The draw for the semi-finals of the Coral Challenge Cup was made at Odsal Stadium at the conclusion of the last quarter final match between the Bradford Bulls and Halifax. Halifax joined Hull FC , Warrington Wolves and St Helens in the hat with all sides just eighty minutes away from Wembley and the chance to lift the famous trophy.

The semi-finals will take place as a triple-header at the University of Bolton Stadium on the 27th July (including the final of the Women’s Challenge Cup) and the draw was made by Jon Dutton, chief executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 and Lindsay Impett, event director of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 2nd Jun 2019 4:49 PM | Views : 7262 | Replies : 51 | READ MORE

The last Coral Challenge Cup quarter final was probably the most anticipated of the week as Championship sides Bradford Bulls and Halifax went head to head to become the first semi-finalists from outside Super League since Hull Kingston Rovers in 2006.

There was added spice in that the two sides are currently level on league points in the Championship table, and that their stadiums are only separated by six West Yorkshire miles. The two sides have met twice in 2019 with honours shared, Halifax winning on the last meeting a fortnight ago by 21-14 at the summer bash.

The Bulls were firm home favourites with the bookies and who would bet against them after their sensational victory over the Leeds Rhinos in the last round. A place alongside Hull FC, Warrington Wolves and St Helens in the semi-finals awaited the winner.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 2nd Jun 2019 4:42 PM | Views : 3185 | Replies : 8 | READ MORE

On paper there was only one winner as St Helens welcomed Wakefield Trinity to the Totally Wicked Stadium for the third Coral Challenge Cup quarter final. A semi-final draw containing Hull FC, Warrington Wolves, and one as yet undecided Championship side awaited for the victors, but no-one could see past that being the Red Vee.

St Helens are runaway leaders of Super League, and are already clear favourites to lift the Challenge Cup, but on their day Trinity have put in some tremendous performances and are deserving of their league position just outside the play-offs in sixth.

Danny Brough and Jacob Millar were back for Trinity but they had a mountain to climb against the side who had only previously lost one game all season, and who had Mark Percival, Luke Thompson and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook returning to action.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 1st Jun 2019 5:36 PM | Views : 1684 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Hull KR were bidding to be the second side from the city to make the semi-finals of the Coral Challenge Cup, after their Black & White neighbours coasted past the holders yesterday. The daunting obstacle in their way was Super League's second placed Warrington Wolves, who themselves have a pretty decent Challenge Cup pedigree.

It was second top against second bottom, but both knew that the unpredictability of the cup could go either way. Both sides had good wins at the Magic Weekend, but Warrington had the advantage of having won both previous league meetings between the two sides.

KR were without their skipper Joel Tomkins after he was found guilty of a dangerous contact last weekend, with Owen Harrison being brought into the side. Steve Price named an unchanged Wolves side as they looked to edge closer to their third final in the last four years.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 31st May 2019 9:28 PM | Views : 4499 | Replies : 8 | READ MORE

Two sides, both with an excellent recent Coral Challenge Cup pedigree, were the first to clash in the quarter finals of the 2019 competition as the holders Catalans Dragons travelled to Hull to take on the Black and Whites side which lifted the trophies in the two previous years.

Hull overcame the Castleford Tigers in the last round, while the Dragons demolished lower league opposition from Doncaster. But the sides had very different fortunes last weekend at the Magic event in Liverpool with the Dragons recording a good victory over Wakefield Trinity, while FC crashed horrendously at the hands of the Huddersfield Giants.

The two sides are currently sat third and fourth in the league table, the French side with a two point advantage. The bookies had made the home side slight favourites, despite last weeks result, but expected that the holders wouldn’t relinquish their grip on the trophy without a fight.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 30th May 2019 9:20 PM | Views : 1897 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After todays two point margin wins for Hull KR and the Leeds Rhinos, the remaining crowd were hopefully of an equally close game between the league leaders St Helens and their opponents the Castleford Tigers as they brought down the curtain on the Magical festival of rugby.

The Tigers have the better Magic record with eight from eleven but are four places and twelve points adrift of the Saints who have spend 2019 sweeping aside all before them. A Tigers win would lift them up to fourth but of the Saints maintained their roll then they’d end the weekend six points clear at the top of the pile.

