The domestic season may be over with clubs having turned their thoughts to season ticket sales, while the players are enjoying hard –earned holidays with their families and resting their battered bodies, but the rugby league scene is far from hibernation with plenty going on to get the fans talking.

We’ve had a look back at the news over the last week to pick up on stories which you might have missed, to ensure that you keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening inside the greatest game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 30th Oct 2018 6:40 PM | Views : 7295 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The eagerly anticipated opening fixture of the three match test series against New Zealand saw England in Hull at the KCOM Stadium for the crucial first instalment.

England won the mid-season game against the Kiwi’s in Denver by 36-18 but would have to do without the likes of Gareth Widdop, Luke Gale and Ryan Hall. New Zealand travelled to England on the back of a two point victory over Australia a fortnight ago and made just one change to that winning side.

The tourists were the slight favourites with the bookies but there was little to choose between the two sides, the stage was set for a classic.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 27th Oct 2018 4:24 PM | Views : 13450 | Replies : 27 | READ MORE

With no Wigan or Warrington players, eight debuts and a late call up for Richie Myler at half-back to replace the injured Luke Gale, there was little about tonight’s England game against France at the Leigh Sports Village could barely be classed as a full-blooded warm-up for the impending three match series against New Zealand.

Debutants Shaul, Johnstone, Lyne and Holmes made the starting line up while all four substitues for England would also gain their first cap for a side with just one loss in their last six matches as they came up against a France side who themselves have only managed one win in their last six outings.

Places were up for grabs for the New Zealand series as Wayne Bennett took a last look at his side in what should be a realtively straighforward run out in Leigh.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 17th Oct 2018 9:30 PM | Views : 8228 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

A place in the Championship was up for grabs as Leon Pryce’s Workington Town travelled down the M6 to take on Stuart Littler’s Swinton Lions in the last game of the domestic season. Having finished bottom of the Championship ladder the Lions knew that they would be up against as they welcomed the side who pushed York and Bradford all the way in Championship One and now hoped to join them in the second tier next season.

This crucial game was being held at Swintons home ground of Haywood Road in Sale as the lower division side were forced to travel. The two sides last met over two years ago when Swinton won by 19-12, but with Swinton not having won in their last four, this was anyones game as the Lions took on the Marras.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 14th Oct 2018 4:49 PM | Views : 6217 | Replies : 3 | READ MORE

It seems like just yesterday, in the frozen depths of winter, that Super League XXIII got underway with twelve clubs brimming full of hope and expectation. The race is already run for ten of those original dozen hopefuls, but tonight, at the Theatre of Dreams, either the Wigan Warriors or the Warrington Wolves would cap their season with the ultimate silverware and the title of ‘Champions’.

It was sure to be an emotionally charged night, regardless of the eventual winner. Warrington were looking to end a sixty-three year wait with their first title in over six decades, while Wigan would say a fond farewell to their coach Shaun Wane after seven trophy laden years in charge.

The bookies had the double W’s of Wigan as favourites to emerge victors, but the Wolves fans were in attendance filled with hope an belief that it really could be their year.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 13th Oct 2018 8:14 PM | Views : 5301 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

There is just one show in town this weekend, the town being Manchester, and the show being the Super League Grand Final between the Warrington Wolves and the Wigan Warriors. Last weekend’s underdogs Warrington overcame the odds to secure their fourth final in eight years and will be looking to do the same on Saturday night against the 2018 favourites, Wigan Warriors. The Warriors are seeking their fifth title from ten attempts while Warrington have yet to lift the trophy after twenty-one years of trying.

Wigan are odds on favourites with the bookies to repeat their 2013 and 2016 results by beating the Wolves and condemning them to the losers medals in both major competitions this season, them having lost to the Catalans Dragons at Wembley in August.

There is one other game this weekend, to be played on Sunday afternoon, as Swinton and Workington Town play-off for a place in next seasons Championship.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 12th Oct 2018 10:44 AM | Views : 5214 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

They say defence wins games. That certainly proved the case for Championship coach of the year Danny Ward’s London team in Toronto.


In a tense and exciting game that managed to avoid any tries at all, the Broncos won a Super League place in 2019 by two penalty goals to one – or four points to two.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 7th Oct 2018 11:44 PM | Views : 5334 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was second against third for the remaining place in the Grand Final as the Wigan Warriors took on the Castleford Tigers In Shaun Wane’s farewell game at the DW Stadium. Next Saturday night, and a Old Trafford date with the Warrington Wolves awaited and while the home side were slight favourites, few were confident about whether this would be Castleford second year in the showpiece final or Wigan’s tenth return.


Castleford needed to overcome the disappointment of last weeks nilling at St Helens to overcome a confident and well drilled Wigan. The Warriors had their big guns back in the side including Sam Tomkins and skipper O’Loughlin. Castleford were missing a few first choice picks but still put out a strong looking side.


Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 6th Oct 2018 12:43 AM | Views : 5023 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was sudden death football as the Warrington Wolves travelled to the Totally Wicked Stadium to take on the highly fancied St Helens in the first Super Eights Play-Off, for a place in the Grand Final at Old Trafford in nine days time. 

Few gave the Wolves much hope of making their fourth appearance in seven years, with the smart money being lumped on St Helens first return since they last lifted the trophy in 2014, to record a record eleventh appearance in the showpiece final.

Both coaches made several changes from the sides which met a fortnight ago when Saints were clear winners. But this was a different matter, at the end of a long season it was a night of knock-out football, and there were nerves on both sides as they looked to secure the ultimate prize.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 4th Oct 2018 9:49 PM | Views : 5641 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The penultimate weekend of the 2018 domestic season will determine the Super League Grand Finalists, which side will join Salford, Leeds and Hull KR from the Qualifiers in the top flight next season, who wins the Championship Shield and which Championship One side will be playing in the Championship in 2019.

There are play-off semi-finals on Thursday and Friday evenings with the Million Pound game, the Shield final, and the Championship One play-off final on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 4th Oct 2018 9:20 AM | Views : 5779 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

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 : 5411 | 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 : 5800 | 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 : 4802 | 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 : 5508 | 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 : 9553 | 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 : 5709 | 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 : 4510 | 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 : 5195 | 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 : 3953 | 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 : 4173 | Replies : 2 | READ MORE

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