The near sell-out 83,500 capacity ANZ Stadium in Sydney was the focus as the top two teams it the NRL competition, minor premiers Sydney Rooster took on the runners-up, Melbourne Storm, in the 2018 Grand Final. The first time that these two sides had met in a Grand Final.

The two sides met just once during the reguar season, the Storm winning by  9-8 in late June thanks to a Cameron Smith drop goal with two minutes remaining, but the Roosters were boosted by the inclusion on Cooper Cronk who had been a major doubt.

The Roosters were slight favourites with the bookies, but there was very little in it, the stage was set for a sensational finale to the Australian season.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 30th Sep 2018 12:29 PM | Views : 3882 | Replies : 16 | READ MORE

With Halifax already out of the running for promotion to Super League, their task was to try and deny London Broncos the result which would guarantee them a place in the Million Pound Game next weekend.

A loss by less than twenty-five points would be enough to see them finish fifth, and be the away side in the play-off, but a win of sixteen or more would put them into fourth spot and have them praying for a Widnes Vikings victory over Hull KR on Sunday afternoon to give them the home advantage.

Danny Ward had his troops well drilled for the game and intended to increase Halifax’s Qualifiers misery by keeping them winless in seven.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 29th Sep 2018 8:57 PM | Views : 4219 | Replies : 10 | READ MORE

With the Salford Red Devils guaranteeing themselves Super League rugby in 2019, tonight it was the turn of the Leeds Rhinos and Toronto Wolfpack to bite their nails and be the masters of their own destiny.

A Toronto win by more than thirty-two points would guarantee them back-to-back promotions and entry into the top flight,while potentially pushing the Rhinos into the Million Pound Game. A Rhinos win, draw, or loss by less than thirty-two points would mean that the Rhinos would be safe and it would probably be Toronto in the end of season decider, most likely as the away side.

The first ever meeting between these two sides couldn’t have come at a more crucial time for both clubs. 

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 28th Sep 2018 9:47 PM | Views : 3300 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Super Eights Qualifiers were occupying centre stage in the final weekend of the competition with everything on the line for six sides, all of whom were seeking the guarantee of Super League football in 2019, but all of whom could slip into the Million Pound Game or in five cases, finish the season in sixth place.

With four games over four days the picture would gradually become clearer as the permutations reduced. The opening game of the weekend was the Salford Red Devils hosting Toulouse Olympique XIII at the AJ Bell Stadium. A win for the Red Devils would guarantee them safety, but a win for Toulouse could spell disaster for Salford and propel Toulouse into the crucial top three positions. It promised to be a nervous night at the start of a nail biting weekend.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 27th Sep 2018 9:44 PM | Views : 3874 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

It’s a weekend of near meaningless games in the Super League Super Eights with the top four places settled and the play-offs already scheduled as St Helens v. Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors v. Castleford Tigers, the games being played on the 4th and 5th of October.

Instead we will focus on a fascinating final round in the Super League Qualifiers, where six teams are still in contention for the three automatic places and the dreaded Million Pound Game which will determine who joins them when it is played on Sunday 7th October.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 27th Sep 2018 6:33 AM | Views : 6156 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was moving weekend in the qualifiers as the hopefuls entered the penultimate round of fixtures all hoping that they could perform and that other results would go their way.

All Championship sides had Super League opposition and while the top flight sides were all favourites with the bookies there was every chance of a few upsets. On Saturday the leaders Salford were in London, Hull KR at Toulouse and Widnes at the Wolfpack. 

Sundays game saw the Leeds Rhinos travel the short distance to Halifax to try and take a critical step on their road to Super League 2019.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 23rd Sep 2018 5:03 PM | Views : 3965 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

After the other Qualifiers results over the weekend the Rhinos travelled to winless Halifax in the knowledge that while a win wouldn’t guarantee them Super League in 2019, a big win would get them within touching distance as they prepare to take on Toronto Wolfpack in the last round.

A loss for the Rhinos, unthinkable for football manager Sinfield and their travelling fans, could conceivably see them ending up in the dreaded Million Pound Game.

Halifax, already out of the promotion equasion were simply there to be a thorn in the Rhinos side and hoped to inflict as much pain as they could on their old enemy.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 23rd Sep 2018 4:52 PM | Views : 3200 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With the London Broncos ripping up the form book earlier in the afternoon, Widnes’s hopes of a Million Pound game slot had slipped further below the horizon. Mathematically they weren’t out of it, but they knew that they needed a big win over the Toronto Wolfpack in Canada.

Toronto were now increasingly desperate for a win and went into the game knowing that they would have to go to Headingley to play the Leeds Rhinos on the last weekend with two consecutive losses meaning that they, themselves, could drop out of the Million Pound Game.

It couldn’t have been any more tense.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 22nd Sep 2018 7:31 PM | Views : 3726 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

As dead rubber games go, this one wasn’t going to bounce very high.

The only thing that it had going for it was that it was the dress rehearsal for the playoff semi-final in a fortnights time as fourth placed Warrington Wolves played hosts to Minor Premiers St Helens in a game which neither coach wanted to loose, but more importantly, didn’t want to give any clues as to their thoughts for the upcoming crucial encounter.

Warrington had been made slight favourites for the win as Saints announced a pack line-up with a different look to it compared to the regular season. Saints won the last meeting by just 14-12 after a much larger 30-12 win in March.

What we didn’t expect was two fully committed sides slogging it out for the pride of the win.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 22nd Sep 2018 5:12 PM | Views : 2758 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With the Wigan Warriors securing second spot in Suepr League last night, it was the yurn of the Castleford Tigers to ensure that they finished the Super Eights in third spot and a trip to the DW in the play-off semi-finals.

