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The potential for complacency was Widnes Vikings worst enemy coming into today’s Challenge Cup second round fixture against Whitehaven as the cup kings of the seventies and eighties took on a side who have never made it to Wembley and who are looking forward to their first season back in the Championship after gaining promotion in 2019.

The bookies couldn’t see past the win for Simon Finnigan’s side who had done well to knock out the Dewsbury Rams in the last round a week ago.

Matt Cook and Paul Clough were making their first appearances for the Vikings and despite no fans being in the ground the home advantage, and i-pitch, would certainly count in their favour.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 28th Mar 2021 6:46 PM | Views : 3208 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Castleford and Warrington brought the curtain down on the first round of Super League in an empty and windy Emerald Headingley Stadium, with both teams knowing their coach was starting his final season in charge.

Castleford were on just their second set when Jake Trueman put a teasing kick into the Wolves’ in-goal, which Josh Charnley twice failed to bat clear and Oliver Holmes charged through to ground the ball just shy of the dead-ball line.

Gareth O’Brien converted to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead.

Posted by tb on Sun 28th Mar 2021 4:52 PM | Views : 2519 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

When the draw for the second round of the Betfred Challenge Cup was made, the potential for a clash between two highly ambitious sides was likely to be the most mouth watering prospect as the possibility of the London Broncos hosting the York City Knights was on the cards.

And with York beating Sheffield and London being victorious over Keighley, so it came to pass.

The chance of a big game against one of the top Super League outfits was the prize on offer as the sides met at Rosslyn Park in south west London.

The two teams met in round five last year, before the competition was truncated by the pandemic, and it was the visitors York who triumphed by 24-22 on that occasion.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 28th Mar 2021 4:16 PM | Views : 2798 | Replies : 20 | READ MORE

One of the biggest stories of the close season, the capture of Ian Watson as coach of the Huddersfield Giants from the Salford Red Devils, had reached its judgement day as the Giants took on Hull FC at Emerald Headingley in the first of Sunday’s double headers as they looked for a winning start for their new coach Brett Hodgson.

After the two sides finished either side of half-way in the 2020 table, FC were slight favourites with the bookies but with the Giants getting just a two-point start on the coupon there was very little to choose between the two sides on paper.

A team announcement shock was that Aiden Sezer was missing for the Giants with a niggling injury that wasn’t worth the risk.

They did debut six new players while Hull FC fielded a very similar side to that which finished the 2020 season, just new signing Josh Reynolds getting his debut in black & white after signing from Wests Tigers.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 28th Mar 2021 2:23 PM | Views : 5371 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

A late March start for Super League 2021 might have rekindled hopes for summer rugby in the sunshine.

But with Covid restrictions in force on both sides of the Channel, Catalan Dragons found themselves playing their opening home match in the grey of Emerald Headingley – along with every other tie of the round – rather than the sun of Perpignan when they came up against Hull KR.


Rovers finished bottom in an 11-team competition last year, and with relegation facing any team finishing 2021 in 12th, have made some big signings, in both senses of the word.


Posted by tb on Sat 27th Mar 2021 7:19 PM | Views : 3144 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Wakefield Trinity were the designated home side at Emerald Headingley as they took on the Leeds Rhinos in the third game of the opening round of Super League 2021.

It was the first game of a double header which would later see the Catalans Dragons face Hull KR.

The Rhinos were favourites to start the season with a win, something that they have done more often than not over the last twenty-five years.

Wakefield had a six-point start on the coupon indicating that there was the expectation of a close game after four months for both sides without kicking a competitive ball.

There was no place in the Rhinos seventeen for acquisition Kyle Eastmond, but they did give a debut to new boy Zane Tetevano.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 27th Mar 2021 4:50 PM | Views : 2178 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Super League’s new boys, the Leigh Centurions, had a baptism of fire as they took on the Wigan Warriors in their opening fixture as the second part of the 2021 opening night double header.

It was the league’s youngest coach in charge of a hastily assembled side after gaining promotion in 2020 to replace the now defunct Toronto Wolfpack.

