With just two rounds of both the Betfred Super League and Championship left to play before the split into the Super Eights we thought it was about time that we speculated on the likely make-up of that all-important Middle Eights Qualifiers competition.

The bottom four sides in Super League join the top four in the Championship for a seven game mini league which will see the top three clubs into Super League for the 2019 season and the teams finishing in fourth and fifth spot playing off in a sudden death ‘Million Pound Game’ for the remaining Super League place.

With Widnes Vikings and Salford Red Devils already confirmed, they could be joined by two from; Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, Catalans Dragons or Wakefield Trinity. In the Championship the only side guaranteed a Middle Eights place is Toronto with three from; Toulouse, Featherstone Rovers, London Broncos, Halifax, or Leigh Centurions joining them.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 16th Jul 2018 6:00 PM | Views : 3993 | Replies : 5 | READ MORE

Once again there were some big scores as the top six battled to squeeze into just four positions and make it into the middle eights by the split at the end of round twenty-three.

The game of the round was the visit of Halifax to London with both sides knowing that a loss could deal a fatal blow to their Middle Eights aspirations, and in the Broncos case make qualification a very big ask.

Elsewhere Batley were in Canada to take on the Bulldogs, Toulouse travelled to Barrow needing a win to ease their worries and Leigh were at bottom club Rochdale where a big win was required to help their points difference. Sheffield played Dewsbury and Featherstone visited Swinton in the remaining games.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 16th Jul 2018 9:36 AM | Views : 482 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Leeds Rhinos have pulled up a stool and ordered a drink in the last chance saloon as they entertain a Wakefield Trinity side for whom the two points are equally as crucial as they attempted to guarantee their position in the top eight.

A win for the Rhinos would leave them in ninth spot but just a point behind their opponents and two points behind the Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants and extend them a lifeline to avoid the dreaded middle eights for the second time in three years.

An expectant Headingley held their breath to see if their returning hero Kevin Sinfield could record his first victory at the helm of the side for which he won so many playing honours.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 13th Jul 2018 9:57 PM | Views : 904 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Depending on results elsewhere in Super League, a win for the Catalans Dragons could see them secure a top eight finish in their round twenty-one game. Standing in their way were a Warrington Wolves side, themselves wanting the points to guarantee that they would go into the Super Eights in a top four play-off place and with a shot at getting to the Grand Final.

Wolves coach Steve Price has made two changes to his side with Harvey Livett and Ben Pomeroy returning in place of Dominic Crosby and Morgan Smith. The Dragons were against the odds to get the win with the bookies favouring the Wolves as Steve McNamara named an unchanged seventeen from the side which beat Wakefield last week.

Ahead of kick-off there were nerves on both sides for a crucial encounter.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 12th Jul 2018 9:53 PM | Views : 561 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

There are just three rounds of the regular season of Super League 2018 left before the split into the Super Eights and all eyes will be on two games this weekend as the Huddersfield Giants host Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos welcome Wakefield Trinity to Headingley. The Giants currently have the all-important eighth Super Eights position with the Rhinos, under the fledgling control of Sinfield and Lowes will be desperate for them to slip up.

The Championship is also hotting up with just three games remaining.  Leigh Centurions need a big win at Rochdale and to keep in touch with the top four, and London Broncos eyeing up a four pointer to jump back into the four if they can win at home against Halifax on Sunday afternoon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 12th Jul 2018 7:38 AM | Views : 2230 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

With the series win already in the bag it was a tough choice for Blues coach Brad Fittler whether to push for the whitewash or blood a number of inexpereinced players and prepare for the future. The opted for the former making just one enforced change to his seventeen with Sims replacing Campbell-Gillard, out with a fractured jaw.

Queensland threw the dice with five changes to the starting line up including the recall of scrum half Daly Cherry-Evans after three years in the Origin wilderness. Greg Inglis had failed to make enough progress on his broken thumb and the skipper missed out while Oates, Arrow, and Papalii were all named in the starting thirteen.

The Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane would ensure a partisan Queensland crowd, with most wondering whether their side could restore some Maroon pride and bid a fond farewell to the retiring Billy Slater. 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 11th Jul 2018 1:14 PM | Views : 469 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round Twenty of the Betfred Championship gave the Toronto Wolfpack their opportunity to secure top spot going in to the middle eights but also threw up a game between Halifax and Featherstone Rovers which would go some way to determining who would join them in the top four.

