Super League’s top side were up against the Betfred Championships eighth placed side in what was billed, pre kick-off as the most one-sided Challenge Cup semi-final in recent history as St Helens took on Halifax RLFC.

It’s over ten years since St Helens have played in a Challenge Cup final, last winning in 2008, but even longer since Halifax have figured. They were last in a final in the 1987-88 season when they lost to Wigan, having beaten St Helens the season before to lift the trophy for the last time.

Saints rested the majority of their squad last weekend and lost to the London Broncos but they were massive favourites to beat a Halifax side who have won their last two, most notably last weekend with a big win over the Widnes Vikings.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 27th Jul 2019 6:18 PM | Views : 1887 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

A place at Wembley awaited the winners of this weekends semi-finals in Bolton as Hull FC played Warrington while Championship side Halifax were faced with the daunting prospect of league leaders St Helens.

This is the third meeting between the two sides in 2019 with honours so far shared. Warrington demolished FC by 63-12 at the KCOM in March, but it was FC who took the points by a 19-12 margin in the return fixture at the Halliwell-Jones.

Stefan Ratchford wasn’t included in the nineteen man squad but made the starting line-up and Ben Murdoch-Masila made his return from injury. FC welcomed back Albert Kelly but would have to overcome the bookies odds who had the Wolves as clear favourites..

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 27th Jul 2019 3:51 PM | Views : 1345 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was the ladies time to shine as the Leeds Rhinos took on the Castleford Tigers in the Ladies Challenge Cup final from the University of Bolton Stadium in the eighth Challenge Cup Final, a repeat of the 2018 final which the Rhinos won by 20-14.

These two sides met in round three of the Womens Super League back in April with the Tigers winning by an impressive 27-0 and the Tigers are currently atop the league table with a one hundred percent record. The Rhinos are fourth, having lost twice, including the last time out against St Helens.

The Rhinos squeezed past St Helens in the semi-finals by 16-10 while the Tigers thrashed Wakefield Trinity by 100-0.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 27th Jul 2019 12:57 PM | Views : 1302 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

A round twenty-two win would confirm that the Toronto Wolfpack would go into the play-offs as the top side in the Betfred Championship while wins for the Bradford Bulls and Sheffield Eagles would keep them in touch with the top five and a shot at Super League.

The Eagles travelled to Toulouse on Saturday night while the remainder of the games took place on Sunday afternoon. York and Bradford and Widnes against Toronto were probably the pick of the games while Dewsbury entertained a Halifax side with one eye on next weekend’s Challenge Cup semi-final against St Helens.

Featherstone were at home to a Rochdale side who are all but relegated  while Barrow travelled to Swinton in the hope of points to keep alive their chances of a drop down a division. The final game was between an increasingly comfortable looking Leigh Centurions and Batley Bulldogs.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 22nd Jul 2019 7:56 AM | Views : 4141 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

There were no more important round twenty-three fixtures than the basement four pointer between Hull Kingston Rovers and the Huddersfield Giants who had Friday night all to themselves as they went head-to-head to go four points clear of bottom club London Broncos.

KR had a massive win last weekend when they went to Headingley and took the points off the Leeds Rhinos, while the Giants lost out by a narrow four point margin at home to the Catalans Dragons.

KR are looking as though they will be without Matt Parcell for the remainder of the season but Danny Addy was back in the line-up. The Giants had Adam Walne back in contention for the first time since March, and Matty English was also back after being rested last weekend.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 19th Jul 2019 9:38 PM | Views : 3046 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

Thursday night rugby was a real mid-table scrap as a Wigan side in the ascendency looked to cement their place in the play-off places while a Wakefield side, seemingly on the wane after a great start to the season, were looking to avoid getting dragged into the relegation dogfight.

The home side were without the injured Tommy Leuluai, skipper Sean O’Loughlin, and Joe Bullock and had an unfamiliar looking bench. Wakefield were without Mason Caton-Brown, replaced in the line up by a semi-fit David Fifita.

Trinity have won just one of their last eight matches but they were victorious when the two sides met in April at the Mobile Rocket Stadium. Wigan had a three win run to defend, but none of the recent victories have been particularly convincing.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 18th Jul 2019 9:36 PM | Views : 2522 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

Seven games of three days threw up plenty of surprises in the Betfred Championship as round twenty-one saw two draws, and only two games won by more than fourteen points.

Sheffield got proceedings underway on Friday night with a home game against the Dewsbury Rams while Toulouse Olympique played at Rochdale and Toronto took on Featherstone on Saturday evening.

