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Two form teams, both on the back of short winning runs, met in the final game of round eighteen as the Catalans Dragons made the journey to West Yorkshire to take on an increasingly confident Castleford Tigers in the hope of picking up the two points to go ahead of St Helens and prevent their continued fall towards the bottom end of the top six.

A win for Castleford would lift them within a point of the Huddersfield Giants and would stretch their win streak to three consecutive games after their stunning win over Saints a couple of weeks ago, but the bookies favoured a Dragons win, handicapping them by six points on the coupon and buoyed by the return of Tom Johnstone and Jordan Abdull.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 21st Jul 2024 4:52 PM
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It was Leeds Rhinos ‘Brad Arthur’ test day as the new coach took charge of the side for the first time as they came up against a trailblazing Hull KR side who are having a sensational season inside the top six and who wanted the two points to move level with the Warrington Wolves in second place.

The bookies made the visitors slight favourites but with only a two point advantage to the Rhinos on the handicap coupon they were far from convinced that this was an ironed on win for the Robins as Leeds looked to get two points closer to the Salford Red Devils and the cherished sixth spot in the table.

The Leeds masses gathered at Headingley to ask whether this would be a new dawn for their beloved club, or more of the same underperforming that their side has displayed for the last few years.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 20th Jul 2024 4:53 PM
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Second travelled the short journey to fourth as Warrington Wolves looked to get within two points of the league leaders against a St Helens side who came into the game on the back of three consecutive losses and in danger of dropping to sixth by the end of the weekend and losing four on the bounce for the first time in six years.

The home side were slight favourites with the bookies for a win but with just a two-point handicap on the coupon it promised to be the tightest of games at the end of a sweltering day as summer arrived.

Warrington won the only encounter between the two sides in 2024, eliminating Saints from the Challenge Cup at the quarter final stage, but you have to go back to June 2021 to find the last Warrington victory in a Super League encounter.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 19th Jul 2024 10:01 PM
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It was all on the line as Queensland took on New South Wales at the Suncorp Stadium in the deciding match of an exciting 2024 State of Origin series which had kept the Australian public on a knife edge since that sensational New South Wales win three weeks ago.

Queensland were slight favourites with the bookies and had been handicapped by two points on the coupon, but all indications were that game three would be the closest and most keenly fought of the three games and a game which could come down to the last kick of the game in front of a capacity crowd.

Both coaches made a couple of changes; Queensland had Kalyn Ponga, Selwyn Cobbo in their seventeen with Trent Loiero as eighteenth man, while Bradman Best and Matt Burton were in for New South Wales, the latter as the reserve.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 17th Jul 2024 1:02 PM
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Bradford Bulls stood in the way of Wakefield Trinity and their continued march back to Super League on the back of an unbeaten season as Daryl Powell’s side made the short trip to Odsal for a round fifteen showdown between top and fourth.

The visitors were, of course, the favourites to pick up another two points and Bradford were given a twelve-point start on the handicap coupon with the bookies unable to see anything other than another Wakefield victory.

Wakefield won both the early season league encounter and defeated Bradford at the semi-final stage of the 1895 trophy to secure their game at Wembley.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 14th Jul 2024 4:51 PM
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The final game of the round saw fifth placed Salford Red Devils make the long journey south to play the Catalans Giants who started the game in sixth pace but knew that a win would lift them above their opponents.

Salford had their eyes on getting to twenty-four points to lift them above St Helens and onto the same total as Hull KR and Warrington Wolves in second spot in the table, a loss for the Dragons would leave them anxiously looking over their shoulders at Leeds with a play-off place still at risk.

The bookies gave the Dragons a six-point handicap on the coupon making then slight favourites to pick up the points.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 13th Jul 2024 7:18 PM
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For years the Black and White side of Hull looked forward to their derbies with keen anticipation of victory and securing bragging rights, but in recent times that excitement has turned to fear, fear of defeat and possibly humiliation at the hands of their fiercest rivals.

