The near sell-out 83,500 capacity ANZ Stadium in Sydney was the focus as the top two teams it the NRL competition, minor premiers Sydney Rooster took on the runners-up, Melbourne Storm, in the 2018 Grand Final. The first time that these two sides had met in a Grand Final. The two sides met just once during the reguar season, the Storm winning by  9-8 in late June thanks to a Cameron Smith drop goal with two minutes remaining, but the Roosters were boosted by the inclusion on Cooper Cronk who had been a major doubt. The Roosters were slight favourites with the bookies, but there was very little in it, the stage was set for a sensational finale to the Australian season.
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With Halifax already out of the running for promotion to Super League, their task was to try and deny London Broncos the result which would guarantee them a place in the Million Pound Game next weekend. A loss by less than twenty-five points would be enough to see them finish fifth, and be the away side in the play-off, but a win of sixteen or more would put them into fourth spot and have them praying for a Widnes Vikings victory over Hull KR on Sunday afternoon to give them the home advantage. Danny Ward had his troops well drilled for the game and intended to increase Halifax’s Qualifiers misery by keeping them winless in seven.
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With the Salford Red Devils guaranteeing themselves Super League rugby in 2019, tonight it was the turn of the Leeds Rhinos and Toronto Wolfpack to bite their nails and be the masters of their own destiny. A Toronto win by more than thirty-two points would guarantee them back-to-back promotions and entry into the top flight,while potentially pushing the Rhinos into the Million Pound Game. A Rhinos win, draw, or loss by less than thirty-two points would mean that the Rhinos would be safe and it would probably be Toronto in the end of season decider, most likely as the away side. The first ever meeting between these two sides couldn’t have come at a more crucial time for both clubs. 
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The Super Eights Qualifiers were occupying centre stage in the final weekend of the competition with everything on the line for six sides, all of whom were seeking the guarantee of Super League football in 2019, but all of whom could slip into the Million Pound Game or in five cases, finish the season in sixth place. With four games over four days the picture would gradually become clearer as the permutations reduced. The opening game of the weekend was the Salford Red Devils hosting Toulouse Olympique XIII at the AJ Bell Stadium. A win for the Red Devils would guarantee them safety, but a win for Toulouse could spell disaster for Salford and propel Toulouse into the crucial top three positions. It promised to be a nervous night at the start of a nail biting weekend.
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It’s a weekend of near meaningless games in the Super League Super Eights with the top four places settled and the play-offs already scheduled as St Helens v. Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors v. Castleford Tigers, the games being played on the 4th and 5th of October.

Instead we will focus on a fascinating final round in the Super League Qualifiers, where six teams are still in contention for the three automatic places and the dreaded Million Pound Game which will determine who joins them when it is played on Sunday 7th October.

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It was moving weekend in the qualifiers as the hopefuls entered the penultimate round of fixtures all hoping that they could perform and that other results would go their way. All Championship sides had Super League opposition and while the top flight sides were all favourites with the bookies there was every chance of a few upsets. On Saturday the leaders Salford were in London, Hull KR at Toulouse and Widnes at the Wolfpack.  Sundays game saw the Leeds Rhinos travel the short distance to Halifax to try and take a critical step on their road to Super League 2019.
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After the other Qualifiers results over the weekend the Rhinos travelled to winless Halifax in the knowledge that while a win wouldn’t guarantee them Super League in 2019, a big win would get them within touching distance as they prepare to take on Toronto Wolfpack in the last round. A loss for the Rhinos, unthinkable for football manager Sinfield and their travelling fans, could conceivably see them ending up in the dreaded Million Pound Game. Halifax, already out of the promotion equasion were simply there to be a thorn in the Rhinos side and hoped to inflict as much pain as they could on their old enemy.
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With the London Broncos ripping up the form book earlier in the afternoon, Widnes’s hopes of a Million Pound game slot had slipped further below the horizon. Mathematically they weren’t out of it, but they knew that they needed a big win over the Toronto Wolfpack in Canada. Toronto were now increasingly desperate for a win and went into the game knowing that they would have to go to Headingley to play the Leeds Rhinos on the last weekend with two consecutive losses meaning that they, themselves, could drop out of the Million Pound Game. It couldn’t have been any more tense.
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As dead rubber games go, this one wasn’t going to bounce very high. The only thing that it had going for it was that it was the dress rehearsal for the playoff semi-final in a fortnights time as fourth placed Warrington Wolves played hosts to Minor Premiers St Helens in a game which neither coach wanted to loose, but more importantly, didn’t want to give any clues as to their thoughts for the upcoming crucial encounter. Warrington had been made slight favourites for the win as Saints announced a pack line-up with a different look to it compared to the regular season. Saints won the last meeting by just 14-12 after a much larger 30-12 win in March. What we didn’t expect was two fully committed sides slogging it out for the pride of the win.
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With the Wigan Warriors securing second spot in Suepr League last night, it was the yurn of the Castleford Tigers to ensure that they finished the Super Eights in third spot and a trip to the DW in the play-off semi-finals. The opposition was Wakefield Trinity who could take guarantee themselves fifth spot with a victory over their opponents from ten miles up the road, for the second year running. Castleford have emerged victorious from the last ten meetings between these two sides, including both encounters in 2018, 24-4 at the Jungle in April, and 11-6 in Wakefield a month earlier.
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