The coming weekend brings another bumper crop of Rugby League across the Betfred Super League and Championship and Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, where the competition enters round three.

It is round four of Super League with games played over three days from Friday to Sunday. Round four of the Championship has a full set of six fixtures which all take place on Sunday afternoon, the game between Leigh Centurions and Toulouse kicking off at 17:30 after the others at 15:00.

Thirteen third round ties in the Challenge Cup, the round which incorporates the Championship One sides, takes place over Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 21st Feb 2018 9:15 AM | Views : 1021 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round three of the Betfred Championship was spread over three days and started with the Sheffield Eagles visit to Toulouse on Saturday afternoon.

 

Sunday saw four games with Barrow Raiders looking to build on last weeks draw with Toronto against the Leigh Centurions, Toronto playing against Halifax at The Shay, London Broncos and Featherstone Rovers offering up their one hundred percent records as they competed in the capital, and the Swinton Lions hosting the Batley Bulldogs.

 

With Rochdale football club needing Scotland for their FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur, the Rochdale Hornets would finally get their season underway with a Monday night game against the Dewsbury Rams.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 19th Feb 2018 9:34 PM | Views : 625 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Rugby Football League and Wayne Bennett have agreed a new two-year deal that will see him stay on as Head Coach. Originally appointed in February 2016, Bennett led England to their first Rugby League World Cup Final in 22 years in December.

On his two-year extension, Bennett, said: “It was disappointing not to be lifting the World Cup last December, but I mentioned about this squad being on a journey. I want to continue that journey because I firmly believe we can achieve something special together.

“It’s a pleasure to coach this squad because everyone wants to do their best for one another and do their job properly. The last couple of years have been encouraging and I have seen this group grow in confidence and belief.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 19th Feb 2018 10:42 AM | Views : 222 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After last weeks draw at Barrow Raiders the Toronto Wolfpack were on the road again, this time at the MBi Shay to take on a Halifax side looking to inflict more pain on the big spenders and secure their second victory of the season.

 

Ashton Sims was making his Toronto debut after signing from the Warrington Wolves, and Joe Westerman was back after missing last week. Halifax were on the back of a win against the Sheffield Eagles in the last round and a win would signal a real intent to have another shot at the middle eights competition come the split.

 

The crowd were expecting a close match but the bookies had the visitors as strong favourites.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 18th Feb 2018 4:57 PM | Views : 1255 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

The second of the double-header in Sydney pitted Wigan Warriors againts the South Sydney Rabbitohs as the Super League looked to salvage some pride after defeats for the Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC.

Shaun Wane named a bench of thirteen players to back up a strong starting thirteen, emphasising that Wigan were treating this game as an early season trial themselves. The Rabbitohs were without a number of their stars as they continued their build up to the NRL season.

The ground had filled considerably as the Wigan fans left the bars to join the remaining Hull FC supporters in the stands.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 17th Feb 2018 10:36 AM | Views : 1043 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Hull FC were looking for a confidence boosting win over the St George Illawarra Dragons before getting back on the plane to return to blighty to resume their Super League campaign. Although this was just pre-season friendly, with unlimited interchanges, there was still pride to play for.

Lee Radford was expecting a response from his players after last weekends loss to the Wigan Warriors, but was forced into a number of changes. Injury meant he’d be without the services of Mark Minichiello, skipper Danny Houghton and vice-captain Scott Taylor.

The Dragons named a substitute bench of twelve players (FC named ten) as they looked to give  a pre-season trial to as many players as possible in a competitive game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 17th Feb 2018 8:35 AM | Views : 810 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

A win for the Widnes Vikings, by more than twenty-two points, would send them top of Super League and condemn the Warrington Wolves to a third consecutive defeat at the start of the season. A win for the Wolves, by more than six points, would lift them into the top eight and get their season belatedly underway.

The Vikings have had a great start to the season with an opening weekend win over the Catalans Dragons, and a single point loss to the Castleford Tigers last week. Up the road in Warrington, teeth were already being gnashed after two consective defeats, coming on the back of an awful 2017 season.

On the artifical pitch at the Halton Stadium, it promised to be an intriguing early season match-up.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 16th Feb 2018 9:37 PM | Views : 720 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The hopes of the northern hemisphere rested on the shoulders of seventeen Leeds Rhinos players as they visited AAMI Park in Melbourne for the stiffest of challenges against the mighty Melbourne Storm.

The 2018 Downer World Club Challenge was the Rhinos eighth appearance against the Australian champions, but the home side were firm favourites with the bookies, the Rhinos being given less chance than a snowflake in hell.

