Category: Super League Rugby

Super League Rugby News

Oct 17

Meet the USA Rugby League World Cup captain … and organic food entrepreneur

Mark Offerdahl grew up in Australia, played club rugby in France and Wales, became an entrepreneur in London, and is about to captain USA at a World CupBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets Required, part of the Guardian Sport NetworkMark Offerdahl will skip…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/no-helmets-required/2017/oct/17/mark-offerdahl-rugby-league-usa-world-cup-captain-food

Oct 12

Super League awards: the complete review of the 2017 season | Aaron Bower

It was a season to remember for Leeds and for Castleford’s Luke Gale, while Wakefield bucked the big-spending trend and Toronto Wolfpack showed a glimpse of the futureHad these awards been published a fortnight ago, it could have been so easy to go for…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/12/super-league-awards-complete-review-2017-season

Oct 10

Rugby league has not got a problem with drugs, says England coach Denis Betts

• ‘This is a society issue … I can’t see what Zak Hardaker was thinking’• Depleted England ready to head for Australia on Thursday and World CupSenior members of England’s coaching and playing staff have denied that rugby league has a wider issue with …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/10/rugby-league-no-problem-drugs-england-denis-betts

Oct 06

Leeds legends aim to end era by crushing Castleford fairytale in Grand Final | Aaron Bower

Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow want to end their Leeds playing careers with another title against their neighbours Castleford at Old Trafford

The home grounds of Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos lie less than 20 miles apart. As local rivalries go, they do not get much more intense. That much will be evident on Saturday night when their two worlds collide at Old Trafford in the 20th Super League Grand Final.

They may be close as the crow flies but the two clubs are a long way apart in many other respects. This is David versus Goliath, played out on the sport’s biggest stage – and, even though the pre-match chatter has been dominated by Zak Hardaker’s omission from Castleford’s squad for a breach of club rules, it still has all the makings of a classic.

Related: Luke Gale wins man of steel award and aims for Super League Grand Final glory

Related: Castleford revival leads from edge of oblivion to shot at Grand Final glory

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/06/mcguire-burrow-leeds-castleford-grand-final-preview

Oct 05

Castleford ready to cap rapid rise and achieve the unthinkable in Grand Final

Four years ago the club almost went out of business but they have soared under Daryl Powell and can fulfil the dream of former owner Jack Fulton on Saturday

On Saturday it will be 10 years to the day since Castleford won rugby league’s Championship to earn promotion to Super League. “Ten years? It feels like a lifetime,” says their captain, Michael Shenton, who played in that match against Widnes as a teenager. Before this extraordinary season that had been the extent of Castleford’s recent success but come Saturday night, against Leeds at Old Trafford, the Tigers could be crowned Super League champions.

There are rugby league-mad towns, and then there is Castleford. Only a few miles from Leeds and Wakefield, this little pocket of West Yorkshire eats, sleeps and breathes the sport. They are playing in the Grand Final for the first time – though they will do so without their outstanding full-back, Zak Hardaker, who was dropped on Thursday for a breach of club rules – and the town with a population of only 40,000 will feel empty.

Related: Castleford’s Zak Hardaker out of Grand Final because of ‘breach of club rules’

Related: Luke Gale wins man of steel award and aims for Super League Grand Final glory

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/05/castleford-rapid-rise-unthinkable-grand-final-daryl-powell

Oct 05

Castleford’s Zak Hardaker out of Grand Final because of ‘breach of club rules’

• Tigers drop England full-back in run-up to biggest game in their history
• Hardaker had enjoyed stunning season after move from Leeds

The England international Zak Hardaker has been dropped by Castleford for Saturday’s Super League Grand Final following a breach of club rules.

Only 48 hours after finishing second behind his Castleford team-mate Luke Gale in the 2017 Man of Steel awards and with the club’s first-ever appearance in the Grand Final days away, Hardaker has been omitted from the Tigers’ 19-man squad to face Leeds at Old Trafford.

Related: Luke Gale wins man of steel award and aims for Super League Grand Final glory

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/05/zak-hardaker-castleford-miss-grand-final-breach-club-rules-rugby-league

Oct 02

Castleford’s Daryl Powell: favourites tag means nothing in Grand Final

• ‘It’s all about turning up and playing’ says Castleford coach
• Rhinos’ Stevie Ward ruled out with shoulder injury

Castleford have been the form team all season but their coach has denied that favouritism will make any difference in the club’s first Super League Grand Final.