Elsewhere Toulouse and London had their own top four, four pointer, as the two sides met in the South of France.

Leigh knew that anything other than a victory at Batley would be a disaster while Dewsbury faced Barrow and Rochdale hosted Swinton in the competition for the lower places.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 8th Jul 2018 5:43 PM | Views : 1423 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The game of the twentieth round drew the SKY cameras to the DW Stadium as second placed Wigan Warriors hosted third placed Warrington Wolves with both sides looking to consolidate their top four spots ahead of the split into the Super Eights.

This is the fourth 2018 meeting between the two sides with the Wolves having been the victors on two previous occasions, the last meeting being their 23-0 win in the Challenge Cup on the 2nd June.

A rejuvinated Warriors were favourites with the bookies, but the Wolves are a side who have a recent habit of beating their hosts.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 6th Jul 2018 9:45 PM | Views : 1174 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Two sides with very different needs met in the Thursday fixture at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield. 

The two points on offer would lift the Giants into seventh place in the Super League and push the Leeds Rhinos into a middle eights position. Hull FC would remain in touch with the top four if they could get the win, but a loss could see them with five points to make up to get into the play off positions.

Danny Brough was back from another suspension for the Giants while Hull FC were still suffering from a massive injury and suspension list. Although the Airlie Birds were the bookies favourites, the promise was of a close match.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 5th Jul 2018 9:41 PM | Views : 1271 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round nineteen of the Betfred Championship saw the continued march of the Toronto Wolfpack, Toulouse Olympique, Featherstone Rovers and Halifax into the middle eights while London Broncos kept themselves within touching distance, awaiting a slip up from one of the sides above them.

The match of the weekend was in Toronto where the Leigh Centurions were the visitors but there were plenty of points scored elsewhere throughout the division.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 1st Jul 2018 6:40 PM | Views : 1601 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round nineteen defeats for the Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants have left the door open for a rejuvinated Catalans Dragons to leapfrog both into the top eight. All that stood in their way for this afternoons game in Perpignan was the Castleford Tigers who themselves would go third with a win in the scorching south of France.

Castleford thrashed the Dragons at the Men-A-Hose Jungle with a 41-0 scoreline in mid-April but ten weeks later they visited a side brimming with confidence after winning eight of their ten games since the sides last met.

There was very little to choose between the sides for the bookies, the Dragons given a slender two point start on the coupon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 30th Jun 2018 7:10 PM | Views : 1218 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Once again, Saints had the luxury of naming an unchanged side to take on the quiet men of Super League, Wakefield Trinity. The visitors are methodically going about their business of ensuring a middle eights finish and knew that although a win at the Totally Wicked Stadium would be a surprise, it would almost guarantee their place in the Super Eights.

Wakefield were the victors when the two sides met back in round eleven, by 24-20, and after three wins in their last four outings they were high on confidence. Saints progress at the top of the table seems relentless and they came into the game unbeaten since that loss to Trinity in mid-April.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 29th Jun 2018 9:50 PM | Views : 1870 | Replies : 5 | READ MORE

When Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors met in round eleven at Headingley it was the Warriors who scraped a one point victory thanks to a forty metre Sam Tomkins drop goal in the seventy fifth minute.

After five consecutive Super League losses the Rhinos had become embroiled into the middle eights dogfight, and anything other than the two points could see them slip into the danger zone after a disappointing season.

Wigan had their own problems, and themselves have struggled since the announcement that coach Wane would be departing at the end of the season. Still sitting second in the league a win would consolidate their league position as the split approaches.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 28th Jun 2018 9:53 PM | Views : 1438 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

There are just five rounds of Super League remaining before the split into the middle eights,  and while it looks almost certain that St Helens will enter the second phase of the season at the top of the pile, there are just six points covering places six to ten meaning that the fight to avoid the dreaded middle eights is well and truly alive.

There is one Super League game on Thursday night, four on Friday night and the remaining game at the Catalans Dragons on Saturday evening.

