The Lions Tour of Oceania was in danger of turning into a whitewash after last weekends 12-8 loss to New Zealand. This week the rugby league world turned its eyes to Christchurch for the second contest with the Kiwis, the Lions desperate for the win to regain some pride.

Great Britain lost the services of  Ryan Hall and Zak Hardaker with Blake Austin being selected on the wing by coach Bennett. Shaun Johnson was recalled for the Kiwi’s after being dropped for last weeks match and was certain to be looking to prove a point.

Conditions were oppressively hot at the OrangeTheory Stadium as the sides took the field for another bruising encounter.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 9th Nov 2019 8:50 AM | Views : 2497 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After defeats last weekends both the GB Lions and New Zealand were looking for a victory in the first of two tests between the two sides as the rugby league world cast its eyes to Eden Park in Auckland.

Both coaches made some changes after last week with the Lions promoting Jonny Lomax at full back and Tom Burgess at prop, while Michael McGuire shocked the home support by dropping creative half back Shaun Johnson.

The last time that the two sides met was in late 2007 when GB secured a three match whitewash on home soil, the only survivor from that last game, a 28-22 win in Wigan, being Lions skipper James Graham.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 2nd Nov 2019 5:56 AM | Views : 5964 | Replies : 6 | READ MORE

Nothing sets the pulse of a rugby league fan racing like a Great Britain Lions Tour down under, and after a twelve year absence the Lions opened their four match odyssey with a visit to the FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton City, New Zealand, to take on a Tongan Invitational XIII.

There was only one survivor in the GB squad from the side which whitewashed New Zealand in 2007, the skipper James Graham who had been a substitute in Tony Smith’s side in all three matches during the last UK test series.

There was a strong and passionate Tongan support in Hamilton for the game (despite the recent issues and some requests for Tongan supporters to stay away), a good contingent of tourist supporters who had made the long trip, and plenty of neutrals who were getting a look at the Lions side ahead of the two match series against New Zealand.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 26th Oct 2019 10:00 AM | Views : 6753 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

This was the night. The culmination of a year’s rugby league encapsulated in eighty minutes as the nailed-on favourites, almost since anyone can remember in 2019, took on the suprrise package, the Salford Red Devils at the theatre of dreams.

Everyone except the Saints fans were ‘Salford for a day’ as the fans from just down the road and all of the neutrals at this grandest of occasions, opened their vocal chords in support of the underdogs.

Salford had earned their Grand Final berth as justifiably as the Saints with defeats of Castleford and Wigan on the road to their first ever Grand Final appearance and they were there to enjoy themselves but also to spring one of the biggest surprises in Super League history and become the fifth name on the famous trophy.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 12th Oct 2019 7:52 PM | Views : 2427 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was the League Leaders versus the Challenge Cup winners at the Totally Wicked Stadium as Grand Final glory was up for grabs in the Betfred Women’s Super League. Castleford were unchanged from their semi-final victory over Wigan while the Rhinos were forced into a change when Shannon Lacey was ruled out with a head injury picked up in their dramatic win at the same venue against Saints five days earlier.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 11th Oct 2019 11:07 PM | Views : 2914 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

A place in the Betfred Championship would be decided over eighty minutes of frenetic action at the Vestacare Stadium. Oldham and Newcastle went into battle with the home side the favourites by virtue of their higher league place in the regular season.

Oldham were unchanged from the side which defeated Doncaster a fortnight ago. Thunder made just one change from the side which beat Doncaster last weekend to set up todays clash with Carne Doyle-Magna named on the bench in place of Alex Rowe, who broke his arm in that semi-final.

It’s been honours shared in 2019, and there was just one point between them on the league ladder, with close encounters giving little indication of who may emerge victorious ahead of the clash.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 6th Oct 2019 4:45 PM | Views : 3313 | Replies : 9 | READ MORE

There was much  more than passing British interest in the 2019 Australian NRL Grand Final as three former greats of Super League; John Bateman, Elliott Whitehead and Josh Hodgson were looking to win the ultimate prize wearing the lime green of the Raiders.

These two sides finished second and fourth during the regular season with both sides beating the side one place above them in last weekends semi-finals.

The Roosters were looking to retain their title, and were the favourites with the bookies for the win at the ANZ Stadium, fifteen miles up the road from their base in the eastern suburbs. But the Grand Final is a strange beast and the Canberra supporters who’d made the 170 mile trip north were full of hope and expectation that they would win their first grand final since 1994.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 6th Oct 2019 11:35 AM | Views : 1744 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After a long Betfred Championship season everything had come down to one final game. Eighty minutes stood between either the Toronto Wolfpack or Featherstone Rovers and a place in Super League in 2020.