Batley and York, and Bradford and Swinton faced up on Sunday afternoon while Halifax took on Widnes and Leigh travelled up the M6 to face Barrow.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 14th Jul 2019 5:31 PM | Views : 5051 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Ninth placed Leeds Rhinos looked to make it to three consecutive victories as they welcomed eleventh placed Hull KR to Headingley with the visitors looking for the crucial victory which would lift them level on points with the Rhinos and two points above the London Broncos in the relegation spot.

Hull KR were victorious when the two sides met in early April by a 45-26 scoreline, but the Rhinos took the spoils three weeks later when they won 28-24 after being 28-0 ahead with just thirty minutes remaining.

Sean Lunt would make his second debut for the Rhinos after returning on loan from tonight’s opponents, while Brett Ferres and new signing Rhyse Martin swapped places. It was a Hull KR side packed with, and coached by, ex-Rhinos including; Matt Parcell, Danny McGuire, Mitch Garbutt, Jimmy Keinhorst, and Weller Hauraki.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 12th Jul 2019 9:41 PM | Views : 4783 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Two sides looking for some winning form met at the KCOM Stadium as roller coaster side Hull FC took on a London Broncos side who know that every point is absolutely crucial for their survival in Super League.

Hull FC are still third in the table despite two consecutive defeats, however, a loss tonight could have seen them end the weekend in fifth place. London Broncos were bottom of the table but if they could get the victory then they would go level on points with the Rhinos and the Giants and lift themselves above Hull’s city neighbours KR into eleventh.

FC were without the injured Albert Kelly and Andre Savelio, while Danny Ward selected Sam Davis, Matty Fleming and James Cunningham for his run on side.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 11th Jul 2019 9:29 PM | Views : 2403 | Replies : 4 | READ MORE

With the State of Origin series poised at all square going into the deciding game at the ANZ Stadium, the anticipation had reached fever pitch ahead of kick-off. Queensland won the opening game in Brisbane by 18-14, but a big reversal eihgteen days ago in Perth saw New South Wales storm to a 38-6 win.

New South Wales had the advantage of momentum, and a partisan crowd, and few could see past the Blues repeating their 2-1 series win from 2018, to make it two series wins in the last two competitions. But history was on Queensland’s side who had a far better record at emerging victorious from deciders.

Queensland’s Kevin Walters had Moses Mbye and debutant Ethan Lowe in his side, while Brad Fittler had tweaked his NSW line up with positional changes meaning a different starting thirteen.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 10th Jul 2019 1:12 PM | Views : 11304 | Replies : 7 | READ MORE

It was a weekend for the top sides in the Betfred Championship to take a step closer to the play-offs as the top four sides all took on lower placed opposition. High flying York were at Sheffield on Friday night while the runaway league leaders Toronto faced Halifax on Saturday, kicking off an hour before Toulouse welcomed the Bradford Bulls to the south of France.

On Sunday afternoon there was a humdinger of an encounter between fifth placed Featherstone Rovers and Leigh Centurions. Elsewhere Barrow were at Dewsbury, Swinton looked to continue their good run with a home game against Batley and Widnes were at home to bottom club Rochdale.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 7th Jul 2019 5:27 PM | Views : 5558 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Few would argue that the performance of the weekend in the Betfred Championship was the Bradford Bulls sensational away win at second place Toulouse Olympique XIII on Saturday evening. That said, the game of the round, on paper at least, was Featherstone Rovers game against the Leigh Centurions.

The sides came into the game in fourth and fifth places on the league ladder and Leigh knew coming into the game that a win would lift them into second spot in the league, level on points with third placed York City Knights. Featherstone also had everything to play for as a win would see them go above Leigh into fourth spot on points difference.

Everything suggested a full blooded classic encounter.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 7th Jul 2019 4:52 PM | Views : 6465 | Replies : 48 | READ MORE

After last weeks loss at Headingley an incresingly embattled Catalans Dragons returned to the heat of the south of France to take on Wakefield Trinity as sixth met eighth on the fringe of the play-off places.

Thanks to the Dragons awful points difference, Trinity knew that an away win would lift them into sixth spot and a win by thirty-six points or more would see them above Castleford Tigers and into fifth. The Dragons needed a win for fifth, and to go level on points with fourth placed Wigan Warriors, but without a win in six weeks the most important thing for the home side was getting back on the bike and picking up the victory.

Both sides made changes to their starting line-ups, and the bookies had the Dragons as slight favourites for the win in front of their partisan home crowd.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 6th Jul 2019 6:57 PM | Views : 2101 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

Castleford Tigers fans made their way to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle cheered by the news that coach Daryl Powell had today extended his contract until 2022, and hoped that he would celebrate by delivering a win against the old enemy from Headingley as the Leeds Rhinos swung into town.

