The opening fixture of round six of Super League pitted fifth placed Huddersfield Giants against sixth placed St Helens as both sides looked for their third win of the season and a chance to end the evening in fourth spot in the table.
The two sides should have met in the opening fixture of 2023 but that game was postponed due to the World Club Challenge commitment of St Helens who were in Australia to face the Penrith Panthers.
Most eyes this week would be on Jake Connor who would make his Giants debut off the bench, and on a St Helens side who have still to for on all cylinders in the current Super League campaign as they looked to justify the bookies favourites tag.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 23rd Mar 2023 9:50 PM
Super League´s only pointless side, Wakefield Trinity, had an ominous looking trip to the AJ Bell Stadium to take on an in form Salford Red Devils in the final game of round five on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Devils were big favourites for the win, especially after running in sixty points against Hull FC last time out but would need a big points win to improve their league position.
Wakefield haven´t scored a single point in their last three outings and had been conceding at the rate of thirty-three points a game.
There could only be one winner.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 19th Mar 2023 4:54 PM
Hull KR had this week’s trip to France to take on a high-flying Catalans Dragons who were seeking a win by twenty-three or more points to go above the Warrington Wolves to the top of the table and to maintain their one-hundred-percent start to the season.
The Robins and their fans made the journey knowing that if they could enter the cauldron of the Stade Gilbert Brutus and emerge with the precious points then they would be up to fourth place in the table after the opening five rounds of the competition.
The Dragons were made the bookies favourites with home advantage but with KR having just a twelve point start on the handicap coupon there was some certainty that this would be a competitive game with the visitors having a chance of springing a surprise.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 18th Mar 2023 6:34 PM
The sides starting the evening sat in ninth and tenth spots in the fledgling Super League 2023 table met at the Totally Wicked Stadium as St Helens took on Hull FC with the prize on offer being a spot in the top half of the table.
Most pundits thought that this would be the game where Saints would restart their domestic campaign after a couple of recent blips against the Rhinos and the Leopards, while few Airlie Birds fans had any optimism about a likely successful outcome of a trip across the Pennines to take on the reigning World Champions.
Hull were given an eighteen-point start on the coupon, it was Saints opportunity to fill their boots and compound Tony Smith´s misery.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 17th Mar 2023 9:51 PM
Just when you thought that things couldn´t get any worse for winless second bottom side Castleford Tigers; they announce that they have lost mercurial utility-back Jake Mamo to a career ending back injury; and then they have to face a Leeds Rhinos side who arrived at the Jungle for the derby game on the back of two wins as they look to continue their good form after a disappointing start to their season.
A win for the Rhinos would lift them to third in the table ahead of the rest of the weekend games and a win by twenty-three or more points would push the Tigers into bottom spot on points difference.
The Tigers needed a ninety-six point victory to raise them up by a single place in the table.
The Rhinos were favourites with the bookies but only just, the home side having been given an eight-point start on the handicap coupon.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 16th Mar 2023 9:44 PM
After a great weekend of Betfred Challenge Cup ties with plenty of excitement and the odd upset, the draw for the fourth and fifth rounds took place at Millom ARLFC who are celebrating their 150th year in 2023.
There are sixteen survivors from Round Three which was played over the weekend including community sides Hunslet ARLFC and Rochdale Mayfield, and of course Halifax Panthers who eliminated top of the Championship side, Featherstone Rovers on Sunday afternoon.
Round Four will be played over the weekend of the 30th March to 2nd April while the Fifth Round will take place over the 20th to 23rd April.
The four sides which remain at the end of the fifth round will be joined by the twelve Super League clubs for the sixth round draw.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 15th Mar 2023 6:05 PM
It was the tie which neither side wanted as Featherstone Rovers were drawn out of the hat to play a third round fixture against fellow Championship side, the Halifax Panthers.
An all-conquering Featherstone are currently sat atop the Championship while Halifax are seventh and tucked in nicely as part of the chasing pack.
