The game of the round saw the Toronto Wolfpack host the Sheffield Eagles at the home of London Skolars as the league leaders played the steel city side who have impressed and surprised in equal measure with their start to the 2019 Championship season.

A twenty point win for the Eagles would see them leap ahead of the Wolfpack but the Toronto side knew that they needed the two points to guarantee that they would be at the top of the table at the final hooter.

Toronto had a week off last weekend as they elected not to enter the Challenge Cup while Sheffield lost their cup match against Leigh Centurions. The Wolfpack favourites with the bookies to pick up the two points on offer.

READ MORE

There were very contrasting fortunes for the Tigers and the Warriors last time out. Despite being near the top of the table, Castleford suffered the heartbreak of a Golden Point loss to bottom side Leeds Rhinos while Wigan, at long last, found some form in demolishing the Catalans Dragons.

A win for the home side would keep them in touch with St Helens and the Warrington Wolves but the visitors  went into the game knowing that if other results went in their favour then a win could see them into fourth by the time the final hooter sounded at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

The Tigers were without one of their key playmakers as Paul McShane started a three match suspension for striking and ex-Tiger Zak Hardaker was likely to get a warm reception from the home fans as he returned for the first time. Wigan were without Sean O’Loughlin and Ben Flower through injury.

READ MORE

Even at the quarter season stage, tonights match was a must win for both combatents as Hull KR hosted the Leeds Rhinos. A win for KR would lift them into seventh spot in a tight bottom half of the Super League table but a loss by twenty-five points or more would see them into bottom spot. For the Rhinos, a win by fifteen points would see them up to ninth, but a loss would cut them further adrift at the bottom.

The Robins brought Taioalo Vaivai, Robbie Mulhern, and Rhinos old boy, Danny McGuire into their starting line-up after a narrow defeat at the league leaders, St Helens, last weekend. The Rhinos were without Richie Myler who picked up a suspension after last weeks Golden Point win against the Castleford Tigers, and had trialist Wellington Albert on the bench for his first outing in the Blue and Amber.

READ MORE

The fifth round of the Coral Challenge Cup saw the entry of the four Super League sides who took part in last season’s middle eights competition as the minnow crossed their fingers and hoped for a fantastic away day at Leeds Rhinos, Hull KR, Salford Red Devils or London Broncos.

There were sixteen names in the draw with St Helens amateur side Thatto Heath Crusaders the lowest placed side, joining the surviving Betfred Championship and Championship One sides in the hat.

League legend Martin Offiah and Steve Prescott Foundation's Linzi Prescott drew the balls at the Boxpark at Wembley Stadium

READ MORE

The fourth round of the Challenge Cup threw together two BD postcoded sides in a derby scrap for a place in the fifth round, as seventh placed Championship side the Bradford Bulls travelled to Keighley side languishing well adrift at the bottom of Championship One, after a big points deductionfollowing a period in  ‘special measures’ over the close season.

It was a very welcome pay-day for the home side as plenty of Bulls supporters made the short twelve mile trip around Bradford to bolster the home crowd creating a great atmosphere.

Bradford were the favourites to progress but there were local bragging rights at stake and the Cougars wouldn’t give it up easily.

READ MORE

Crusaders Park in St Helens was the venue as Championship one side the North Wales Crusaders took on their namesakes from Thatto Heath in the fourth round of the Coral Challenge Cup.

Unbeaten so far in 2019, and with a good cup run and two league wins in the Premier Division of the National Conference, there was a real chance of an upset as they took on a side just six places above them in the league ladder, who had registered four straight defeats at the start to their own 2019 league campaign.

The home crowd were expectant of Cup progress, and the possibilty of a draw against one of the four Super League sides who will enter the competition in the next round.

READ MORE

The upwardly mobile Hull FC had an intriguing round eight game against fellow play-off contenders the Warrington Wolves, with both sides looking to build on their respective wins last weekend. FC have lost just one game in their last six outings while Warrington have recorded just one loss in 2019, their away fixture in Perpignan.

A win would have sent FC into fourth and a fifteen point win would have put them up to third but the Wolves were unlikely to be able to make progress unless they got a big win, while St Helens upset the odds and lost at Hull KR.

READ MORE

Most Leeds supporters making their way into Headingley tonight were hoping for the best but expecting the worst against a Castleford Tigers side who themselves were heavily beaten by St Helens last time out.

The Rhinos were without Brett Ferres who picked up a two game suspension for the use of the knees in the loss in Perpignan last weekend while Daryl Powell made one change to his losing side with Will Maher replacing Tuoyo Egodo.

A win by four points of more would lift Leeds off the bottom of the table, but Castleford were intent on the win to keep up the pressure on the two sides above them.

READ MORE

Round eight of the Betfred Championship was once again split over two days as Toulouse visited Batley on Saturday afternoon, and all the remaining fixture being played on Sunday.

Game of the round was the clash between the sides in third and fourth as the Sheffield Eagles visited York City Knights, but there was plenty of interest elsewhere.

Bradford were hosts to Leigh, Toronto were in Halifax, Widnes visited Rochdale looking for another win to overcome their points deduction, while Featherstone Rovers played Dewsbury and Swinton went to Barrow looking for their first points if the season.

READ MORE

After an indifferent start to the season Halifax had the opportunity to strike a blow for their top half of the table aspirations and cause a temporary derailment of the Toronto Wolfpack juggernaut, as the two sides did battle at the MBi Shay.

Toronto needed the win to return to the top of the Betfred Championship table but a win for Halifax could see them finish the weekend in fifth spot, should other results go in their favour. But the odds were on the side of Brian McDermott’s side as they looked to make it seven wins in eight outings.

READ MORE

BACK                                     MORE STORIES
All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the RLFANS.COM or its subsites.

Copyright 1999 - 2019 RLFANS.COM


You must be 18+ to gamble, for more information and for help with gambling issues see https://www.begambleaware.org/.