With games spread over three days, round eighteen of the Betfred Championship would, once again, do little to assist in our understanding of the play-off places as Toronto Wolfpack tightened their grip on the minor premiership, sweeping aside all before them.

The game of the weekend saw Toulouse visit Toronto on Saturday afternoon but their match had been preceded on Friday night by the Eagles at home to Rochdale and the Widnes Vikings playing the Bulldogs.

Sundays highlight looked like being the game between the Bulls and Halifax  as York went to Swinton, Featherstone hosted Barrow and Leigh visited Dewsbury.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 23rd Jun 2019 5:33 PM | Views : 1199 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The two sides who seem to play each other more times than some people have hot dinners, met again at Odsal Stadium as seventh placed Bradford Bulls met a Halifax side currently two points adrift of them in eighth.

Halifax knocked the Bulls out of the Challenge Cup on the 2nd June to set themselves up with a semi-final against St Helens, and also won the league match in Blackpool at the Summer Bash by 21-14. Bradford took the points in April with a 33-26 away win and needed a win this afternoon to even honours over the season with their near neighbours.

Both sides has a myriad of changes as they re-shuffled their sides looking for a crucial two points to keep in touch with the league leaders and a play-off spot.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 23rd Jun 2019 4:49 PM | Views : 937 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

Queensland and New South Wales travelled the breadth of Australia for the second game of this year’s State of Origin series, both with pressing reasons to win. Victory for the Queenslanders would see them retain the title from last year. New South Wales needed a win to keep the series alive for a series decider in their home territory of Sydney.

As it turned out, it was the Blues who dominated throughout the game, including periods of torrential rain, to keep their Origin hopes alive in front of a stadium-record crowd in Perth.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 23rd Jun 2019 2:08 PM | Views : 1999 | Replies : 5 | READ MORE

The sides placed third and fourth in Super League had a massive play-off four pointer in a sunny Perpignan. A win for the Dragons would lift them above the Airlie Birds and into third spot, while a victory for the visitors would enable them to open up a four point gap over fourth and a six point margin over fifth spot, making them the clear favourites to secure a top five finish.

Steve McNamara’s side had Sam Moa and Michael McIlorum back in their side, but were without talisman Tony Gigot and the suspended Jason Baitieri. Sika Manu and Josh Griffin returned for FC, as did Josh Bowden who was rested last time out, but Mark Minichiello was absent with a groin strain.

There was little to choose between the sides on paper, it just depended on which side would blow the hottest in the French sunshine.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 22nd Jun 2019 6:51 PM | Views : 651 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was top against bottom as St Helens hosted the Leeds Rhinos, Richard Agars side arriving at the Totally Wicked Stadium on a hiding to nothing. The bookies could only see one outcome, the continued relentless charge of the home side to the minor premiership.

Saints took a surprising loss to the London Broncos a fortnight ago out after resting several players for their trip south but they made amends with a big win against the Huddersfield Giants last weekend. The Rhinos lost to the Warriors last weekend and are now desperate for the points after Londons win against Hull KR last night.

Both sides made a couple of changes to last weekends sides, Kallum Watkins named in the Leeds second row for his penultimate game before departing for Australia.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 21st Jun 2019 9:41 PM | Views : 768 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After stunning victories for both sides last week, the two sides at the bottom of the table had the four pointer to end all four pointers, a game which would lift one of the sides into tenth place, and more importantly leave the loser anchored at the base of the table.

This was a truly crucial game for both sides, it could be the difference between survival and relegation, the winner having something to kick on from, the loser left reeling from the loss.

Ben Hellewell replaced Matt Fleming for Danny Ward’s home side as they looked to make it three wins on the bounce, while KR coach Tony Smith was without Mitch Garbutt and gave debuts to loan signings Daniel Murray, Harvey Livett and Luis Johnson.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 20th Jun 2019 9:38 PM | Views : 2608 | Replies : 14 | READ MORE

Round Seventeen of the Betfred Championship would throw up a shock or two in a high scoring weekend which would leave us with more questions about the play-off places than answers.

