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With the sides level on points at the top of the table but separated by a massive seventy-one points difference and five league positions, the winner of tonight’s clash between the Salford Red Devils and Wigan Warriors would be two points clear at the top of the table.

Wigan are unbeaten so far in 2024, having played a game less than their opponents, while Salford have won three from their four games, including the shock scalp of St Helens in an away fixture for the first time in decades.

But Wigan were the strong favourites, to take the win and maintain an all competition fourteen game, winning streak running all the way back to 23rd of July 2023 when the Warriors lost to Hull KR in the Challenge Cup Semi Final.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 14th Mar 2024 9:50 PM
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Ahead of the start of the Betfred Championship season in Sheffield and Wakefield this Friday night, the Championship and League One clubs have had confirmation of a managed transition of the competition structure below Super League over the next two seasons, to produce two divisions of 12 clubs from 2026.

Following a detailed six-month review involving all Tier Two and Three clubs alongside the RFL executive, the Betfred Championship will become a 13-team division for one season only in 2025, with League One expanding to become at least 10 teams - and applications to be invited for an 11th (for full details, see the summary below).

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 14th Mar 2024 8:52 AM
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The draw for the sixth round of the 2024 Betfred Challenge Cup took place tonight at the BBC studios in Salford with former League star Iestyn Harris doing the honours of revealing the ties.

All twelve Super League sides were looking to avoid one another with just three wins required for a Wembley appearance, while the remaining four sides from outside the top division; Batley Bulldogs, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax Panthers and Sheffield Eagles, were all looking for a big pay day and a potential Super League scalp.

It was an exciting night for fans of rugby league.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 11th Mar 2024 6:42 PM
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The magic of the Challenge Cup paired the favourites to win this season`s Championship, Wakefield Trinity, against the side who have flirted with promotion for the last couple of seasons but who are currently experiencing some financial difficulties, Featherstone Rovers, in a fifth-round tie to make the mouth water.

Wakefield were favourites with the bookies for the win with a ten-point handicap on the coupon, but Featherstone had home advantage on the notorious pitch at a vociferous and often hostile Post Office Road.

A sixth-round place in a hat full of Super League teams beckoned for the winner over the eighty minutes.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 10th Mar 2024 4:54 PM
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In the final game of round four of Super League XXIX the Catalans Dragons needed the win to go level on points with the five clubs above them with a share of the top slot in the division while a win of forty-nine points or more would see them above Wigan into top spot, on points difference.

A win for Hull FC was unlikely to change their league position but it would open some breathing space between themselves and the three sides below them who are currently all looking for their first league points of the season.

The home side were string favourites with the bookies, few considered that the Black and Whites had any chance of securing their second win of the season.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 9th Mar 2024 7:22 PM
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Leigh Leopards were still seeking their first win of the season as they entered the fourth round of Super League XXIX with a game against a Leeds Rhinos side with their eyes on the top half of the table after a great win against the Catalans Dragons last time out.

The Rhinos were slight favourites with the bookies, but many pundits thought that it was too close to call with Leigh only getting a two-point start on the handicap coupon.

It was another week and another suspension for the Rhinos with James Bentley missing, but they did welcome back Mikolaj Oledzki, Leigh also made changes including the return of Tom Amone after a suspension, but they were still without John Asiata.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 8th Mar 2024 9:58 PM
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Warrington Wolves travelled east to take on Hull KR as two of the sides who hope to be in contention for the top six at the end of the season met with a chance to go to the top of the table, at least for twenty-four hours.

Nial Evalds replaced Joe Burgess for the Robins while Sam Burgess’s side saw the returns of George Williams, Connor Wrench and Jordy Crowther.

Hull KR were favourites for the win with the Wolves being given a four-point start on the handicap with both sides knowing that a win would send them second, a big win for either side sending them above St Helens into top spot, but most pundits thought it would be a close game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 7th Mar 2024 9:47 PM
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Either Hull FC, or the newly promoted London Broncos, would get their 2024 points haul off the big zero as the two sides met in the final game of round three of Super League XXIX, with the leagues bottom side taking on the team in tenth spot.