The opposition was Wakefield Trinity who could take guarantee themselves fifth spot with a victory over their opponents from ten miles up the road, for the second year running.

Castleford have emerged victorious from the last ten meetings between these two sides, including both encounters in 2018, 24-4 at the Jungle in April, and 11-6 in Wakefield a month earlier.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 21st Sep 2018 9:41 PM | Views : 2960 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

Wigan Warriors knew that they needed a win from tonights game to secure second spot in the league and a home play-off semi-final, probably against the Castleford Tigers. The Giants, who recorded a 20-12 win over the Warriors at the John Smith’s Stadium in mid-July.

Wigan named Sam Tomkins in the halves with Morgan Escare at full-back after losing Thomas Leuluai through injury. The Giants were without a few players through injury and with nothing to lose, and relentless Huddersfield rain, they could be forgiven for not going into the game with all guns blazing.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 20th Sep 2018 9:47 PM | Views : 3048 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With two rounds left in the Super League Super Eights there is little left to play for except the jostling for places. Wigan need one more win to guarantee a home play-off tie and will be looking to seal that in Thursday night’s game away at Huddersfield while a win for Castleford against Wakefield will guarantee them third spot and an away game at Wigan with Warrington travelling to St Helens.

The Super Eights Qualifiers are far more exciting with Leeds Rhinos, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils all just one win away from securing Super League for 2019. A three horse race for the Million Pound Game is developing between Toulouse, Toronto and London which has pushed the RFL to announce a 19:00 kick-off for the crucial end of season game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 20th Sep 2018 5:35 PM | Views : 5510 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Second placed Bardford Bulls needed a win to keep the pressure on the league leading York City Knights as they travelled to Vestacare Stadium to take on an Oldham side currently sitting in fifth place in the table.

The likelihood was that the Bulls would need to win the play-offs to gain promotion to the Championship and it was important that they got the win today to boost their confidence going into the end of season competition.

Oldham knew that they needed the win to enhance their play-off chances, the stage was set for a cracker.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 16th Sep 2018 4:57 PM | Views : 4699 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round five delivered on drama in the Super League Qualifiers as two sides made big strides to maintain their Super League status while the Widnes Vikings threw themselves the thinnest of lifelines by recording their first win of the competition. 

Two of the games were won by narrow margins while the others were competitive and there was plenty of controversy throughout the weekend with incidents of alleged biting, dodgy try decisions, red and yellow cards and refereeing controversy.

It’s clear that all eight sides are getting nervy.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 16th Sep 2018 9:22 AM | Views : 4776 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Both the Toronto Wolfpack and Toulouse Olympique XIII came into this fifth round Qualifiers fixtures on four points but two places apart on the league ladder due to points difference.  It was a crucial game with the winner putting themselves in pole position for being the home side in the Million Pound game, the loser more likely to be playing their rugby in the Championship in 2019.

This was the third meeting between the two teams, Toronto winning the game at the Magic Weekend in May by 43-30 and narrowly winning the game in France in April by 24-22. Toulouse had a disappointing loss in London last time out, while Toronto lost to Salford. Both sides had a point to prove.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 15th Sep 2018 7:39 PM | Views : 5803 | Replies : 50 | READ MORE

The two sides which haven’t registered a single point in the Super Eights Qualifiers met at the Select Security Stadium as Widnes Vikings hosted Halifax in the deadest of dead rubbers. Neither side had any hope real hope of making the Million Pound game so there was just pride to play for, along with the first two points in the competition for one of the teams.

Widnes had lost their last twenty league matches but they came into the game as the favourites to overturn a Halifax side who have leaked an average of thirty-five points a game, while scoring an average of just over eight.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 15th Sep 2018 5:14 PM | Views : 3742 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The Wigan Warriors went into tonights game knowing that a win would end opponents Warrington Wolves hopes of a top four finish and give them a massive advantage over third placed Castelford Tigers going into the last two games of the Super Eights.

Wigan had won all four of their Super Eights fixtures while Warrington had recorded just one loss. It’s honours shared with two wins each in the four meetings so far this season, Wigan winning the last match up between the two sides at the DW two months ago by a margin of 13-12.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 14th Sep 2018 9:50 PM | Views : 3935 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

With Huddersfield’s race for the top four ending last weekend, it was the Castleford Tigers who came into tonights match at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle with the motivation to perform. A win would put them within a point of second spot and keep their hopes of a home play-off alive. But a loss could see them drop to fourth at the end of the weekend.

Giants were victorious in the last meeting between the two sides a couple of months ago, having been beaten on their own ground earlier in the season but the bookies saw only a Tigers win as they looked to keep the pressure on the top two.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 13th Sep 2018 9:54 PM | Views : 3527 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round four was the time that those with aspirations of Super League in 2019 needed to show their mettle and pick up the crucial two points to put themselves in the reckoning. 

Game of the round saw the Toronto Wolfpack travel to unbeaten Salford Red Devil’s while London Broncos and Toulouse had a critical Sunday afternoon meeting. 

Hull KR knew that a win over Halifax would greatly improve their chances of an automatic place while Leeds Rhinos needed an improvement as they travelled to a pointless Widnes Vikings.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 9th Sep 2018 5:38 PM | Views : 4838 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Salford all but secured their Super League place with victory over  Toronto Wolfpack – but the win came at a price with talismanic half-back Jackson Hastings likely to miss a number of games, not least next week’s visit to Leeds, after a late red card.

The opening 40 minutes belongs almost exclusively to the hosts. Toronto offered no threat and on the few occasions when they did finish a set in their opponents’ 20, it inevitably petered out.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 8th Sep 2018 7:34 PM | Views : 5044 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

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