Leigh had a twelve-point start on the coupon with Wigan massive favourites for the win but there would have some pre-game concern amongst Adrian Lam’s side that they were facing the unknown in their opening fixture.

Leigh had nine debuts in their seventeen against a Warriors side without a handful of regular first teamers who miss the season start but they were buoyed by the return of John Bateman who’d spent the last two seasons plying his trade down under.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 26th Mar 2021 10:09 PM | Views : 5531 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

The Champions were first up as the 2021 Super League season got underway at Emerald Headingley, the opposition were a Salford Red Devils under the management of ex-Saints assistant coach Richard Marshall as a new era began.

Morgan Knowles is ruled out until at least round four but did welcome back Mark Percival.

Salford were without Joe Burgess, out with an ankle injury but had former NRL superstar loose forward Elijah Taylor making his debut.

Saints were massive odds-on favourites with the bookies and you could get a fourteen point start for Salford on the coupon, but after four months (119 days) of off-season, and fundamental coaching changes to the Salford side, it could have been a bit of a lottery.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 26th Mar 2021 8:00 PM | Views : 1798 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Round three’s opening game was an eagerly anticipated Grand Final rematch as the Penrith Panthers hosted the Champions, the Melbourne Storm.

The home side were slight pre-match favourites with the bookies but were without Nathan Cleary who suffered a head-knock last week, the half-back being replaced by Matt Burton.

Melbourne suffered two injury blows and would be without the services of Ryan Papnhuyzen and Felise Kaufusi as Craig Bellamy’s side looked to repeat their Grand Final success against Ivan Cleary’s men.

The Panthers are yet to concede a point in 2021’s competition, having nilled both the Cowboys and the Bulldogs, the Storm began the match in ninth place with one win and one loss.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 25th Mar 2021 11:00 AM | Views : 1719 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

The Betfred Challenge Cup threw up a good old-fashioned Yorkshire derby as Post Office Road played host to a clash between the two old enemies, Featherstone Rovers and the Bradford Bulls.

Rovers came into the game as strong favourites for the win and progress into the second round and a home game against the Batley Bulldogs, but with neither side having had a competitive run-out for over a year, it was a bit of a lottery.

There was just one place between these two sides in the final league table in 2019, Featherstone finishing fifth and the Bulls in sixth.

The two sides met in the fifth round in 2019, the Bulls winning by golden point after a humdinger of a game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 21st Mar 2021 4:40 PM | Views : 2616 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

At first glance the West Wales Raiders versus the Widnes Vikings was a strange selection as the first match by the BBC.

But dig a little below the surface and the debuts for Rugby Union superstar thirty-three times Welsh capped Gavin Henson, and former Super League Man of Steel and journeyman Rangi Chase, both in the colours of the ambitious Raiders.

Their including made this a mouth-watering prospect as they took on one of the all-time cup kings.

The favourites were clearly the visitors, playing their rugby in the higher league and with many years of top-level cup pedigree, but with home advantage and a couple of unknowns there was always the chance that the home side may spring a surprise.

Stebonheath Park in Llanelli was the venue, a three-and-a-half-hour drive for the Vikings

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 21st Mar 2021 2:40 PM | Views : 2623 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Two sides from the wrong end of the fledgling table, the North Queensland Cowboys (14th) and St George Illawarra Dragons (11th) looked to get their season started by registering their first win as they met in Townsville.

Both coaches made a single change from last weeks losing sides, the Dragons had Corey Norman in for Clune while the Cowboys had Lachlan Burr in their seventeen, replacing Taumalolo.

The bookies went for home advantage in making the Cowboys slight favourites to pick up the win but with just seven points between the sides on the aggregate scores in 2020, there was very little to choose between them.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 20th Mar 2021 10:28 AM | Views : 2558 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After 376 days without a competitive ball being kicked, the Sheffield Eagles and York City Knights were first up from the Betfred Championship as they raised the curtain on the first round of the Betfred Challenge Cup 2021.

Both sides lost on their last outings, but after over a year it counted for absolutely nothing.

The venue was the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, home of the Eagles for the 2021 season.

But it was the York City Knights who were favourites with the competitions sponsors to make progress into the second round and a tie away against the winners of tomorrows game between the London Broncos and Keighley Cougars.

