinity to postpone their moment of glory.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 17th Aug 2017 9:59 PM | Views : 2510 | Replies : 4 | READ MORE

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