The two sides met a month ago in the league, Featherstone securing a 46-22 win which made them clear favourites to win this afternoon’s game which was broadcast live on The Sportsman on YouTube.
A place in the fourth round awaited.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 12th Mar 2023 4:39 PM
It was the battle of the Crusaders in the third round of the Betfred Challenge Cup as Thatto Heath played hosts to North Wales in the game selected by the BBC for streaming to the nation.
The North Wales Crusaders made the sixty-mile trip to St Helens in the full knowledge that one of the top sides in the Premier Division of the National Conference League would be confident of taking their scalp.
The two sides last met in the fourth round of this competition in 2019 when Thatto Heath took the spoils with a 16-14 win and were rewarded with a fifth round trip to Dewsbury Rams.
Heath beat Saddleworth Rangers in the last round while the North Wales side handed out a thrashing to the Royal Navy.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 12th Mar 2023 2:05 PM
Hull FC had their hopes set on a jump from eighth to third spot in the table which would be achieved from a home win against a Salford Red Devils side who themselves knew that a decent points win could lift them from tenth to a position inside the top five as the final game of round four took place on Saturday afternoon.
Both sides suffered defeat last time out, FC being walloped by the Catalans Dragons while Salford lost to league leaders Warrington Wolves.
Both coaches made wholesale changes as they chased the result although the freezing conditions were as likely to play a role equally as important as team selection.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 11th Mar 2023 4:42 PM
Today's televised Friday night match – Huddersfield v Castleford at the former's John Smith's Stadium spent much of the day in doubt.
With heavy snow sweeping across the north of England, fans woke to warnings that the game might not take place as neither club nor stadium officials could reach the ground.
The M62 over the Pennines - which Sky's outside broadcast team needed to cross after last night's Wigan v Catalans tussle - was blocked and littered with abandoned vehicles.
Fans were warned not to set off until there was an official announcement that the match was on, but that came well into the afternoon.
Posted by tb on Fri 10th Mar 2023 10:04 PM
As winter shook it´s angry fist at the north of England for the first time in 2023, the Rhinos had taken all necessary precautions to ensure that tonight´s match against bottom of the table Wakefield Trinity would be able to go ahead despite ample snow covering the side roads surrounding Headingley Stadium.
Wakefield came into the game still seeking their opening win of the new campaign while the Rhinos were looking to double up after their sensational last-gasp victory over World Club Champions St Helens in the last round at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
The bookies could see only one winner, giving Trinity a sixteen-point start on the coupon, but the Rhinos went into the game fully aware that they were massive underdogs last time out and still came away with the points.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 10th Mar 2023 9:50 PM
Second placed Catalans Dragons looked to maintain their perfect start to the season as they travelled to Wigan to take on a Warriors side who are tucked in behind them in third spot, recovering brilliantly after losing their opening 2023 fixture at Hull KR in the opening round.
Wigan were strong favourites with the bookies after not conceding a single point in their last two outings, the Dragons being given a fourteen-point start on the handicap coupon, but a win of any description would be enough to lift either the Warriors or the Dragons to the top of the table ahead of tomorrow night’s fixtures.
The snow had started falling in the lead up to kick off and it was bitterly cold as the two sides shivered their way onto the pitch.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 9th Mar 2023 9:48 PM
IMG today presented to the RFL Council the recommended grading criteria to define how Super League, RFL Championship and League One clubs will be assessed starting from 2025, as part of the Reimagining Rugby League plans.
Based on a combination of on and off-field variables, the proposed grading criteria are designed to collectively increase clubs’ fanbases, diversify revenues, drive investment into clubs and the sport in a sustainable manner, run clubs in a best-in-class way and ensure strong governance is in place.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 9th Mar 2023 1:47 PM
The prize on offer for Featherstone Rovers was to go back to two points clear of the opposition as they welcomed the Bradford Bulls, who did the Flat Cappers a massive favour last time out by beating fellow favourites for promotion, Toulouse Olympique XIII.
