With all Round seven games in the Kingstone Press Championship kicking off simultaneously on Sunday afternoon we had eighty minutes to see whether Hull KR, Toulouse, Featherstone and London Broncos could maintain their top four spots. The game of the afternoon looked like it would be the visit of Toulouse to Featherstone, while Halifax's trip to Hull KR also looked an intriguing prospect.
Further down the table the Sheffield Eagles travelled to Swinton, London hosted Rochdale, Oldham were at Batley Bulldogs while the Bradford Bulls continued their quest for positive points against Dewsbury Rams.
Pre-season you would have got very long odds that Saints would be taking on Warrington Wolves in round six with both sides in the bottom three. The Wolves are still looking for their opening win of the season while a decent win for the Saints would see them propelled up the table.
Coach Cunningham was delighted to be able to name half-back Matty Smith in starting line up for the first time in 2017, but Tony Smith welcomed back inspirational full-back Stefan Ratchford, also making his first start this campaign.
It was an early season must win game for both sides.
Sixth placed Leigh Centurions travelled to the Beaumont Legal Stadium in Wakefield to take on a Trinity side still smarting from last weeks local derby loss to the Leeds Rhinos. Leigh had there eyes on fourth spot and knew that a win by more than ten points would see them there, but a sixteen point win for the home side would propel them above the Centurions into sixth spot.
It was an intriguing battle with Super League's new boys Leigh, who have already taken some impressive Super League scalps, up against a Trinity side who have showed much improvement and who will be eyeing a top eight spot for the second consecutive season.
The draw for the fifth round of the 2017 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup saw the introduction of the four Super League sides who competed in the middle eights competition in 2016.
The draw was broadcast live on BBC 5 Live's Breakfast Show, and across other BBC media, with the teams being drawn out by rugby league league legend Jason Robinson, and Breakfast Show presenter Rachel Burden.
After defeat to the Leeds Rhinos in round four the Catalans Dragons were looking to get back to winning ways as they returned home to the Stade Gilbert Brutus to take on a St Helens side who have struggled so far in 2017 and who were languishing in tenth place at kick-off.
Saints were unchanged from the side which lost to Hull FC in round four. For the home side there were a number of changes including backs Yaha and Inu being replacing Broughton and Duport, and Jason Baitieri was in for the injured Greg Bird.
Both sides were desperate for a win and despite the lower than expected league standings of both sides it was a mouthwatering prospect.
Haydock are the first ever eighth tier side to reach the fourth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and today they visited Bower Fold in Oldham to take on Championship side Oldham Roughyeds for a place in the sixth round, and a chance of meeting a Super League side.
Oldham are currently in the bottom half of the Championship table with one win and one draw from five games this season but were odds on favourites to beat the only remaining National Conference side left in the competition, a full six divisions below them in the league structure.
A win for the Leeds Rhinos over Wakefield Trinity at Carnegie Headingley would see them pull level on points with top of the table Castleford Tigers, Wigan Warriors and Hull FC. A win of any description would lift the visitors above the Rhinos.
Leeds were without late withdrawal Liam Sutcliffe and the suspended Brad Singleton, and with Joel Moon named in the half-backs Rob Burrow would start the game on the bench.
Wakefield Wildcats were looking for a third successive win after claiming the scalps of Saints and Salford in the last two rounds, but themselves made five changes from last weeks line-up.
It was never anything but a clear Leigh victory on offer in a game that was all about confidence – or the lack of it – when the Centurions entertained Warrington at Leigh Sports Village.
The hosts ran out 22-8 victors, and climbed to fourth in the table, with victory in the opening match of Super League round 5 against a Wolves team clearly lacking belief despite featuring in both last season’s finals and convincingly beating Brisbane Broncos in the World Club Series just weeks ago.
The Kingstone Press Championship Round six was spread over two days and four kick-off times as Hull KR continued their quest for a quick return to Super League as they travelled to Dewsbury and Bradford Bulls continued their search for positive points with a tough looking home game against the Batley Bulldogs.
Elsewhere the Swinton Lions travelled to Toulouse in the Saturday evening game, there was a Pennines derby between Rochdale and Oldham, London Broncos were on the road at Halifax no in the late Sunday kick off the Sheffield Eagles hosted high flying Featherstone Rovers.
The second round of the Kingstone Press Championship saw Whitehaven host the Toronto Wolfpack and hoping that they could do better than London Skolars effort last weekend.
The weather conditions had been awful all day and with the pitch already looking a little worse for wear the hopes weren't great for a game of open rugby.
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