The Airlie Birds came into the game decimated by injuries and suspensions after a nightmare start to the season which had seen them zero from two with a big negative points difference having only managed to score a total of ten points, but they were still two places above their opponents who had managed just a single try in their two games while shipping in seventy points.

The bookies had installed the Broncos as the underdogs with a fourteen-point start on the coupon but the round had seen a couple of shocks in the fixtures earlier in the weekend.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 3rd Mar 2024 4:56 PM
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Hull Kingston Rovers had their eyes on the top of the table as they travelled to a soggy Greater Manchester to take on a Salford Red Devils side who were looking to spoil the visitors one hundred percent start to the season, and go back above the Leeds Rhinos into the top half of the table.

A win of any description would lift KR into second, a big points win would see them finish the round in top spot and they were favourites with the bookies to take the points off Salford, the home side getting eight points start on the coupon.

Salford lost Ryan Brierley prior to kick off with a hamstring issue, Chris Atkin stepping into his shoes at full back for the hosts.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 2nd Mar 2024 7:18 PM
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The Rhinos came into their third-round clash without the services of the injured Mikolaj Oledzki and the suspended James Donaldson and Sam Lisone as the Catalans Dragons were in Leeds looking for their third consecutive win at the start of the season.

A win by thirty-two points or more would lift the Dragons to the top of the table but a win for the Rhinos by twenty-three or more points would lift them above the visitors today and keep them in touch with the top of the table despite last weeks loss at Hull KR.

The bookies had made the Rhinos slight favourites for the win with a two-point handicap on the coupon but there was very little to choose between the two sides.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 2nd Mar 2024 4:53 PM
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Just six days after their stunning victory over the Penrith Panthers to become the World Club Champions, the Wigan Warriors were running out onto the turf of the DW Stadium for their third-round Super League encounter with the Huddersfield Giants.

The Giants were hoping that the World Champions would be suffering from a hangover and that they would be able to smash and grab two points to lift them level with the top of the table, but Matty Peet spent the week trying to keep his team's feet on the ground and emphasise the importance of the win to keep them at the top end of the table.

Wigan were clear favourites with the bookies, handicapped twelve points on the coupon, and the DW is not a happy hunting ground for the Giants who last tasted victory as far back as round five in 2018.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 1st Mar 2024 9:52 PM
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A home fifth round tie against the Sheffield Eagles awaited the winners of a Sunday evening fourth round game between the Swinton Lions and Oldham as the Championship met Championship One, two sides who have recruited well over the close season and whose sides contained vastly experienced players.

It was the League One side who were the favourites with the bookies, despite travelling to Heywood Road in Sale for the game, and it was the home side had a six-point start on the coupon.

The Sean Long factor, and his recruitment of a strong side, meant that it was his side who were expected to make progress into the fifth round.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 25th Feb 2024 7:46 PM
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The draw for the fifth round of the 2024 Betfred Challenge Cup took place live on BBC Radio Leeds as presenter Mark Deighton and Paul Anderson presided over the nine sides remaining in the competition ahead of four ties to be played in a fortnight’s time to see who would join the twelve Super League sides in the sixth-round draw.

With Swinton Lions and Oldham still to play in the six o'clock kick-off, seven sides were confirmed as through after Saturday and Sunday’s games including the community side York Acorn who beat Watch Brow on Saturday.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 25th Feb 2024 4:57 PM
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Two sides with opening round defeats had a Sunday afternoon encounter to complete the round two fixtures as the Salford Red Devils were visited by the Castleford Tigers with the home side hot favourites for the win after running the Leeds Rhinos close last weekend.

Salford had Joe Shorrocks in for an injured Oliver Partington while the Tigers had an unchanged starting thirteen from the side which lost heavily to the Wigan Warriors in the opening round.