The top two played on Saturday afternoon with Toulouse Olympique at home to Swinton while the Toronto Wolfpack took on the Dewsbury Rams.

There were some interesting fixtures on Sunday afternoon with Bradford at Leigh, high-flying Featherstone against play-off outsiders Widnes, Halifax at Barrow and Sheffield travelling to Batley. The one real home banker of the afternoon was York’s game against Rochdale.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 16th Jun 2019 5:36 PM | Views : 2256 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Bradford Bulls travelled to the Leigh Sports Village to take in a Centurions side seeking to capitalise on Toulouse's shock defeat at the hands of Swinton yesterday and close the gap on second spot to just two points. The Bulls also had it all to play for and knew that a win would get them level on league points with their opponents, but with a chasm between their points differences it would require a massive victory to take their place on the ladder.

John Kear had Crossley and Garside back in his side with Farrell, Webster and Roche missing out. John Duffy’s Leigh were looking for their third consecutive win and a seventh victory in their last eight as one of the form sides in the division.

The scene was set for a belter of a game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 16th Jun 2019 4:57 PM | Views : 3574 | Replies : 15 | READ MORE

After last weekends sensational win over league leaders St Helens, the London Broncos travelled to the South of France to take on a Catalans Dragons side looking to cement themselves into the play-off places as we move into the second half of the season.

Danny Wards went into the game knowing that a win would lift them level on points with Hull KR and the Leeds Rhinos as the race to avoid the drop intensifies over the coming rounds. It was a massive game for both sides, and one that neither could afford to lose.

The Dragons were favourites to deny the Broncos a second consecutive win but this London side had plenty of bottle and is up for any challenge.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 15th Jun 2019 6:51 PM | Views : 1497 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

Another crucial basement battle for the Leeds Rhinos as they welcomed the old enemy, Wigan Warriors, to Headingley for a four pointer. An unlikley twenty-seven point victory for the Rhinos would lift them above the Warriors into eighth, a twenty-four point win for the visitors would lift them to the dizzy heights of sixth, there was plenty to play for.

The Rhinos started with the same seventeen that nilled Wakefield last time out and made it back to back wins for the first time in 2019.  Wigan scraped a scrappy one point win over Hull KR last week and came into the game without Zak Hardaker through injury and Taulima Tautai, who was in court today pleading guilty to a drink driving charge.

The Rhinos were slight favourites with the bookies, but on paper, there was little to choose between the two sides.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 14th Jun 2019 9:37 PM | Views : 2502 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Fourth travelled to fifth as the battle for the play-off places roared into the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, with Castleford Tigers hosting Hull FC. A win for the Tigers would lift them ahead of the Airlie Birds and into fourth but a win for FC would push them into third and give them some breathing space in the race for the five.

In a crazy season for FC their supporters and management team will have been hoping that it was the sensational side which demolished the Catalans Dragons a fortnight ago, rather than the awful side which lost to the Giants at the Magic Weekend.

Both sides can blow very hot and very cold and it was anyones guess who would emerge victorious.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 13th Jun 2019 9:45 PM | Views : 1446 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

There are still eight sides with a realistic chance of making the Betfred Championship play-offs, and therefore having a shot at promotion into Super League for 2020. Firm favourites are the Toronto Wolfpack, but unrest this week with the self-sacking of their Chief Executive David Argyl was sure to unsettle the runaway leaders.

Toronto had an easy trip to Swinton on Sunday evening as they concluded the round sixteen fixtures with a number of other key fixtures having taken place on Saturday and Sunday.

Game of the round saw third placed York host second placed Toulouse on Saturday, and Sunday featured games between; Bradford and Batley, Dewsbury and Rochdale, Leigh and Halifax, Sheffield and Featherstone and Widnes and Barrow.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 9th Jun 2019 7:51 PM | Views : 3545 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Oldham had their eyes set on second spot as they travelled to Doncaster to take on the side sat in seventh place, who themselves needed a win to keep in touch with the sides above them.