A victory by twenty-five points or more would put Hull Kingston Rovers into second place in the table, but a win for Hull FC, however unlikely, would put them two points clearer of London Broncos and bottom spot but with no hope of making the play-off and probably not of getting out of eleventh spot.

FC were given an eight-point start on the coupon and many of those wearing the colours of the home side would gladly take just an eight-point defeat before the kick off.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 13th Jul 2024 4:52 PM
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A mouthwatering, top of the table, original derby saw reigning Champions Wigan Warriors take on the pretenders to their throne and arch rivals St Helens in front of a near sell-out crowd at the Brick with a season crucial two points up for grabs.

A win for Wigan would lift them four points clear of their rivals and with a game in hand and barring any disaster it would make them almost uncatchable as they look to repeat last season’s success.

The bookies and the pundits all thought that it would be the Warriors who would exploit home advantage and take the spoils as they were handicapped by twelve points on the coupon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 12th Jul 2024 9:52 PM
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Under the recently announced new coaching stewardship of former Paramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur, at least until the end of the season, the Leeds Rhinos were looking for a turnaround in form and performance as they made the ominous trip to Warrington to take on a Wolves side who were looking to go second and to get within two points of the Wigan Warriors at the top of the table.

A win for the Rhinos would lift them level on points with six placed Catalans Dragons but they needed a massive points win to lift them above the side from the south of France.

Leeds had a ten-point start on the coupon, many Rhinos supporters feeling that the advantage was a little stingy on behalf of the bookmakers as they feared a larger defeat despite the new man in charge.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 11th Jul 2024 9:53 PM
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Fresh from their second league win of the season, the underachieving Hull FC made the trip across the Pennines to take on a Salford Red Devils side who are exceeding expectations after a player drain and well documented financial difficulties.

A win for Salford, as predicted by the bookies and the pundits, would put the Red Devils back into fifth spot and level on league points with the second placed St Helens while FC need three wins to get them above Castleford, should Castleford fail to register any more victories.

FC had a twelve-point start on the coupon, the bookies predicting a closer game than many pundits.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 7th Jul 2024 4:52 PM
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It was the Leeds Rhinos weekend for the two free points as they took on a beleaguered and bedraggled London Broncos side who are still on a single win for the season and looking increasingly unlikely to improve on that tally in what remains of 2024 before their despatch into the Championship.

A win would do nothing for London in terms of league position but would move them level on points with Hull FC but with Leeds getting handicapped by thirty-two points on the coupon it was already a foregone conclusion that they would be getting the points which could lift them into the top half of the table, at least until the outcome of the Hull KR and Catalans game later in the evening.

Leeds won the game in May by 46-8, London were hoping for some kind of improvement.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 6th Jul 2024 4:57 PM
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When Wigan Warriors and Leigh Leopards met at the Leigh Sports Village earlier in the season it was a comprehensive victory for the Warriors by a scoreline of 40-10 but both sides knew that the recent resurgence of the Leopards meant that this was a far different prospect.

Wigan are flying high at the top of the table and tow points clear of their nearest rivals while Leigh are in ninth spot after their recent resurgence and on the fringe of the play-off places as the season heads into its second half.

The home side had been handicapped by twelve points with the bookies making them firm favourites, but Adrian Lam’s side love an upset, especially over their nearest neighbours.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 5th Jul 2024 10:02 PM
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While Barrow Raiders are currently sitting in eleventh place in the Championship, they are only one point away from being in the top half of the table and only two away from the play-off positions, their current league location belying some excellent performances in 2024 which has meant some narrow losses.

But the likelihood was that this would be a game that would not help the home side improve on their situation as they welcomed the side who many had already crowned champions and promoted back to Super League before a single ball was kicked in this season’s competition, the high-flying Wakefield Trinity who remain unbeaten through twelve league outings.

The home side were given a massive twenty-two-point start on the handicap coupon; the points already being waved goodbye as they set off for West Yorkshire.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 30th Jun 2024 3:43 PM
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The mid-season international game saw a youthful England side travel to Toulouse without the coach Shaun Wane, who underwent emergency surgery earlier in the week, to take on a France side which comprised many of the Catalans Dragons first team.