If you fancy a real outside bet, you could back either side with Betfred at 150/1 to lift the silverware at Wembley in the final scheduled for the 17th July.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 19th Mar 2021 9:32 PM | Views : 3883 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Decamped en-masse to the Gold Coast, the New Zealand Warriors, under new coach Nathan Brown, were looking to build upon last weekend’s opening round win against the Gold Coast Titans.

But the opponents tonight were a Newcastle Knights side who also got their season off to a winning start with a 32-16 victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs.

There was little to choose between the two sides on paper, with both looking to move to the top of the table with a win.

There was just a single change made by each coach, Adam Pompey in for Aitken for the Warriors and Phoenix Crossland taking the place of Mann for the Knights.

The rain started as the game got underway with the slippy ball likely to be a leveller.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 19th Mar 2021 8:50 AM | Views : 1865 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

Two sides, both round one victors, went head-to-head at the Bankwest Stadium in Sydney as the Paramatta Eels took on the Melbourne Storm for the honour of sitting at the top of the table, at least until tomorrow's fixtures are played.

The Storm came into the game as bookies favourites having won the last encounter between the two sides in October, and on the back of four straight competition wins.

But the Eels will have been remembering the encounter in August with more fond memories, a game which saw them score fourteen unanswered points in shutting out the eventual Grand Final winners.

The heavens had opened pre-kick off, the conditions levelling the odds.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 18th Mar 2021 10:56 AM | Views : 2427 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

With a short week to go until the opening round of the Betfred Challenge Cup, and the start of the Super League season just a fortnight away, a number of Super League sides took the opportunity to blow off the cobwebs with ‘friendly’ and ‘testimonial’ games over the weekend.

We take a quick look at the action from some of those games as coaches had a chance to try out some of their possible line-ups in a semi-competitive environment, and we got the chance to take a look through various streaming services as all games were played behind closed doors due to the ongoing pandemic.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 15th Mar 2021 6:34 AM | Views : 10344 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

It was billed as a pre-season friendly, but when the Catalans Dragons face Toulouse Olympique XIII, there is rarely anything friendly about it once the captains have shaken hands in the centre of the field.

Both coaches took the opportunity to name large squads for the game with the hope of sharing the workload and getting a good look at all their charges in a game situation.

Catalans’ Steve McNamara named a thirteen-man bench while Toulouse coach Sylvian Houles had a squad of twenty-three players, including many names familiar to followers of Super League such as Harrison Hansen, Dominic Peyroux and Mitch Garbutt.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 13th Mar 2021 3:42 PM | Views : 3346 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The bookies couldn’t see past a Roosters win as a decent crowd in the Sydney Cricket Ground anticipated the season opener against the Manly Sea Eagles.

The Roosters are amongst the four favourites to win the Grand Final come the end of the season, but they know that 2021 is likely to be a highly competitive season which will require true contenders to be out of the blocks from the first whistle.

The Sea Eagles were without talisman Tom Trbojevic for the season opener after ‘Tommy Turbo’ picked up a hamstring injury in pre-season, his full-back berth being taken by usual stand-off Dylan Walker despite him being under a disciplinary cloud after a pizza shop fracas.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 13th Mar 2021 8:31 AM | Views : 2126 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

The bookies couldn’t pick a favourite as the Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs kicked the first ball of the 2021 NRL season in the much-anticipated game at the AAMI Park in Melbourne.

The Storm won both games between the two sides in 2020 and have a fantastic record against the Bunnies having only lost to them on five occasions since 1998.

Souths have never beaten the Storm on this ground, a record which coach Bennett would be painfully aware as he plotted a winning start to the campaign against the defending champions.

The Storm hadn’t lost a round one game since 2001 and coach Bellamy was in no mood to let that record slip on his watch.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 11th Mar 2021 10:58 AM | Views : 2587 | Replies : 0 | READ MORE

After eighteen months without a play-the-ball the Women’s Super League has finally got a start date for the 2021 season.

Ten teams will take part in the competition which will kick off on the 18th April with four fixtures being played on the opening Sunday of the competition.

