Challenge Cup semi-final weekend holds a special place in most rugby supporters hearts.

But in this strangest of years those fans were settling down in their armchairs for a brace of matches from a rain drenched Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens with Wigan Warriors versus Leeds Rhinos the first to take the stage.

Both sides suffered heavy defeats in midweek as they fielded weakened sides in Super League while resting their key players for this crucial game.

The sides sit in third and fourth in the league table and despite the Warriors being clear favourites, thanks to beating the Rhinos in their last five encounters, most neutrals hoped that it would be a closely matched encounter.

A place at Wembley on the afternoon of the 17th October was the big prize on offer.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 3rd Oct 2020 4:27 PM | Views : 5239 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

He craziest of 2020 seasons would end for either the Canberra Raiders or Cronulla Sharks as the two sides met at the GIO Stadium in Canberra, as fifth took on eighth in the first elimination quarter final.

Cronulla won the meeting between the two sides last week by ten points but both coaches made a number of changes to their sides, having rested players last time out.

The bookies were predicting a Canberra win with the home side strong favourites.

The Raiders welcomed back nine players to their ranks including Nicoll-Klokstad, Whitehead, Williams, Croker and Bateman while the Sharks called on the services of, amongst others, Ramien, Dugan, Katoa and Talakai as they made seven changes to their side.

NRL knock-out play-offs were upon us.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 3rd Oct 2020 10:39 AM | Views : 3473 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

The seventh and eight placed sides met at the Mend-a-hose Jungle in the final game of round fourteen as the Castleford Tigers hosted Hull FC.

Whoever won the game would finish the night in seventh place, snapping at the heels of the sides above them in the race for the top four while the losers would be virtually out of the race for the play-offs.

There was no Challenge Cup distraction for these two sides with their respective coaches naming the strongest sides that they could as they pushed for the victory.

The Tigers were slight favourites with the bookies, FC being given a two point start on the coupon, but with both sides strangers to the win in recent rounds, it was anyone’s game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 1st Oct 2020 9:43 PM | Views : 5371 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Torrential rain welcomed the Catalans Dragons to Headingley where they took on a Leeds Rhinos side which sported the best of the Leeds junior ranks with a smattering of first teamers as coach Agar kept his stars rested ahead of Saturdays Challenge Cup final.

The Rhinos had climbed to second as a result of yesterdays losses for Wigan and Warrington but any result tonight would drop the Rhinos to fourth and bolster the Dragons challenge for a top four spot and the play-offs.

Neither the bookies nor the pundits gave the Rhinos any chance of a win.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 30th Sep 2020 7:52 PM | Views : 4009 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

There was only one possible winner as a full-strength St Helens side took on a very young and inexperienced Wigan Warriors in the first original derby of the 2020 season.

Wigan coach Adrian Lam had clearly prioritised the weekends Challenge Cup semi-final game against the Leeds Rhinos whereas Saints had no such distraction as they focussed wholly on their league position.

The bookies gave the Warriors no chance at all, handing them a twenty-eight point start on the coupon.

Everything pointed to a Saints massacre as Wigan debuted six players including the son of league legend Ellery Hanley.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 29th Sep 2020 9:26 PM | Views : 5116 | Replies : 4 | READ MORE

As soon as the squads were announced, it was clear that both coaches had both eyes on the repeat clash at the weekend in the Challenge Cup semi-final, rather than tonight’s run -of-the-mill Super League fixture.

Warrington gave four debuts and the Red Devils made several changes ahead of the game, including three debuts themselves.

The Red Devils are already out of the play-off positions but could affect the top spots.

The Wolves would retain their top spot with a win, but a loss would see them drop into fourth spot in the league based on the new percentage points system for determining league position.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 29th Sep 2020 7:16 PM | Views : 4491 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

A twenty-six, or more, point win for the Warrington Wolves would put them back to the top of the table, giving Warrington just a couple of hours in the top berth after their win over the Dragons.