It was a thirty point winning margin for the Saints when the sides met in March, the bookies were tipping the same outcome but by a narrower margin.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 26th May 2019 7:50 PM | Views : 1887 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The most eagerly anticipated game of the Magic weekend was the Sunday encounter in game five between the Leeds Rhinos and London Broncos. At the start of the game the sides occupied the bottom two places in Super League and the loser would find themselves two points adrift at the foot of the table at the halfway stage of the season.

Both sides have a fifty percent record at the Magic weekend, the Rhinos with six from twelve and the Broncos with four from eight. The Broncos won the only previous encounter between these two sides in 2019 by 18-16 and the Rhinos needed to end a three game losing streak.

The Rhinos were strong favourites with the bookies but their fans doubted whether their stand in coach Richard Agar could take the points off former Leeds Star Danny Ward’s side. But it’s six years since the Rhinos won at a Magic Weekend.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 26th May 2019 5:18 PM | Views : 3715 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Having never met at the Magic Weekend before the Salford Red Devils and Hull KR were both hoping to register the win and collect the important two points. A win for the Red Devils would lift them into fifth spot and a play-off place, while a win for KR would leave Leeds and London fighting to avoid bottom spot in the 15:30 kick-off.

The Robins sprung a surprise a fortnight ago when they eliminated Salford from the Challenge Cup but the Red Devils were the victors, by just two points, when the sides met back in February. The Leeds and London fans inside Anfield were cheering on the Salford side against a Hull side containing six past Rhinos players.

After yesterdays festival of rugby, it was a fitting start to Sundays feast.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 26th May 2019 2:59 PM | Views : 3671 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

The final game of the first day of the Magic weekend was a game between two sides with recent Magic history. Wigan Warriors and the Warrington Wolves met for a third consecutive on-the-road game. The Warriors were 38-10 winners in Newcastle last season and the two sides drew 24-24 in 2017.

The Giants big win in game two saw them go ahead of Wigan into eighth but a Warriors win would see them back up a place thanks to their superior points difference. The Wolves needed the win to at least keep a slender grip on the St Helens shirt tails and stop them disappearing out of sight at the top of the pile.

Warrington were the victors in both previous meetings this season and the form book suggested that this would be three from three in front of the end of day crowd at Anfield.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 25th May 2019 9:00 PM | Views : 3328 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Fourth placed Hull FC were up against ninth placed Huddersfield Giants in the second Anfield Magic game on Saturday afternoon. A win by twenty-five points or more would lift the Airlie Birds into third spot, but the Giants were also desperate for the points, at the wrong end of the table.

This is the first Magic meeting between these two sides, in its thirteen season history. Huddersfield have an excellent Magic record with eight wins from their twelve outings but the on-the-road games are a poor hunting ground for FC, who have only managed wins on five occasions.

The bookies and pundits could only see one winner, the Hull side who beat the Giants by a twenty point margin back in March, but those who travelled from West Yorkshire were hoping that their side could defy the form book.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 25th May 2019 6:22 PM | Views : 1848 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Rugby League decamped to Anfield in Liverpool for the thirteenth Magic Weekend in the fifth different venue after four years of matches in Newcastle. All twelve Super League teams were on the road and the opening fixture pitched third against sixth with the Dragons hoping to consolidate their position while Trinity had their eye on third spot themselves.

Both sides have below average Magic records with Trinity having only won on four out of twelve appearances while the Dragons can only claim one more win and a draw from the same number of appearances. The sides have met once previously at Magic, in Newcastle in 2016, when Wakefield won by 25-24.

The game had all the chances to be a spectacular curtain-raiser, it was down to the players to provide it.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 25th May 2019 3:55 PM | Views : 1561 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It’s just six short weeks since the Toronto Wolfpack beat the Sheffield Eagles by 40-10, but with only Toulouse between them in the Betfred Championship table, the Eagles went into tonight’s home game looking to gain revenge, and make up ground on the runaway league leaders.

With the Magic Weekend scheduled to start in Anfield tomorrow afternoon, the stage was set for the game of the weekend in the Championship to raise the curtain on a weekend festival of rugby and whet the appetite.

A win for the Eagles would lift them level on points with Toulouse, but a loss could see them end the weekend in sixth spot ,should the teams currently below them pick up a win. Another Toronto win would lift them eight points clear of their nearest rivals.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 24th May 2019 9:21 PM | Views : 1974 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

12 Teams. 6 Matches. 2 days. 1 Iconic Stadium.

There’s less than a week to go until Rugby League’s biggest festival heads to Anfield and the City of Liverpool.

