There was no doubt that the most mouthwatering tie of the restart round, the eighth of Super League 2020, was the clash between the champions St Helens and the side who were sitting at the top of the table until the Wigan Warriors overtook them in this afternoon’s game.

Both sides have already got a game under their belts since the coronavirus lockdown, Saints scoring a comprehensive win over the Catalans Dragons while the Giants launched one of the all time finest comebacks to beat the Giants in Golden Point thanks to a Luke Gale Drop Goal.

Saints were big favourites with the bookies and the Rhinos had been given a ten point start on the handicap coupon.

A win of any description would take Leeds back top of the pile, Saints needed to win by more than twelve points to go ahead of Wigan on points difference and into top spot.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 9th Aug 2020 8:08 PM | Views : 815 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

Second placed Wigan Warriors and a Wakefield Trinity side in ninth place both got their first outings since the season restart as they met at Headingley in the second match of the triple header.

Just as Salford had been given little chance in the opening game, Trinity were string underdogs to take the two points off a Warriors side who were eyeing up the top of the table and pushing the Rhinos down to second ahead of their match in the final game of the afternoon.

Little could have prepared us for the nail-biting last ten minutes after Wigan looked like they would be runaway winners.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 9th Aug 2020 5:18 PM | Views : 988 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With Hull FC parting ways with coach Lee Radford on the eve of lockdown, they entered the re-start under the stewardship of interim coach Andy Last as he took charge for the first time.

The sides were sat tenth and eighth in the table, a win for the Red Devils would do nothing for their league position unless it was a massive one, but for Hull FC a win would lift them to seventh, level on points with all of the sides ahead of them.

The Red Devils had been given an eight-point start on the coupon as they looked to regain some of the form which saw them reach Old Trafford for last season’s Grand Final.

Few could see past an FC win, and the two points going away with the Airlie Birds.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 9th Aug 2020 2:43 PM | Views : 1137 | Replies : 25 | READ MORE

Early season pace setters the Paramatta Eels found themselves in third place in the table with an outside shot at second as they took on an eighth placed Cronulla Sharks, themselves looking for a ladder improvement to fifth place.

There was just one change for the favourites, the Eels, as Ray Stone replaced Takairangi.

John Morris made four changes to his Sharks side with Ramien, Dugan, Moylan and Sorensen all in the seventeen man side.

Both sides had four win in their last five outings and the Sharks came into the game on the back of a three game running streak against the Broncos, Dragons and Warriors while the Eels had been the victors in their last two against the Bulldogs and the Tigers.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 9th Aug 2020 8:53 AM | Views : 157 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Bottom side Hull KR and the Warrington Wolves met at Headingley Stadium for the second match on Saturday as both sides restarted their season after the Covid-19 shutdown.

A win for the Robins would lift them a single place in the table, above the Salford Red Devils, while a victory for the Wolves could lift them into the top four.

The Wolves were clear favourites with coach Steve Price having a full squad to choose from.

Tony Smith was relaxed about his sides prospects pre-kick off and he'd elected to give a number of players who are out of contract at the end of 2020 a go at impressing him.

Everything pointed to the Wolves being way too strong for the Robins.

 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 8th Aug 2020 8:16 PM | Views : 1102 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Castleford Tigers had their first outing since the restart as they faced a Catalans Dragons side who suffered a heavy defeat against a superb St Helens side last Sunday afternoon.

The Dragons we still without the suspended San Tomkins and named Arthur Mourgue as full-back for the second consecutive game.

The Tigers were without forward Liam Watts who suffered a domestic accident with a saw while chopping wood during the week.

Any kind of win would lift the Tigers into top spot in an early season table ahead of the rest of the fixtures but a big win for the Dragons (77 points) could see them jump from seventh to top but any kind of win would see them into fifth.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 8th Aug 2020 5:58 PM | Views : 381 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The game of the rounds saw the champions elect Penrith Panthers at home to fifth placed Canberra Raiders.

The Panthers needed the win to go back to the top of the ladders after Melbourne Strom reached the summit earlier in the round.

The Green Machine knew that a win would do nothing for their ladder position but it would draw them level on points with the Sydney Roosters.

Both sides made just a single change to their line-ups, the Panthers replacing Charlie Staines with Daine Laurie while the Raiders had Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad in at full back as a swap for Semi Valemei.