France were expected to put on a strong showing but England were strong favourites with the bookies and were handicapped by twenty-two points on the coupon by the bookies despite being internationally rated eighth in the world against an England in third.

This was the fifty-third game between the nations with England having won forty-three of those, the last being a 64-0 victory, the same as the women’s winning score, when the two sides met last year in Warrington, but this was likely to be much closer.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 29th Jun 2024 6:51 PM
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England were massive favourites with the bookies who gave the home side a forty-point start on the coupon in the twenty-first encounter between the two sides with France having never recorded a victory against the England side.

The last time that the two sides met was back in April 2023 when England romped to a very comfortable 64-0 win at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium in Warrington with France hoping that they would be able to put on a more competitive performance this time around.

Toulouse was the venue for the first game of a double header which would later see the men’s side face off.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 29th Jun 2024 4:18 PM
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Despite being thrashed in Origin 1 three weeks ago the bookies had installed New South Wales as slight favourites for victory in the second game of the three-match series over Queensland as a nation ground to a halt and switched on their TV sets.

There were just two minor changes for Billy Slater and the Maroons, Gagai and Capewell being brought in on the bench, but wholesale changes for the Blues who introduced Murray, Watson, Edwards, Mitchell, Moses and Marnett as Michael Maguire shuffled his pack to get the crucial win to send the series level.

A home win for New South Wales at the Melbourne Cricket Ground would push the series to a competitive third game, a loss would give a series win to Queensland.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 26th Jun 2024 12:59 PM
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The Betfred Challenge Cup will have a new structure in 2025, with the 12 Super League clubs joining the Road to Wembley at the Third Round stage.

The Third Round draw will be held in January, well before the start of the Super League season, with the aim of building more momentum towards the showpiece Finals Day in June.

It means that clubs from the Betfred Championship, League One and even the community game will have more chance to secure a glamour tie at home to Super League opposition, as the Third Round draw will be seeded to guarantee each of the Super League clubs travel away to one of the 20 Second Round winners.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 25th Jun 2024 6:05 PM
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England Head Coach Shaun Wane has named a 20-strong squad ahead of Saturday’s mid-season international against France in Toulouse.

And several new faces are included, among them Castleford Tigers centre Sam Wood, Wigan Warriors hooker Brad O’Neill, Hull KR loose forward Elliot Minchella, St Helens prop George Delaney, Huddersfield Giants forward Oliver Wilson and Leeds Rhinos forward James McDonnell.

Brad O’Neill has been almost ever-present for the Wigan over the last two years, playing an integral role in the Warriors’ successful pursuit of all four available trophies – the Betfred Super League, League Leaders’ Shield, Betfred Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 25th Jun 2024 6:39 AM
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A Sunday afternoon cracker to complete round fifteen as St Helens made the short trip to Salford looking for the win to return to joint top of the table as they took on a Red Devils side who needed the win to reduce the points gap between themselves and the top sides.

Paul Rowley’s side were initially unchanged with Ryan Brierley still out with a rib injury but a warm injury for Tim Lafai saw Loghan Lewis brought into the starting line-up, while Paul Wellens made just one change as he brought in Bennison for Makinson who is out with a medium-term foot injury.

Saints were the favourites for the win with the bookies handicapping them by eight points on the coupon but this was a game billed as the best fixture of the weekend as Salford looked to complete a 2024 double over their visitors.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 23rd Jun 2024 4:51 PM
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A middle of the table clash in the south of France saw a Huddersfield Giants side on the verge of losing touch with the play off places take on a Catalans Dragons side down on confidence and in danger of dropping out of the top six themselves after a recent poor run of form.

The bookies and pundits fancied a home win as they gave the Giants an eight-point start on the coupon but both sides came into the game on the back of painful defeats, the Giants to Hull KR and the Dragons at home to the Leigh Leopards.

One sides season would march forward on a victory, the other would continue a slump and a disappointing 2024 season.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 22nd Jun 2024 7:21 PM
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