Toronto, who have been nigh on unstoppable all season, had the home advantage as Rovers made their second international journey inside a week, having defeated Toulouse Olympique last weekend to earn their shot at the big time.

Toronto have won both encounters between the two sides in 2019 and came into the game on the back of a twenty-two match winning run which went back all the way to a loss in Toulouse in March. The bookies couldn’t see beyond a home win, but neither could they last season when the London Broncos upset the odds and secured promotion.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 5th Oct 2019 9:18 PM | Views : 2202 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

There was just six points between the Wigan Warriors and the Salford Red Devils when the two sides met at the same venue just a fortnight ago, in the opening round of the play-offs. The prize tonight was a trip to Old Trafford next Saturday for the game's flagship event, and a chance at picking up the Super League trophy from the grasp of St Helens.

Adrian Lam juggled his side with Ben Flower and Sean O’Loughlin promoted from the bench to the starting line-up compared to a fortnight ago. Ian Watson’s Salford made just one change from the last game, with Greg Burke being brought into the seventeen.

Everyone, including the bookies, expected Wigan to make their eleventh Grand Final, and their sixth in the last seven years. Salford were seeking their first ever appearance at a stadium just five miles over the River Irwell from their base. Momentum, however, was with the Red Devils.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 4th Oct 2019 9:36 PM | Views : 3085 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Eighty minutes stood between two sides and a trip to Toronto to face the Wolfpack next Sunday in the Million Pound Game for the right to play in Super League in 2020.

Toulouse Olympique XIII had the home advantage as they looked to secure the trip but they were up against a Featherstone Rovers side who were high on confidence after defeating both Leigh Centurions and the York City Knights in the play-off series so far.

Toulouse emerged victorious from both league matched in 2019 but the largest winning margin was just six points. The outcome when the two sides met on the 7th September was a narrow two point win to the French side. It promised to be a close game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 29th Sep 2019 8:17 PM | Views : 3896 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

When these two sides met in the play-offs a fortnight ago, Doncaster took the spoils with a 20-6 away win at the Newcastle Thunder. Today the prize was much higher, a game against Oldham next weekend to determine who would be joining Whitehaven in the Betfred Championship in 2020.

Doncaster were placed behind Newcastle in the regular season, hence the need for a drive up the A1, but with games between the two sides during the regular season being close affairs, it was difficult to pick a favourite from todays clash.

Newcastle made a handful of changes, with Doncaster also making a couple of switches to their line-up. Newcastle were slight favourites with the bookies based on home advantage but Doncaster arrived determined to book themselves a trip to Oldham next weekend.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 29th Sep 2019 1:46 PM | Views : 2335 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was semi-final night at the Totally Wicked Stadium as a St Helens side who’ve so far watched the play-offs from the sidelines had their change to make the Grand Final at the first time of asking. All that stood in the way of the all conquering Saints was their nearest and greatest rivals, Wigan Warriors.

The Warriors edged past a gritty Salford Red Devils last week to take their place in a fourth 2019 running of the worlds oldest derby match.  Oliver Partington was back in the Wigan line up in place of the injured Dan Sarginson while Aaron Smith was recalled to the Saints side in place of Matty Costello.

Saints were bigger favourites with the bookies than recent form would suggest, the spectators arriving at the stadium weren’t quite so confident.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 27th Sep 2019 9:31 PM | Views : 3164 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

For either the Salford Red Devils or the Castleford Tigers, tonight would be the end of the 2019 season. The victors, however, would move on to next weekend and a chance to make the Old Trafford Grand final on the 12th October, in the second semi-final.

Both sides had close play-off games last weekend with contrasting fortunes. Salford lost out narrowly to the Wigan Warriors, while the Tigers went the Halliwell-Jones and knocked out the Warrington Wolves on their own patch.

This was the third meeting between the two sides in 2019 with honours shared at one win apiece coming into tonights game. The Red Devils brought in Greg Burke as a change to last week, and the Tigers had two changes with Nathan Massey and Greg Eden coming into the side.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 26th Sep 2019 9:29 PM | Views : 2855 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Many commentators and fans would have you believe that today's game in Toronto was simply to determine who would have home advantage in the crucial promotion play-off Grand Final in a fortnights time, although Featherstone Rovers might have something to say about that next weekend.