There are some exciting ties in the Championship too, none more so than the grudge match between Toronto Wolfpack and Leigh Centurions on Saturday night.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 28th Jun 2018 9:28 AM | Views : 2969 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round eighteen of the Betfred Championship was played over Saturday and Sunday with Sheffield facing Featherstone on Saturday afternoon and Toronto playing Barrow later in the evening. The remainder of the games took place on Sunday with London kicking off at 15:00 and the remaining games avoiding a clash with the World Cup football.

The remaining games saw Leigh at Dewsbury, Halifax entertain Batley and Toulouse at basement side Rochdale.

The race for the top four was hotting up faster than the English summer.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 24th Jun 2018 5:53 PM | Views : 2025 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After New South Wales won the opening State of Origin in Melbourne proceedings moved to the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, the heart of Blues country, for round two in the three match series.

It was State against State, and mate against mate, with Queensland knowing that only a win would suffice in front of a sell-out and hostile crowd.

Matt Prior came into the Blues line-up in place of Campbell-Gillard as the only change, while Billy Slater was back in the Queensland line-up at full-back for Morgan, with Kalyn Ponga replacing Millford on the bench.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 24th Jun 2018 12:55 PM | Views : 1191 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

England were favourites against a New Zealand side which contained a number of debutants as the two sides played an expansionist test at the Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. It was the first full test match in the USA as preparations got underway for the 2025 World Cup.

 

Wayne Bennett was without a few first choice players but still named a very strong side including five players from the NRL, but he also had a couple of players making their England debuts.

 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 23rd Jun 2018 11:20 PM | Views : 896 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Castleford and Wigan played their re-arranged fixture from a wintery round six in the June heat, with Wigan being without their England stars, Bateman and O’Loughlin, who had de-camped to Denver for tomorrow’s test against New Zealand.

 

A win for  the Tigers would get them within a point of their opponents and into third spot but a win for the Warriors would enable them to narrow the margin on the league leaders, St Helens, to four points.

 

Castleford were very slight favourites with the bookies based on home advantage but it would be a brave person who’d pick a winner before the kick off.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 22nd Jun 2018 9:39 PM | Views : 1851 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Third placed Warrington Wolves visited sixth placed Wakefield Trinity on a sunny Sunday afternoon in West Yorkshire with both sides desperate for the points. Warrington were looking to overcome last weeks home loss to Castleford while Wakefield needed to maintain the pressure on the top four and not lose momentum.

Warrington were 34-24 winners when the sides met at the Halliwell-Jones at the end of March but Trinity have won three out of their last four outings including the brilliant 32-16 win over Wigan Warriors last time out.

Wakefield were unchanged from last week, while Warrington replaced Joe Philbin with Dominic Crosby on the bench.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 17th Jun 2018 7:14 PM | Views : 1889 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was the weekend of five one-sided games, and a thriller in the south of France, as the Championship moved into round seventeen as the jostle continued for top four places and a chance at Super League for 2019.

The two games on Saturday saw Leigh Centurions travel to Toulouse for the afternoon game while Toronto Wolfpack took on the Dewsbury Rams in the evening. The remainder of the games were played on Sunday afternoon when; Sheffield were at Batley, Barrow at Featherstone, London entertained Rochdale while Halifax travelled to Swinton.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 17th Jun 2018 7:11 PM | Views : 2444 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE


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Thu 19th Jul 10:50
NRL
PARRAMATTA EELS
v
CANTERBURY
Thu 19th Jul 19:45
SUPER LEAGUE
WIGAN WARRIORS
v
ST. HELENS
Fri 20th Jul 09:00
NRL
CRONULLA
v
CANBERRA
Fri 20th Jul 10:50
NRL
BRISBANE
v
PENRITH
Fri 20th Jul 19:45
SUPER LEAGUE
CASTLEFORD
v
HUDDERSFIELD
Fri 20th Jul 20:00
SUPER LEAGUE
HULL KR
v
WARRINGTON
Fri 20th Jul 20:00
SUPER LEAGUE
LEEDS RHINOS
v
WIDNES VIKINGS
Sat 21st Jul 06:00
NRL
NEWCASTLE
v
GOLD COAST
Sat 21st Jul 08:30
NRL
WESTS TIGERS
v
SOUTHS
Sat 21st Jul 10:30
NRL
NQL COWBOYS
v
ST GEORGE
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