A loss by more than two points would return Wakefield Trinity to the foot of the table.

Trinity were on a hiding to nothing having lost eight players during the week to self-isolation after a coronavirus scare but they did welcome back free scoring winger Tom Johnstone after six weeks out.

The Wigan side was a strong one but coach Lam knew that they were going into the first of three games in nine days.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 25th Sep 2020 10:05 PM | Views : 4306 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The top of the table was the prize on offer for the Warrington Wolves if they could beat the Catalans Dragons who themselves knew a win wouldn’t likely improve their league position but would maintain their charge on the top four and a play-off place.

Should the Catalans pick up a win then Warrington would tumble to fourth, promoting the Leeds Rhinos into third spot.

The Wolves were the clear favourites with the bookies, the Dragons being given a ten-point start on the handicap coupon.

The odds reflected the comparative fortunes of the sides last weekend in the Challenge Cup, the Wolves beating the Saints while the Dragons lost to Salford in that golden try game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 25th Sep 2020 7:53 PM | Views : 3967 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Two teams only separated in the league table by points difference rounded off an exciting Thursday evening in Super League round thirteen.

Castleford Tigers and the Huddersfield Giants are both retaining hopes of a top four finish but knew that a win tonight would mean they finish the weekend in sixth, still some way from that elusive top four.

The Tigers were slight favourites with the bookies but with the Giants only getting a two-point start on the coupon the win was anyone’s.

It was a matter of which side wanted it the most.

Tigers coach Powell made seven changes to his side from last time out, but interim Giants coach Robinson made just one change on the bench.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 24th Sep 2020 10:01 PM | Views : 4833 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The sides placed eighth and ninth in Super League were paired in the second of the Thursday double-header at the Halliwell Jones as Hull FC took on the Salford Red Devils.

Hull FC needed the two points to try and hang onto the shirt tails of the top four sides, whereas the hopes of a second consecutive Grand Final appearance for the Red Devils looked a very remote prospect.

The Airlie Birds were the bookies favourites to collect the two points, but Salford were only given a two-point start on the handicap coupon, the game almost too close to call prior to kick off.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 24th Sep 2020 7:49 PM | Views : 10353 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Six days after the Leeds Rhinos demolished Hull KR in the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup, the two sides met again at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington for a highly unusual Thursday afternoon fixture.

The Rhinos were looking to cement their fourth spot, and edge a little closer to the top three, in the new format league table.

The Rhinos were strong favourites after last weekends results with Hull KR having been given a fourteen-point start on the coupon.

Hull KR coach Tony Smith made eleven changes to his side ahead of todays clash as they looked to turn things around, Rhinos coach Agar also made changes as he rested a few players ahead of a busy upcoming schedule of games.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 24th Sep 2020 4:33 PM | Views : 6692 | Replies : 8 | READ MORE

With one place left in the Challenge Cup Semi-Finals the bookies had a clear favourite to join Salford, Leeds and Warrington in the draw.

All of the smart money was on a win for the Wigan Warriors against a struggling Hull FC.


FC were playing their third game in nine days but did have talisman Marc Sneyd back in their line up.

Wigan welcomed back skipper Shaun O’Loughlin as they looked for a push into the semi-finals and a chance of their first Challenge Cup trophy win for seven years.


The last time that Wigan won in the final they beat Hull FC, the last time Hull won, they beat Wigan.


Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 19th Sep 2020 6:54 PM | Views : 4808 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The draw for the semi-finals of the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup was made at half time during the last of the quarter finals between Hull FC and Wigan Warriors.


Salford Red Devils, Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves were already in the hat as Jon Wilkin undertook a socially distanced draw at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.


The semi-finals will be played as a double header on Saturday 3rd October 2020 at a venue yet to be determined.


Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 19th Sep 2020 5:02 PM | Views : 18973 | Replies : 131 | READ MORE

Super League’s top two teams, Warrington and St Helens, kicked off today’s quarter-final action in the Coral Challenge Cup when they staged a replay of last year’s final at Salford’s AJ Bell stadium.