A win for the Bulls would lift them into a group of four sides on eight points, but after making the short trip to Post Office Road they knew that they would need to pull out a top-drawer performance to beat Sean Long´s side and take the points.
The West Yorkshire derby, on a cold March Monday evening, had the potential to be a classic so long as both sides brought their A-game.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 6th Mar 2023 9:30 PM
New Widnes Vikings coach John Kear returned to one of his eight former clubs as his Cestrian charges travelled over the Pennines to take on the Sheffield Eagles, the side which Kear steered to Challenge Cup glory twenty-five years ago in 1998 to play against a side now coached by the man of the match on that famous Wembley afternoon, Mark Aston.
The sides were sat in third and fourth in the table and knew that a win would take them level on league points with Featherstone Rovers and Toulouse Olympique XIII at the top of the table although either club would need to register a win of more than one hundred points to sit at the top of the pile.
It was an intriguing fixture and give us more idea of the true 2023 potential of these two sides.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 5th Mar 2023 4:42 PM
Saints returned to the Totally Wicked Stadium for their first home game of 2023 after being crowned as the best side in the World as they faced the Leeds Rhinos in a repeat of the 2022 Grand Final.
Few could conceive of anything other than a Saints win, and most would predict that the margin of victory would be substantial after the Rhinos had started the season with back-to-back losses, Saints despatching the Castleford Tigers with some ease last Sunday.
The bookies favoured Saints and gave the Rhinos a fourteen-point start on the coupon, most observers thinking that this was a little over respectful to Rohan Smith´s side.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 3rd Mar 2023 10:02 PM
The game of the round saw third placed Hull FC travel to the south of France for an early Friday evening kick-off against the Catalans Dragons with both sides eyeing the top of the table but needing to record big points victories to achieve it.
The Dragons needed a thirty-seven point victory to overtake Warrington on points difference while the ask was an unlikely fifty-three point plus win.
A win for either side would lift them into second spot, at least until Hull KR took on the Leigh Leopards in an eight o´clock kick-off.
The home side were slight favourites for the win, but FC had only been given a four-point start on the handicap coupon.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 3rd Mar 2023 7:48 PM
The early season league leaders returned to the Halliwell-Jones Stadium as the Warrington Wolves took on the Salford Red Devils in the Thursday night match with the visitors knowing that a win by twenty-four points or more would see them spend the evening at the top of the pile.
The Wolves were defending a one hundred percent start to the season but the Red Devils were looking for a return to winning ways after their defeat at the hands of Hull KR last time out.
The home side were clear favourites to continue Daryl Powell´s rise from pariah to messiah, but with just a ten point start on the coupon the bookies weren´t sure that the Wolves would have it all their own way.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 2nd Mar 2023 9:53 PM
England Rugby League today confirms that Shaun Wane (Men), Stuart Barrow (Women) and Tom Coyd (Wheelchair) will be the national teams’ head coaches through to the 2025 World Cup in France.
Wane took England’s Men to the semi-finals of RLWC2021, where they were agonisingly beaten by Samoa in golden point extra-time at London’s Emirates Stadium.
Women also suffered semi-final heartbreak at RLWC2021 – Head of England Pathways Barrow is now tasked with taking the side one step further at RLWC2025 Barrow will be assisted by the Leeds Rhinos head coach and former England captain Lois Forsell, and Dec Hardman, who was the head coach of St Helens when they secured a Women’s Challenge Cup and Super League double in 2021
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 28th Feb 2023 12:25 PM
Two sides with aspirations of reaching the end of season play offs came together in Widnes for a round four game with the Vikings taking on Halifax Panthers in the televised match on ViaPlay Sports (formerly Premier Sports).
The sides were sat in fifth and sixth in the table, both with two wins out of their opening three matches, and both knowing that a decent win would raise them into equal second spot in the table, tucked in behind the one-hundred-percenters Featherstone Rovers.
There was little to choose between the two sides, home advantage just giving Widnes the edge n the pre-match odds.
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 27th Feb 2023 9:28 PM