The home side were the favourites for the win but the Raiders would be giving it everything they had got.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 8th Aug 2020 12:24 PM | Views : 270 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

It was a mid-table tussle in Newcastle as the Knights took on the Tigers when eighth played tenth.

The Knights could make It up to fifth in the ladder with a win but knew that a loss would see the Wests just a point behinds them and would be a blow to their top eight hopes.

Both coaches were forced into a handful of changes.

The home side had Green, Jones, Shibasaki and To’a in their line-up while Michael McGuire had Twal, Leilua, Eisenhuth and Packer in his seventeen-man squad.

Home advantage, and ladder position, made the Knights the favourites but both sides came into the game on the back of two losses, and both have won just once in their last four outings.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 8th Aug 2020 10:17 AM | Views : 192 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After breaking bubble protocols the Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett would be watching his side from home (probably not the local restaurant) as his side took on the Brisbane Broncos.

A win for the Rabbitohs would lift them from eighth to sixth in the table, but a loss for the Broncos could see them lose any real last hope of a top eight finish and a place in the play-offs.

The Rabbitohs switched Jack Johns into the side for Jaydn Su’A, while the Broncos made three changes from last week with Brodie Croft, David Fifita and Matthew Lodge into the side in place of Milford, Bullemor and Kennedy.

The bookies fancied a win for Souths but from fifteenth place in the league the sleeping giant, the Broncos, weren’t such long odds as their ladder position might suggest.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 7th Aug 2020 12:40 PM | Views : 267 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Early season whipping boys, St George Illawarra Dragons had a round thirteen encounter with a Sydney Roosters side currently sitting precariously in fourth on the ladder as they struggle with a number of injuries across the park.

Neither side would likely improve their ladder position as a result of todays game, but for St George the win would keep them in touch with the top eight, whereas the Roosters needed the win to keep themselves in the top four.

The Roosters were the favourites, while the Dragons were shocked by the enforced omission of Paul Vaughan who had broken ‘bubble’ restrictions after eating out in a local restaurant.

The Dragons were without the aforementioned Vaughan, Jacob Host and Corey Norman having brought Adam Clune, Kaide Ellis and Trent Merrin into the side.

An injury ravaged Roosters had lost the services of Waerea-Hargreaves and Flanagan with Drew Hutchison and Max Bailey in the side.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 6th Aug 2020 12:49 PM | Views : 393 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Despite being a rearranged home game for the Giants, delayed from round two, Huddersfield had to travel to Leeds to take on a Rhinos side with both sides having their eyes on the top of the table.

The second game of the Super League restart saw a West Yorkshire derby between two sides who made a great pre-lockdown start to the 2020 season and who would have hoped to have picked up where they left off in March.

A win for either side would lift them to the top of the table, but the nature of the game would tell us so much more about their prospects for the season.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 2nd Aug 2020 8:43 PM | Views : 2057 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

It’s been one hundred and thirty-nine days, twenty-three hours and forty-five minutes since the final hooter sounded on the last rugby league game to be played in Super League but after a terrible four and a half months, with the losses of lives and livelihoods, the greatest game was finally back, albeit in much changed circumstances.

First up was a re-arranged round four fixture between St Helens and the Catalans Dragons played at Emerald Headingley behind closed doors.

There would be no scrums, the new six again rule, and a game likely to be played at high speed.

Things have changed in the World, possibly forever, and inevitably this is reflected in our game.

But now is the time to try and return to some semblance of normality, even if it is a new normality for everyone.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 2nd Aug 2020 5:57 PM | Views : 1054 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

A narrow win for the Paramatta Eels had moved the Melbourne Storm down to third place in the ladder but a win would put them back to within a point of the league leaders, the Penrith Panthers.

Their opposition, the Newcastle Knights, have been running hot and cold all season knew that a win would give them a little breathing space within the all-important eight.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy named changes of Bromwich, Seve, Hynes and Eisenhuth in his seventeen-man side while Adam O’Brien’s Knights would have Randall, King and Crossland on duty.

The bookies fancied the Storm to extend their five game winning run in the final game of round twelve, but the Knights knew that spoiling the Storm party would boost their own Grand Final chances.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 2nd Aug 2020 8:58 AM | Views : 713 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Table topping Penrith Panthers were in Sydney at Lottoland to take on a Manly Sea Eagles who were looking for a win to get themselves back into the top eight.