The 2019 Super League Dacia Magic Weekend will see all 12 of Super League’s teams descend on the city for the first ever Magic Weekend to be held in Liverpool.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 20th May 2019 6:48 PM | Views : 7552 | Replies : 51 | READ MORE

In the closing encounter of a thrilling Summer Bash, Leigh Centurions were looking for a win to go fourth, or a win by thirty-five  or more points to go third, in a very congested Betfred Championship table. Their opposition would be no walkover, a Widnes Vikings side with the same number of 2019 wins, but languishing near the bottom of the table as the result of a pre-season points deduction.

When the two sides met a month ago it was the Chemics who took the points with a 30-12 victory, but this was the most anticipated encounter of the weekend with an expection of no quarter being asked or given by either side.

The curtain call had the potential to be a humdinger.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 19th May 2019 7:18 PM | Views : 2174 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The heavy woollen derby had decamped to Blackpool as the supporters and staff of the Dewsbury Rams and the Batley Bulldogs competed in the penultimate game of the summer bash.

The sides in ninth and tenth positions in the Betfred Championship are already some way adrift of the top eight and even further off a play-off place. Whoever took the two points from this encounter would grab  themselves a lifeline, whoever lost would probably realise that it was the end of their 2019 aspirations.

It was almost guaranteed to be a close, edgy, and full-blooded encounter.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 19th May 2019 5:12 PM | Views : 1013 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

If the Summer Bash weekend had a side who were guaranteed to gather in a crucial two points then most pundits would pick a Sheffield Eagles win in the opening Sunday game when they played Barrow.

Barrow are second bottom in the table after many brave performances and close results which have only yielded three points from their one win and one draw, both in the opening four rounds. Sheffield, on the other hand, are flying high with eight wins from their twelve games and the two points today would llift them into third spot with a game in hand over their rivals.

The only previous 2019 season encounter between these two was a close affair in round two which the Eagles scraped by just two points thanks to a last minute penalty goal.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 19th May 2019 2:58 PM | Views : 1038 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

In a dress rehearsal for the Challenge Cup quarter final, the closing game of the first day of the Summer Bash pitted the Bradford Bulls against Halifax, as seventh took on eighth in the ongoing battle for a play-off place.

A win for the Bulls would lift them into third spot in a very congested and competitive top of the table, but should the two point be picked up by Halifax then they would draw level on points with their opposition today, and three other sides directly above them in the table.

There was little to choose between these two sides on paper for what was a fitting end to the fist day’s competition in Blackpool.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 18th May 2019 9:52 PM | Views : 2100 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

With Toulouse having been defeated by Toronto in an earlier match at the Summer Bash, York knew that a win would lift them level on points with the French outfit as they took on the Featherstone Rovers in the third game of an action packed afternoon in Blackpool.

It was a comprehensive 42-12 win for Rovers the last time that the two sides met and The Colliers knew that a win of any description would lift them into fourth spot and a play-off position ahead of the weekends remaining games.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 18th May 2019 7:37 PM | Views : 1076 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

When the Salford Red Devils hosted St Helens back in round four at the end of February, the Saints travelled back down the East Lancs Road with the two points after a convincing 26-4 win.

Saints are sitting very prettily at the top of the pile, with points in hand over their rivals, but Salford had a massive incentive in knowing that a win could lift them as high as third, thanks to their superior points difference.

Saints were without a number of key players including James Roby and Danny Richardson and despite Salford being underdogs, they must have travelled to the Totally Wicked Stadium with hope that they could upset the odds.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 17th May 2019 9:40 PM | Views : 1475 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Super League’s biggest star and Liverpool fan, Blake Austin, can’t wait to get onto the field at Anfield, he signed for Warrington Wolves from the NRL in Australia at the start of the season.

All 12 of Super League’s teams descend on the city for the first ever Magic Weekend to be held in Liverpool after previously being held in Newcastle at St James’ Park.

Austin is one of Super League’s biggest summer signing and he’s been a star player and currently leads the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel standings, a player of the year award that is voted on performances every week with the top performer scoring three points.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 17th May 2019 7:08 PM | Views : 3498 | Replies : 6 | READ MORE


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