Now that we are half-way through second part of the season things are starting to fall into shape, at least in the Super 8s anyway. The Qualifiers to looking to become clearer but things are still extremely tight.
Wigan Warriors 25-10 Wakefield Trinity
Wigan moved a step closer to securing a home play-off semi-final with a hard-fought win over a spirited Wakefield. They also kept the pressure on St Helens as they still hoped they could steal the League Leaders Shield from under their noses.
Wakefield’s season is now over but Chris Chester will be hoping that his side can still finish fifth. In order to do this, they will be hoping to beat Catalans Dragons at this Friday night.
Wigan on the other hand welcome Warrington Wolves to the DW Stadium that same night and know that if they they better Castleford’s result from the night before second place will be secured.
Hull FC 8-28 Castleford Tigers
Castleford visited Hull FC knowing that a win would secure a semi-final place and that is exactly what they did as they comfortably breezed past Hull on Friday night.
Greg Eden’s brace and Luke Gale’s return has galvanised the Tigers and they will still be looking to do one better than they did last year and seek Old Trafford glory.
Hull FC have now lost nine games in a row and Lee Radford will be looking for a stronger end to the season. However, it won’t be easy for them as they travel to current table-toppers St. Helens.
Castleford are currently two points adrift of second-placed Wigan and if they win against Huddersfield on Thursday night that will keep them in the hunt for a home semi-final.
Warrington Wolves 26-24 Huddersfield Giants
This was the fixture that confirmed the top four in the Super 8s. If it had been a Giants victory we would have had to have waited another week to see who would make the top four.
A Jake Mamo hat-trick just wasn’t enough for Huddersfield as the difference between the two sides was a Tyrone Roberts conversion and secure the Wolves place in the play-offs.
With Huddersfield season now over, in terms of silverware, they will be looking to secure fifth spot and will look to beat Castleford, as they welcome them to the John Smiths Stadium.
Warrington, on the other hand, travel to Wigan on Friday night knowing that if they win, they will put pressure on the Warriors as they gap between them will close to three points with just four points available after this weekends round of fixtures.
Catalans Dragons 22-26 St Helens
St Helens knew that they could not lift the League Leaders Shield this weekend, but they did know that a victory over Catalans would be enough for them to have a six point gap going into this weekend.
They were lucky to get the victory over Catalans with a last minute Morgan Knowles the crucial moment in the match.
Saints all but secured the League Leaders Shield with this victory but will lift the trophy if they can beat Hull FC at home on Friday night.
Catalans also know that they cannot lift anymore silverware this season but will be a tough test for Wakefield next weekend and could be a potential banana skin for Hull FC and Huddersfield in the following two fixtures after that.
With the top four secure, Saints will infidelity secure top spot this weekend. However, I believe that Wigans position in second could be at risk as, with six points remaining in the league they are only three points ahead of Castleford who are playing much better after the return of Luke Gale. Warrington on the other hand will be looking to put as much pressure on Wigan and Cas was possible as all three chase second place.
Salford Red Devils 28-16 Toronto Wolfpack
Salford all but secured their safety as they made it four wins out of four against a defiant Toronto side.
Despite going into the half-time break at 20-0 Salford did make it difficult for themselves as they survived two red cards and yellow card to beat Toronto 28-16.
Toronto are one of the three teams now sat on two wins from four and are joint with London Broncos and Toulouse sat behind Salford, Leeds and Hull K.R.
Toronto will be looking to put pressure on Leeds and Hull K.R. this weekend as they welcome Toulouse to the Lamport Stadium on Saturday and will look to beat the French side it what is set to be a crunch clash.
Hull K.R 38-24 Halifax
Halifax failed to pick up their first victory of The Qualifiers as Hull K.R. showed their Super League prowess as a strong first half performance was enough for the Robins to overcome Fax.
Once again it was Craig Hall who was the main contributor to the Rovers scores as he scored four tries again this weekend and converted four kicks as well.
The Rovers are on the brink of securing their Super League safety and they will look to beat London Broncos this coming Saturday.
Halifax on the other hand visit the other winless team Widnes as Richard Marshall aims to end the West Yorkshire sides visit on a high.
London Broncos 34-8 Toulouse Olympique XIII
London showed that they could compete once more after a dominant display against the powerful French side.
After coming short against Toronto and Leeds in recent weeks London needed a victory to get their promotion hopes back on track and they did that as they put five tries past Toulouse.
Toulouse travel to Toronto this weekend as they look to pick up a victory in the big game between the two foreign sides.
London, on the other hand travel to Hull K.R. and will hope they they can put in another performance worthy of a Super League spot because a victory for the Championship side will put them level on points with the Robins.
Widnes Vikings 6-16 Leeds Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos moved closed to retaining their Super League status with a 16-6 victory over Widnes, which left the Vikings on the brink of relegation.
However, it wasn’t an easy victory for the Rhinos as they rallied from 6-4 down to score two late tries and claim the victory.
Even if Widnes were to win their next three fixtures, it could only secure them a Million Pound Game spot. However, with a crucial fixture against Halifax this week, followed by a trip to Toronto it seems as if the Vikings days as a Super League team are over.
The Rhinos on the other hand sit second in the table and will welcome the unbeaten Salford Red Devils knowing that a victory will put them in an extremely good position going going into the final two weekends of fixtures.
With Widnes on the verge of relegation, and Salford being all but secure it will be an interesting three weeks ahead in The Qualifiers.
Leeds and Hull K.R. are the closest teams to Salford and will be looking for a victory and secure their spots in the automatic promotion places.
Toronto, Toulouse and London all currently sit on four points and it it still extremely tight to see who makes the Million Pound Game.
I think London will definitely be there as they have been consistently impressive over the course of the season and have handled themselves well against tougher opposition. I think the result of Toronto vs Toulouse this weekend will then decide who they face.
Halifax will be disappointed at having not picked up a point yet but will be hoping they can consign Widnes to bottom spot and a victory against the Super League side will be a huge boost for Richard Marshall’s men.