On that occasion, Warrington took the honours and lifted the cup they were defending, against a team any regarded as the cup kings of the Super League era.


And they took the field this afternoon with the best defence in the top flight against a team with the highest scoring attack.


Posted by tb on Sat 19th Sep 2020 4:21 PM | Views : 4180 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Leeds Rhinos marched into the Coral Challenge Cup semi with a comprehensive 48-28 defeat of Hull Kingston Rovers in the second of tonight’s quarter finals at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium


Leeds opened the scoring when Ava Seumanufgai charged onto a short pass from the dummy half just by the posts, just five minutes in.

Rhys Martin’s conversion gave the Rhinos a 6-0 lead.


They doubled the score three minutes later when Luke Gale broke through the Robins’ line and passed to Ash Handley who dotted down 10m in from the sideline.

Martin kicked the goal and the score was 12-0 in Leeds’s favour with less than 10 minutes gone.


Posted by tb on Fri 18th Sep 2020 10:15 PM | Views : 6236 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Londoner Dan Sarginson won the first of this year’s Challenge Cup quarter finals with a golden try in extra time for Salford after their game with Catalan Dragons was tied up at 18-18 on 80 minutes.


That put the Red Devils on course for a first Wembley Cup Final since 1938, the only time they won the cup – subject to tomorrow’s semi-final draw, which takes place during the half-time break of the fourth game.


It was the Dragons got their first points in early, capitalising on the worst possible start by Salford.


Posted by tb on Fri 18th Sep 2020 7:00 PM | Views : 4030 | Replies : 4 | READ MORE
Hull marched through to next weekend’s Challenge Cup quarter finals in a bruising match for a victory which came at a cost, as Jamie Shaul, Albert Kelly and Ratu Naulangu all saw the final hooter from the stands where they nursed injuries.

The Tigers and Airlie Birds faced off in the last sixth-round tie standing after COVID delays and withdrawals by all the non-Super League clubs who had nominally made it this far before the game closed down in the summer.

The winner will now go on to play Wigan Warriors on Saturday.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 13th Sep 2020 5:46 PM | Views : 3171 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Catalans Dragons emerged from a three week coronavirus enforced hibernation to take on the Wigan Warriors in front of 5,000 spectators, the first time that fans have been allowed back into a rugby league ground since lockdown.

Under the new table structure the Catalans Dragons are currently third with the Warriors in fourth.

A win for Wigan would lift them above their hosts, while a loss would see them drop out of the four and slip behind the Rhinos.

A win for the home side would lift them back into top spot, passing Warrington and Saints.

Wigan were the slight pre-match bookies favourites, but the Dragons only received a two point start on the handicap coupon.

Would a hostile crowd and sweltering condition prove too much for Adrian Lam’s side.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 12th Sep 2020 6:52 PM | Views : 4990 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Leeds Rhinos were dealt a late blow with the omission of seven players in a covid related issue.

The late changes, and team disruption could galvanise the squad, or could play into the hands of a Giants side looking to avenge the Golden Point defeat which they suffered at Leeds hands in the opening round of the post-lockdown return.

A win for the Giants would see them up to sixth in the table, snapping at the Rhinos heels.

A win for Leeds would make no difference to their league position but would put them in prime position to launch at attack on a top four finish.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 11th Sep 2020 10:33 PM | Views : 5698 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Third took on tenth in the third game of round twelve at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens where the hosts looked for a return to the top of the table as they played a Hull KR side who knew a win would lift them ahead of a Salford Red Devils side who have a bye this weekend.

The odds were well and truly on a Saints victory but there must have been a nagging doubt in the minds of their players and coaching staff after the Robins demolished the high flying Wigan Warriors last time out in the biggest shock since the restart.

If KR could prevent any early momentum from the Champions then they’d fancy their chance of causing back to back upsets.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 11th Sep 2020 7:59 PM | Views : 7372 | Replies : 20 | READ MORE

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