Fresh on the back of a confidence boosting win over the Catalans Dragons, the Leeds Rhinos made just one starting change with Ava Seumanufagai returning from compassionate leave and replacing Mikolaj Oledski in the starting line-up for Richard Agar's side. New Rhinos signing Rhyse Martin was named on the bench. A win would lift the Rhinos back into the ninth spot which they lost to the Huddersfield last night, after the Giants won at Salford.

Greg Eden and Mitch Clark returned for the home side replacing  concussed Jake Trueman and Tuoyo Egodo as the Tigers looked to cement their place in the top four.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 5th Jul 2019 9:40 PM | Views : 4982 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Salford Red Devils, who are nervously looking over their shoulders at the chasing pack, were up against one of the sides who desperately needs a win to try and break free of the relegation zone, the Huddersfield Giants.

Salford have had some patchy form with two wins and two losses in their last four outings, the last being a loss to the Wigan Warriors in round twenty. But the Giants didn’t manage to register a single win in June, their last win being a thrashing of Hull FC at the end of May.

Salford coach Ian Watson named an unchanged squad from last weekend, with Oliver Wilson and Tom Holmes making their debuts in Claret and Gold, while the visitors also welcomed Jermaine McGillvary back from injury.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 4th Jul 2019 9:51 PM | Views : 2227 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round nineteen of the Betfred Championship gave us the novelty of all seven matched kicking off on at three o’clock on a Sunday afternoon as Toulouse visited Barrow and Toronto were at Batley.

An eagerly anticipated tussle between the Bradford Bulls and Widnes Vikings turned out to be a bit one-sided but there were close games between Halifax and Featherstone, Rochdale and Swinton, Sheffield and Leigh and York and Dewsbury.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 30th Jun 2019 5:36 PM | Views : 6794 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

There were fewer more important games in Round Twenty than the Leeds Rhinos against the Catalans Dragons. The Rhinos knew that a win would lift them off the foot of the table and possibly as high as ninth, whereas the Dragons are quickly slipping down the table after a four game losing streak.

An administrative mix-up meant that ex-skipper Kallum Watkins was unavailable for his farewell game while new signing from the mid-week swap-shop, Shaun Lunt was injured so all eyes were on Robert Lui as he pulled on the Rhinos stand-off jersey for the first time. The Dragons had a long injury list with McIlorum, Bird, Gigot, Whitley, Baitieri, Edwards and Tierney not making the journey.

There was unlikley to be much finesse as both sides scrapped nervously for the points.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 30th Jun 2019 4:57 PM | Views : 3572 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

While most of the Super League attention has been focussed on the shenanigans at bottom of the table, the runaway top two sides had an encounter at a sweltering Halliwell-Jones Stadium as the Warrington Wolves welcomed St Helens for the match of the round. 

A win was crucial for Warrington if they were to keep hold of any outside hopes of a minor premiership as it would get them within four points of the Red Vee. A loss would almost guarantee a Saints side, who have only lost twice in 2019, the top spot as they would then be eight points clear.

The Wolves had Tom Lineham back in their side after a three game suspension and the home fans flooded into the packed ground hoping for better outcome than the 38-12 loss that they suffered back in April at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 28th Jun 2019 9:47 PM | Views : 2550 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

If there wasn’t already enough pressure on Hull KR to win the Hull derby, the home side had the added stress of needing a win to lift themselves off the bottom of the Super League table, and grab themselves a lifeline in a very competitive bottom of the table.

With Hull FC’s Albert Kelly missing through injury, Lee Radford moved Jake Connor to stand off. Hull KR gave a debut to midweek signing Matt Parcell at hooker as they looked to overcome the disappointment of last weeks loss in London.

This is the third meeting of the season with honours shared so far. KR had a narrow two point win back in February but at their most recent meeting, at the KCOM in April, saw FC win by 56-12. A win for FC would go a long way to guaranteeing them a play off place, it was a question of who wanted the to points the most.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 27th Jun 2019 9:41 PM | Views : 4272 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was quarter final night in the 1895 Cup with York City Knights playing host to the Batley Bulldogs. York beat Newcastle in the last round to progress, while Batley registered a win against Rochdale.

Both sides made changes for this midweek match, resting some seasoned professionals and giving the opportunity to some youngsters. Eight changes for York, but just one enforced change for Batley as Don Brambini was unavailable for selection due to injury.

This is the second meeting between the two sides in 2019 with the Knights winning the encounter at the beginning of May by 28-24 in a very closely fought  game. Both sides were just two wins away from a famous Wembley appearance in the curtain raiser game to the Challenge Cup.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 26th Jun 2019 9:23 PM | Views : 2317 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE


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