The Tigers were given a twelve-point start on the handicap coupon, very few people could see beyond a Salford win.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 25th Feb 2024 4:52 PM
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A couple of decades ago this would have been a worthy Challenge Cup Final, but in 2024 it was a round four clash to determine who would move forwards into the four-game round five and a chance to take on a Super League side as Bradford hosted Widnes in an all-Championship affair.

The two sides have never actually met in a Challenge Cup Final although they did meet twice in the Championship in 2023 with honours being shared at a win apiece, but Widnes exited the competition at this stage last year at the hands of Dewsbury, Bradford progressing to round five where they lost to Halifax.

The Bulls were favourites for the win with the Vikings having been given a fourteen-point start on the handicap coupon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 25th Feb 2024 2:15 PM
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The eagerly anticipated clash between the northern and southern hemispheres took place at a packed DW Stadium as the Wigan Warriors played hosts to the NRL Champions the Penrith Panthers who were keen to avenge last years loss to St Helens and set the record straight.

The bookies had given the Australians a six-point handicap on the coupon and most pundits were calling the game in favour of the Panthers, but Wigan were quietly confident that a partisan crowd and home advantage could bring them home with a historic win, their first since they beat Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in 2017 and their fifth World Club Challenge win.

The ‘Best Club Side in the World’ title was up for grabs, and both sides desperately wanted it.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 24th Feb 2024 9:57 PM
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The top of Super League beckoned for either the Huddersfield Giants or St Helens as the two sides met at the John Smiths Stadium for a round two encounter which was the prelude for many to the World Club Challenge match between Wigan and Penrith which would take place later in the evening.

With Jake Connor sidelined due to concussion protocols, Tui Lolohea stepped into the Giants full-back spot while the visitors were without the services of Konrad Hurrell, and Waqa Blake after last week’s comfortable win over London Broncos.

St Helens were the favourites for the win with the Giants having been given a ten-point start on the handicap coupon but this early in the season it was a bit of a guessing game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 24th Feb 2024 7:16 PM
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Two sides looking for their first win of the 2024 season met in round two at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium as Sam Burgess’s Warrington Wolves took on Tony Smith’s Hull FC for a place in the top half of the table.

FC made a host of changes to their line-up, some forced by suspensions, some by injury and others tactical while the hosts were without Lindop, Williams (injured) and Crowther (suspended) with Stefan Ratchford only being brought back into the side as eighteenth man.

The bookies made their minds up on the winner ahead of kick off with the home side rated as massive odds-on favourites, Hull FC being given a twenty-point start on the handicap coupon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 23rd Feb 2024 9:52 PM
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After a perfect start to the season, humiliating their arch enemies from across the city, Hull Kingston Rovers welcomed the Leeds Rhinos to Craven Park for the opening match of round two of Super League XXIX, hoping for another clean sheet but happy to settle for a win and the important two points.

The only change to the starting thirteen for the home side was the promotion of George King and the selection of Corey Hall to the bench in place of Matt Parcell (suspended) while Leeds had Justin Sangare in for Oledzki (shoulder), Bentley stepping off the bench into the starting line-up in place of Donaldson and Alfie Edgell for Lachlan Miller who was taken ill on the coach.

The home side were the favourites for the win, the Rhinos given a six-point start on the handicap coupon as the bookies believed that Mikey Lewis would again turn on the style and the Rhinos would struggle on the road.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 22nd Feb 2024 9:48 PM
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Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death appear to be much exaggerated”, and while the critics and doom mongers again heralded the demise of our great game in 2024 it appears from the opening week of Super League that their fears have so far been somewhat misplaced.

Without doubt the Super League XXIX was always going to be a 'little different' with SKY committing to cover all of the matches with some games being broadcast simultaneously, while Super League had its own new streaming service and some games would be shown live to a national audience free to air on the BBC.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 19th Feb 2024 2:55 PM
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