A Penrith win would ensure that the ended the round in top spot but any slip-up would open the door for the Storm and the Eels to step above them.

The Sea Eagles had Walker and Keppie in their line-up, while the Panthers made four changes bringing in Koroisau, Staines, Kikau and Tetavano.

The Panthers were clear favourites to take the points but the Sea Eagles were keen to spoil the party, just as they did against the Eels a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 1st Aug 2020 12:28 PM | Views : 681 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Thirteenth placed North Queensland Cowboys welcomed sixth placed Canberra Raiders to the Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville as both sides looked for the win that would improve their ladder position by a single place.

The Cowboys haven’t won a game in their last four outings but the visitors arrived seeking to extend a two game winning run as they aim for the top four.

The Raiders were big favourites with the bookies.

Cowboys coach Josh Hannay made three changes to his side bringing in Lemuelu, Asiata and McLean while Raiders coach Ricky Stuart named Bateman, Scott and Harawita-Naera in his seventeen.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 1st Aug 2020 10:28 AM | Views : 775 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Warriors season lays in ruins after cracks started to show in the squad following the sacking of coach Stephen Kearney, and the decision of several players to return to their families in New Zealand.

Tenth placed Tigers went into the game as firm favourites with the bookies and knew that a win would lift them into seventh in the table.

A win for the Warriors would lift them to twelfth but a heavy loss could have seen them drop as low as fifteenth, and possibly finish the round propping up the table.

There were multiple changes from both coaches with Twal, Garner and Mikaele in for the Tigers and Alvaro, Jennings, Herbert and Egan named in the Warriors side after several players elected to return home to their families in New Zealand.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 31st Jul 2020 10:55 AM | Views : 805 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round Twelve of the NRL opened with eleventh placed St George Illawarra Dragons against tenth placed South Sydney Rabbitohs with the Dragons the bookies favourites to pick up the points.

Both coaches made three changes to last weekends sides.

The Dragons had Pereira, Sims and Sailor in their seventeen while the Rabbitohs welcomed back Latrell Mitchell, Knight and Mago.

The Dragons needed to win by more than twenty points to get them above the Rabbitohs, but a win for Souths could see them up into seventh place in the table.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 30th Jul 2020 12:44 PM | Views : 963 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With the Canadian based side Toronto Wolfpack already out of the competition, another five sides yesterday announced their decision to withdraw from the 2020 Challenge Cup, plunging the RFL and remaining clubs into confusion.

A decision was quickly agreed with the BBC, sponsors Coral, and the clubs themselves to salvage the competition by staging a re-draw which occurred tonight and was broadcast live on the OuRLeague site.

The remaining ten Super League sides, minus the Wolfpack and Huddersfield Giants, who had previously been eliminated in the fifth round at the hands of the Toronto team.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 29th Jul 2020 6:29 PM | Views : 5995 | Replies : 13 | READ MORE

The Penrith Panthers had their eyes on a return to the top of the table as the travelled to the Cbus Super Stadium to take on the Gold Coast Titans.

The bookies thought that it was a foregone conclusion, with the Titans languishing in fourteenth place in the table.

Both coaches made a myriad of changes to last weekends sides.

Justin Holbrook brought in Dale Copley, Jai Whitehead, Kevin Proctor, Nathan Peats and Sam Stone while Ivan Cleary named Caleb Aekins, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Matt Burton and Mitch Kenny in his Panthers side.

The final game of round eleven looked, on paper at least, as though it would be one-way traffic.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 26th Jul 2020 8:54 AM | Views : 1129 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Despite both sides registering a loss in round ten, the Sydney Roosters were massive favourites to take the two ladder points from the New Zealand Warriors who could only muster a single win in their last five outings.

There were deep problems in the Warriors camp with players deciding to return home to their families after their extended time in isolation in Australia.

The Warriors do have a good track record in this fixture but took a beating in the encounters in the last couple of years and  the bookies and pundits suggested that this would be no different as the Roosters looked to leapfrog the Newcastle Knights into fourth spot.

The Roosters were without the services of Boyd Cordner and Angus Crichton who were replaced by Nat Butcher and Poasa Faamausili while the Warriors made three changes from last weekends side with Adam Pompey, Chanel Harris-Tavita and Lachlan Burr in for Paasi, Herbert and Egan.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 25th Jul 2020 7:54 AM | Views : 1308 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE


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