The two sides which have dominated the 2019 Betfred Championship, Toronto Wolfpack and Toulouse Olympique XIII knew that victory today would both set them up with the home advantage for a fortnights time, and establish some momentum ahead of the Super League promotion game.

Toronto have won on two of the three occasions that the sides have met in 2019, the most recent being a 28-16 win in June. But Toulouse do know how to win against the Canadians, they recorded a 46-16 win back in March, Toronto’s only defeat of the season. The bookies, however, fancied a Toronto win.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 22nd Sep 2019 8:22 PM | Views : 2800 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Betfred One knockout football was hosted in Newcastle as the Thunder took on Workington Town for a last semi-final place against Doncaster next weekend.

There was a couple of belting matches between these two sides on back to back weekends earlier in the season which saw Workington triumph on both occasions but only by the narrowest of two and one point margins. When the sides last met it was at Kingston Park when it was the home side who scored a 48-10 win on the 30th June.

Newcastle finished the season eight points ahead of todays opponents and were favourites for the win today and the chance to have another shot at Doncaster, especially as Workington only arrived with a squad of fourteen players.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 22nd Sep 2019 5:41 PM | Views : 2953 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Oldham entertained Doncaster in the first semi-final in the Betfred Championship One play-offs, the winner going forwards into the promotion Grand Final and the loser having a final bite of the cherry next week against the winners of Newcastle and Workington.

Oldham had both home advantage, and that of a week off by virtue of them finishing the regular season in second place, six points ahead of this afternoons opponents. Doncaster came into the game on the back of an excellent performance at Newcastle last week when they overcame the odds to win todays chance.

The sides have met on three occasions in 2019 with Doncaster taking the spoils on the first two occasions, however, the last meeting was dominated by Oldham who recorded a 40-14 win. It really was anyones game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 22nd Sep 2019 3:42 PM | Views : 2457 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Two sides with contracting fortunes in the opening week of the play-offs came together for a sudden death eliminator at Bootham Crescent, as the York City Knights took on a Featherstone Rovers side who outplayed Leigh Centurions last weekend.

Featherstone comprehensively won two of the three meetings between the two sides in 2019, although it was the City Knights who won the most recent encounter, by a narrow 22-18 scorline.

One of these sides would be ending the season here and taking a well earned rest after a long season, the other would be going forward for an international trip to either Toulouse or Toronto to play in the second semi-final to keep their hopes alive.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 21st Sep 2019 4:51 PM | Views : 5252 | Replies : 38 | READ MORE

While neither the Wigan Warriors nor the Salford Red Devils would be eliminated from the competition as a result of tonights game, a victory would give a massive confidence boost ahead of next weeks semi-final against St Helens for a place in the final.

Salford have exceeded most expectations in 2019 and thoroughly deserve their third placed finish. After an awful start to the season, Adrian Lam’s Wigan have performed brilliantly to secure second spot.

The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last eight but have only won once in their last twenty-one visits to the DW Stadium. Salford have lost all three meetings against the Warriors in 2019 but the first two by less than ten points. The home side were clear favourites, but the play-offs have warned us to expect the unexpected.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 20th Sep 2019 9:40 PM | Views : 3418 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Kings of the knockout in 2019, the Warrington Wolves, came up against the Castleford Tigers in the first Elimination play-off at the Halliwell-Jones. A loss tonight would see an exit from the competition at the first hurdle, the winners could live to dream another week of Old Trafford on the 12th October.

The sides have met three times previously in the current season of Super League with the Wolves winning the first two games, but the Tigers picking up a victory in the most recent meeting at the end of July. Neither side were in great form with the visitors only winning three of their last six games, while Warrington have lost four of their last six.

The home side were odds-on favourites for the win, but the Tigers faithful were in attendance hoping that their side could finally register an away win in the Super League play-offs.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 19th Sep 2019 9:42 PM | Views : 2454 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was knock-out football as the Betfred Championship Play-Offs arrived at Leigh Sports Village, where fifth placed Featherstone Rovers met the Leigh Centurions for the priviledge of a semi-final encounter against the York City Knight next weekend.

Both sides were without some key players as they went into a nerve-wracking sudden death battle. The last time that they met was in West Yorkshire when Rovers secured a 24-20 win but when Rovers visited the LSV in February it was the home side who took the win with a 29-20 victory.

Leigh were big favourites with the bookies but this was knockout football, anything could happen.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 15th Sep 2019 8:20 PM | Views : 7827 | Replies : 20 | READ MORE


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