The Leeds Rhinos will look to defend their 2019 crown with a game against the York City Knights in a double header which will also see the 2019 beaten finalists Castleford Tigers take on local rivals Featherstone Rovers.

Both games are to be played in Weetwood, Leeds.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 10th Mar 2021 5:01 PM | Views : 6003 | Replies : 1 | READ MORE

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RLFANS Match Centre
Sat 17th Apr
CH RND: 2 Toulouse24-0LondonB
NRL RND: 6 Manly36-0Gold Coast
Fri 16th Apr
NRL RND: 6 Newcastle26-22Cronulla
NRL RND: 6 Melbourne20-4Sydney
Hull KR25-24Huddersfield
Thu 15th Apr
NRL RND: 6 Brisbane12-20Penrith
SL RND: 3 Leeds6-19Wigan
Sun 11th Apr
CC RND: 3 Swinton8-32Warrington
CC RND: 3 Leigh18-36Huddersfield
NRL RND: 5 Wests30-34NQL Cowboys
NRL RND: 5 Parramatta12-26St.George
Sat 10th Apr
CC RND: 3 Salford68-4Widnes
CC RND: 3 St.Helens26-18Leeds
CCRND: 3 Catalans26-6Wakefield
CC RND: 3 Featherstone14-34Hull FC
NRL RND: 5 Gold Coast42-16Newcastle
NRL RND: 5 Canterbury18-52Melbourne
NRL RND: 5 Sydney26-10Cronulla
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
National Rugby League 2021 ROUND : 10
Penrith 6 160 38 122 12
Sydney 6 164 78 86 8
Melbourne 6 160 74 86 8
Souths 5 143 60 83 8
St.George 5 129 87 42 8
Parramatta 5 116 80 36 8
Canberra 5 103 90 13 6
Gold Coast 6 124 115 9 6
Newcastle 6 127 142 -15 6
Cronulla 6 126 120 6 4
NZ Warriors 5 93 102 -9 4
Manly 6 83 168 -85 4
Wests 5 94 160 -66 2
Brisbane 6 80 147 -67 2
NQL Cowboys 5 70 171 -101 2
Canterbury 5 34 174 -140 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Super League XXVI ROUND : 10
St.Helens 3 88 12 76 6 100
Castleford 3 91 38 53 6 100
Wigan 3 73 30 43 6 100
Hull FC 2 57 14 43 4 100
Catalans 2 49 38 11 4 100
Warrington 2 56 33 23 2 50
Leeds 3 44 59 -15 2 50
Hull KR 3 53 78 -25 2 50
Huddersfield 3 44 67 -23 0 0
Salford 2 10 64 -54 0 0
Wakefield 3 34 96 -62 0 0
Leigh 3 46 116 -70 0 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2021 ROUND : 10
Toulouse 2 45 6 39 4 100
Sheffield 1 50 12 38 2
Halifax 1 47 14 33 2
Featherstone 1 28 18 10 2
Dewsbury 1 17 8 9 2
Oldham 1 28 20 8 2
Widnes 1 30 30 0 1
Newcastle 1 30 30 0 1
Swinton 1 20 28 -8 0
Whitehaven 1 8 17 -9 0
Batley 1 18 28 -10 0
York 1 6 21 -15 0
Bradford 1 12 50 -38 0
LondonB 2 14 71 -57 0 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred League One 2021 ROUND : 10
Coventry 0 0 0 0 0
Workington 0 0 0 0 0
Hunslet 0 0 0 0 0
Rochdale 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Barrow 0 0 0 0 0
LondonS 0 0 0 0 0
Doncaster 0 0 0 0 0
West Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Keighley 0 0 0 0 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Womens Super League 2021 ROUND : 10
WiganW 0 0 0 0 0
Wire W 0 0 0 0 0
St.HelensW 0 0 0 0 0
WakefieldW 0 0 0 0 0
LeedsW 0 0 0 0 0
CastlefordW 0 0 0 0 0
FeatherstoneW 0 0 0 0 0
Hudds W 0 0 0 0 0
YorkW 0 0 0 0 0
BradfordW 0 0 0 0 0
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