The Rhinos were bouyed by the return of Joel Moon in the halves, and Jimmy Keinhorst was rewarded for last weeks hat-trick with a place on the bench. But Melbourne had a side that was packed with the household names of Origin and International Rugby League and it would be the stiffest of tests for the Rhinos.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 16th Feb 2018 11:06 AM | Views : 854 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The KCOM Craven Park was the venue as two of the sides without a point to their name in Super League 2018 met in an early season basement battle. A win for either Hull KR or the Catalans Dragons could be exactly what they need to give their season a kick-start but defeat would mean that panic may start to set in amongst the staff and supporters.

Both sides made some changes. For the Robins it was Will Dagger in for Adam Quinlan, Liam Salter for Andrew Heffernan, Ben Kavanagh for James Greenwood, and debutant Danny Tickle on the bench.

Steve McNamara’s Dragons also made changes with Greg Bird moving into the second row as cover for the suspended Jullien, and being replaced by Luke Walsh in the halves. A big loss was likely to be that of the injured Michael McIlorum, who was replaced at hooker by Paul Aiton.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 15th Feb 2018 9:22 PM | Views : 792 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

It is the third weekend of Super League and the Championship, and the opening round of Betfred Championship One games. But the main event of the weekend is a Friday morning fixture when the honour of the Super League is placed in the hands of the Leeds Rhinos as they take on Melbourne Storm in the World Club Challenge in Australia.

Two Round 12 Super League fixtures are brought forward to this weekend with the four teams who played in last season’s middle eights clearing their calendars for entering the fifth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 14th Feb 2018 4:38 PM | Views : 2606 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With the game between Swinton Lions and the Rochdale Hornets falling foul of the weather, the five remaining fixtures all took place on Sunday afternoon.

 

The two newly promoted sides, Barrow and Toronto, met in Cumbria while Championship favourites Leigh had a home game against Batley Bulldogs. London Broncos were looking for their second win away at Dewsbury Rams and Featherstone Rovers looked to keep their one hundred percent record intact at home against Toulouse Olympique XIII.

 

The fifth game saw Halifax and Sheffield Eagles both looking for their first points of the season as they met at the New Shay.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 11th Feb 2018 5:33 PM | Views : 2352 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Toronto Wolfpack band wagon rolled into Cumbria for an encounter with last seasons fellow Championship One promoted side Barrow Raiders at the JF Hornby Stadium.

Both of last seasons games were played in Canada and went the way of Toronto when they handed out a 70-2 drubbing in the first game, but the Raiders gave the Wolfpack a far more competitive game towards the end of the season recording a 26-2 defeat at the Lamport Stadium.

The Wolfpack were looking to maintain their one hundred percent record, with Barrow looking to get their campaign underway after last weeks heavy defeat at the London Broncos.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 11th Feb 2018 4:54 PM | Views : 1069 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

A Saints side, still on a high after last weeks drubbing of the Castleford Tigers, travelled to the south of France to take on a Catalans Dragons side who suffered an opening round loss at the hands of the Widnes Vikings.

The home side welcomed the return of the vastly experienced Greg Bird to the starting line-up teamed with Lucas Albert in the halves, and the whole camp will have been lifted by the news that Tony Gigot had won his appeal against a two year ban, clearing his way for a return to the side in the near future. The visitors made a couple of changes with Adam Swift in for Ryan Morgan in the backs and Kyle Amor being replaced by Luke Douglas in the forwards.

Few gave the Dragons much hope of a positive result, with most commentators and pundits expecting a Saints walkover.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 10th Feb 2018 6:56 PM | Views : 1400 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Millpond Stadium in Featherstone was the venue as the second round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup pitted the Lions against St Helens side Thatto Heath Crusaders. It was a National Conference League division one side against a team from the premier with the visitors having the loftier berth for 2018 as defending Champions.

 

Thatto Heath came into the game as clear favourites as the top side in the competition prior to the entry of the Championship One sides, but home advantage would be in Featherstone’s favour.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 10th Feb 2018 3:51 PM | Views : 720 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

In a ground breaking initiative the Wigan Warriors and Hull FC decamped to the WIN Stadium in Wollongong, home of the St George Illawarra Dragons, for their round two Super League encounter, the first ever Super League game to be played outside Europe.

Both sides were looking for their second victory of the season after convincing opening weekend wins, FC over the Giants and the Warriors against the Red Devils. A win for either side would see them above Wakefield Trinity and into top spot in the league.