These two sides did battle last weekend in the second round of the 1895 Cup with Doncaster progressing to the quarter finals thanks to a 24-12 victory, Oldham were now keen on revenge and the two crucial league points.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 9th Jun 2019 7:15 PM | Views : 1481 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Legendary Super League coach Tony Smith took charge for the first time as his Hull KR side took on the Wigan Warriors in a curcial game down the wrong end of the Super League table. It was ninth against eleventh as both sides looked to get away from the perilous bottom spot.

This was the first meeting between the two sides this season but Hull KR recorded a loss in the Challenge Cup last weekend, whereas Wigan had a week off and came into the game the fresher of the two sides.

KR skipper Joel Tomkins was back after missing last weekend through suspension, but Danny McGuire was unavailable after picking up an injury during training yesterday. Liam Farrell was back in the Cherry and White after an injury lay off.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 9th Jun 2019 4:55 PM | Views : 3677 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Super League game of the weekend pitched second placed Warrington Wolves against the side in third spot, the Catalans Dragons. Both sides came into the round seventeen fixtures after very different Challenge Cup weekends, Warrington surviving the test of a determined Hull KR but the Dragons having been destroyed by the Black & White side of Hull.

A win for the Wolves would lift them six points clear of the chasing pack, but should they lose then Catalans would be just two points behind them in the league table.

Warrington were without the services of Jake Mamo and Tom Lineham but Catalans would also have to do it tough as they were without Remi Casty, Lewis Tierney and Brayden Wiliame.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 8th Jun 2019 5:08 PM | Views : 1268 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

A club in turmoil, the Leeds Rhinos, took the short drive down the road to Wakefield to take on a Trinity side who have their eyes set firmly set on securing a play-off place, and ending the season as Yorkshires top placed outfit.

The home side were without David Fifita, who picked up an ankle injury at the Magic Weekend, but Junior Sa’u was back after missing last weekend's Challenge Cup game due to being cup tied. Leeds had Tui Lolohea and Konrad Hurrell amongst a side which also saw newly announced departing captain Kallum Watkins named in the second row.

The Rhinos were desperate for a win, and a much needed two points. After Wakefield won the earlier season fixture quite comfortably, there was just two points between the sides when Trinity picked up the points in mid-April.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 7th Jun 2019 9:37 PM | Views : 2393 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The race to The Biggest Night in Super League is well underway, who will make it to the Theatre of Dreams in October?

Secure the best seats for the best price! The early bird offer, of 15% off tickets expires at midnight on Monday, 24 June. Simply use code EARLYBIRD at checkout here: https://rugbyleague.tickethour.co.uk/seatingPlan.html?idProduct=520

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 7th Jun 2019 8:34 PM | Views : 5017 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The second round of the 1895 Cup hit Cumbria, where the Barrow Raiders entertained a very youthful looking Bradford Bulls side, looking to banish thoughts of their Challenge Cup exit at the hands of Halifax last Sunday.

It was a strong Barrow side who were giving full respect to the competition, whereas the Bulls had ten debutants in their side with an average squad age of 20 years and 6 months, the youngest ever fielded Bulls side. Bradford coach Kear had seemingly decided that this wasn’t the competition for them in 2019.

A Wednesday night game in Cumbria harked back a few decades and with the Bulls appearing to just make up the numbers, it was the home side who were firm favourites for the win.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 5th Jun 2019 9:16 PM | Views : 1607 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane was the venue for the opening fixture of the three game Holden State of Origin 2019 series as one of the seasons most awaited games pitched the Maroons of Queensland against the Blues of New South Wales.

This is the start of the thirty-eighth State of Origin series with Queensland well ahead on twenty-one series wins. New South Wales took the series win last year, the first time that they had taken the honours since 2014. The Blues won the opening two games in 2018, by 22-12 and 18-14 before Queensland picked up the dead rubber with an 18-12 win.

Queensland were hoping, and expecting a win on home soil as Kevin Walters rallied his charges against Brad Fittlers New South Wales. There were certain to be fireworks.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 5th Jun 2019 1:11 PM | Views : 6377 | Replies : 7 | READ MORE

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 : 7253 | Replies : 51 | READ MORE

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