The Warrington Wolves brought a seven game winning run to Headingley to take on a Leeds Rhinos side who have struggled to one win in their last three outings. The Champions have struggled so far this season against a fair number of injuries and Coach McDermott has not been able to pick his first choice seventeen so far this season. The Wolves are sitting pretty in third and a win over the Rhinos would put them five points clear of their opponents, who currently reside in fifth. A Leeds win would see them into fourth, maintaining their push on a top four finish. Brett Ferres swapped his bench with Mark Parcell while Josh Walters and Nathaniel Peteru came in for Delaney and Oledzki on the bench. The Wolves brought Matt Cooper into their side after missing the last couple of games.
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Neither the pundits, the bookies, or the fans gave the Catalans Dragons a ‘snowball in hell’s’ chance of upsetting the form book and taking the points from St Helens in tonights game at the Totally Wicked Stadium. The Saints demolished the Red Devils last week and despite the Dragons getting themselves a victory last week the expectation was that Saints would dispatch them with ease. Saints were without 2018 sensation Ben Barba who was out injured, and injury which saw Jonny Lomax switch to full back from stand off where he was replaced by Theo Fages. James Roby was back in the side with Matty Smith moving to the bench where he was joined by Luke Douglas in the side for the suspended Matthew Lees. There were four changes to the Catalans Dragon side which beat Hull FC last weekend in France with Vincent Duport, Julien Bosquet and Louis Anderson all making the starting line-up and with Alrix Da Costa on the bench.
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The Betfred Super League hits round fourteen with six games spread over four days while the Championship fixtures are spread between Saturday and Sunday. In Championship One there is one game on Saturday when Doncaster Travel to play the London Skolars but the remaining fixtures are all on Sunday afternoon. The two TV games on SKY see top placed St Helens face the Catalans Dragons who lifted themselves off bottom spot last week with their hard fought win over Hull FC. On Friday ‘May the Fourth be with you’ on Star Wars day as the Leeds Rhinos, in fifth, take on third placed Warrington Wolves at an ever changing Headingley Stadium.
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Round twelve of the Betfred Championship was equally split between Saturday and Sunday fixtures as an avalanche of points on both days contributed to some excellent spectacles. Some 372 points were scored, averaging 62 per game with five sides recording a score of over forty.

The closest winning margin was twenty-two points and the largest fifty-eight and the high scoring wasn’t confined to the Championship with York City Knights overcoming last weekend’s Challenge Cup disappointment recording a record winning score and margin with their 144-0 humiliation of West Wales in their Sunday afternoon Championship One encounter.

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The Leeds Rhinos were back in Hull, the scene of their one-point defeat heatbreak last weekend, hoping to turn round a mini-dip in form against tenth placed Hull KR who needed the win to avoid being cut further adrift in the league table. There were wholesale changes for the Robins after last weeks cup win over Oldham with Danny McGuire back in the side to face his previous employers for the first time on home soil.  The Rhinos made just one change with Brad Singleton in for Cameron Smith with Brett Delaney moving to the bench as coach McDermott had his eyes on fifth spot after Hull FC’s slip up in the south of France last night.
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Hull FC had the task of regaining fourth spot on their minds as they made the long trip to Spring warmth in the south of France to take on bottom placed Catalans Dragons, who are now hoping for a massive turnaround in form and fortune if they are to avoid playing in the middle eights for a second consecutive season. Coach McNamara made eight changes from the side who had a fright against the York City Knights in last weeks Challenge Cup fifth round game including the debut of Josh Drinkwater who replaced the injury retired Luke Walsh. Lee Radford named a seventeen without goal kicker and play-maker Marc Sneyd (ill) and full back Jamie Shaul (family issues).
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Fifth placed Castleford Tigers had a round thirteen encounter with seventh Wakefield Trinity in the West Yorkshire derby at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle. The two sides are separated geographically by just eight miles, but by four points in the league ladder. After a great start to the season Wakefield have suffered a recent decline with just one win their last seven outings while Castleford are still seeking their 2017 consistency despite some good wins. After suffering a hammering at the hands of Salford Red Devils last week Trinity coach Chris Chester made a number of changes with Max Jowitt, Tom Johnstone, Ryan Hampshire, Anthony England, Kyle Wood, Pauli Pauli and Chris Annakin all in the starting thirteen. For the Tigers Daryl Powell  made four changes and welcomed back Jamie Ellis and Jesse Sene-Lefao.
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Salford Red Devils were seeking a third consecutive victory as they placed to the league leaders St Helens in the Thursday night televised clas in round thirteen of Super League. The pundits and the bookies all pointed to a Saints win and a tough night at the office for the Devils at the AJ Bell Stadium. After a stunning win over Wakefield Trinity last time out the home side had Jake Shorrocks in for the injured Rob Lui, Lee Mossop replacing Ben Nakumuwai in the front row and Lama Tasi on the bench. Saints put sixty-six points on the Giants last weekend and welcomed back Mark Percival and Zeb Taia. The neutrals were hoping for a close game.
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After last weekends cup action we return to regular league fixtures across all three Betfred divisions as the battle for the Super Eights moves into the second half of the season with round thirteen of Super League, and round twelve in the Championship. SKY have selected Thursday’s game between the Salford Red Devils and the league leaders St Helens at the AJ Bell Stadium and Friday’s local derby between the Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity, both sides still smarting from losses last weekend. They will also televise the Saturday tea-time clash between the Catalans Dragons and Hull FC.
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The draw for the sixth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup was made live this morning on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2, as the remaining eight Super League Clubs joined the eight survivors from last weekends ties.

All four of the top flight sides who entered the competition at round five made it through unscathed, although the Catalans Dragons had a bit of a fright at Championship One side York City Knights before emerging as 34-22 victors.

 

Whitehaven, the only survivors from the third tier, who had a fantastic 38-0 victory over Championship side the Rochdale Hornets, will have been eagerly anticipating a tie against one of the big sides and a nice pay day.

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