Wigan had skipper O’Loughlin back after missing last week with Frank-Paul Nuuausala the one making way. Hull made two changes with Danny Washbrook and Liam Watts for Jansin Turgut and Masimbaashe Matongo.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 10th Feb 2018 10:45 AM | Views : 3150 | Replies : 23 | READ MORE

The 2017 surprise package Wakefield Trinity continued where they left off with a good opening round win over Hull KR. Tonight they were the hosts as a Salford Red Devils, on the back of a rugby lesson at the hands of Wigan Warriors last weekend, were the visitors.

The visitors had Jack Littlejohn off the bench and in the halves with Gareth O’Brien moving to full-back, Logan Tomkins had a place on the bench. The only change for the home side was Craig Huby returning on the bench in the place of prop-forward Keegan Hirst.

A home win would send Trinity to the top of the table but Red Devils coach Ian Watson was sending his troops out with the sole aim of securing their first win of the season.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 9th Feb 2018 9:27 PM | Views : 1869 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After securing a narrow opening weekend win over the Warrington Wolves, the Champions Leeds were at the unfamiliar surroundings of Elland Road for the return of Danny McGuire, playing for Hull KR against his former employers for the first time.

 

KR suffered and opening weekend defeat in a home game against the Wakefield Wildcats and after gaining promotion last season they were seeking a major scalp and their first points of the year.

 

The Rhinos were without Joel Moon, who failed a fitness test, which would see Liam Sutcliffe partner Richie Myler in the halves. Stevie Ward made his comeback from the bench after close season shoulder surgery. The Robins had just one starting line-up change with Chris Atkin in for Matty Marsh at scrum half.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 8th Feb 2018 9:49 PM | Views : 1540 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The opening weekend  of Super League and the Championship delivered one or two surprises and it looks like round two, over the coming weekend, will be equally as exciting.

While some may have predicted a Vikings win over the Dragons, few would have predicted the margin of victory for the home side. The same could be said of London’s big win over newly promoted Barrow and the large margin by which Toronto Wolfpack overcame the much fancied Leigh Centurions.

Perhaps the biggest shock of the opening weekend was a resurgent Saints nailing their red-vee flag to the mast with a 46-6 win over last season’s Grand Finalists Castleford Tigers, their heaviest defeat since April 2016.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 8th Feb 2018 11:29 AM | Views : 3249 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The 2018 Betfred Championship got underway on Friday night when Sheffield Eagles travelled to Dewsbury for the opening fixture. Saturday afternoon saw the Swinton Lions in France to take on Toulouse Olympique XIII before three fixtures were played out on Sunday afternoon. The game at Rochdale, where the Hornets were to have taken on the Batley Bulldogs has been called off for an unfit pitch.

 

Sunday’s games had London Broncos hosting the newly promoted Barrow Raiders, Halifax visiting Featherstone Rovers and the eagerly anticipated visit of the Toronto Wolfpack to Leigh Centurions.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 5th Feb 2018 7:01 AM | Views : 1630 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

In the most eagerly anticipated Betfred Championship opening fixture for many years, last seasons relegated Leigh Centurions played hosts to newly promoted Toronto Wolfpack at the Leigh Sports Village. Two divisions separated these sides last year, but they were now competing for top spot and the strong place to challenge for a position in Super League 2019.

 

This was the first ever meeting between these two sides but with many players having had Super League experience there were few strangers taking the field. Nothing would be decided today but with both sides tipped to win far more than they lose over the season, the result could go a long way to deciding who would end the first part of the season at the top of the pile.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 4th Feb 2018 4:56 PM | Views : 5143 | Replies : 19 | READ MORE


RUGBY LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS (OFF)
2018










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Fri 23rd Feb 19:30
SUPER LEAGUE
SALFORD
v
HULL KR
Fri 23rd Feb 19:45
SUPER LEAGUE
HUDDERSFIELD
v
ST. HELENS
Fri 23rd Feb 19:45
SUPER LEAGUE
WARRINGTON
v
WIGAN WARRIORS
Sat 24th Feb 15:15
SUPER LEAGUE
CASTLEFORD
v
HULL FC
Sat 24th Feb 17:00
SUPER LEAGUE
CATALAN DRAGONS
v
WAKEFIELD
Sun 25th Feb 15:00
 CHAMPIONSHIP
BATLEY BULLDOGS
v
BARROW RAIDERS
Sun 25th Feb 15:00
 CHAMPIONSHIP
DEWSBURY RAMS
v
SWINTON LIONS
Sun 25th Feb 15:00
 CHAMPIONSHIP
FEATHERSTONE
v
SHEFFIELD
Sun 25th Feb 15:00
 CHAMPIONSHIP
LEIGH
v
TOULOUSE
Sun 25th Feb 15:00
 CHAMPIONSHIP
LONDON BRONCOS
v
TORONTO
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