It is first versus second on Saturday evening as Castleford face Leeds, but Daryl Powell said the Tigers’ priority was “turning up and playing” at Old Trafford, regardless of which side was favourite.

Related: Luke Gale golden point beats St Helens and puts Castleford in Grand Final

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/02/castleford-daryl-powell-leeds-grand-final

Sep 27

Toronto, Toulouse and Perpignan? How the Championship went cosmopolitan

The part-time players in the Championship will need to keep their passports handy next year – and that’s before more clubs arrive from across the Atlantic

By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets Required, part of the Guardian Sport Network

On Saturday evening we will know whether Catalans Dragons or Leigh Centurions will be playing in the Championship next season. The losers of the Million Pound Game (that name – eurgh!) will go down and the odds are on a spineless Dragons team failing to play to their potential at a hostile Leigh Sports Village. That will be a great shame for Catalans and French rugby as a whole, but there are positives amid the gloom. It would mean two derbies with Toulouse Olympique and both clubs would be expected to challenge Toronto Wolfpack and London Broncos for promotion.

And that, in a nutshell, is the other problem. Part-time clubs in the Championship will have to travel to all four of those exciting destinations, flung far from the M62. Throw in either Barrow or Whitehaven – who meet in the League 1 play-off final on Sunday – and the financial impact on clubs such as Swinton, Batley, Sheffield, Featherstone is considerable. But they better get used to it, as there could soon be away trips to the USA and Ireland on the schedule, too.

Related: Damp squib in Philadelphia exposes distance of American rugby dream

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/no-helmets-required/2017/sep/27/rugby-league-million-pound-game-catalans-leigh-toronto

Sep 21

St Helens in prime spot for semi-finals after win over Salford

• Super 8s: Salford 4-30 St Helens
• Wigan would need huge win to deny neighbours

Whether it is Castleford on Thursday or Leeds 24 hours later in the semi-finals, it is increasingly clear St Helens are in no mood to let this season peter out with a whimper.

When Justin Holbrook arrived on these shores in May and inherited a side whose fate appeared more likely to be in a battle to avoid the Qualifiers as opposed to the race for Old Trafford, few would have fancied St Helens being in this position.

Related: Leon Pryce: ‘There is no doubt that Sporting Chance saved my life’

Related: Super League is tighter than ever – which shows the salary cap is working

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/21/salford-st-helens-super-8s-match-report

Sep 10

Warrington to part company with Tony Smith, Super League’s longest-serving coach

• Smith took charge in March 2009 and oversaw huge success at club
• Warrington finished regular season in Super League’s bottom four

Warrington will look to Australia and the NRL for their new coach after the Super League side confirmed they will part company with the competition’s longest-serving coach, Tony Smith, at the end of the current season and by mutual consent.

Smith has overseen one of the most successful periods in Warrington’s history since joining as coach in March 2009, helping the Wolves win the Challenge Cup on three occasions, as well as reaching three Grand Finals.

Related: Hull KR floor Widnes to secure top-flight promotion at the first attempt

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/10/warrington-tony-smith-super-league-rugby

Sep 09

Hull KR floor Widnes to secure top-flight promotion at the first attempt

• Hull KR 12-6 Widnes Vikings
• Tries by Minns and Shaw help ease pain of last year’s relegation

After a testing season in the Championship, the trips to Batley and Dewsbury are now officially a thing of the past for Hull Kingston Rovers, but Widnes will look back on this as a missed opportunity to confirm their own future in Super League.

Related: Super League: Castleford extend lead after comfortable win over Leeds

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/09/hull-kr-promoted-back-to-super-league-widnes-match-report

Sep 01

St Helens’ Ben Barba overshadowed by Wigan’s superb Sean O’Loughlin

• Super 8s: St Helens 16-26 Wigan
• Wigan still have Grand Final chance

Wigan’s defence of their Super League title they won last October has been littered with suggestions Shaun Wane’s side are incapable of retaining the trophy next month in the Grand Final.

And on occasions that scepticism has not been without reason – but as the calendar ticks over into September Wigan are beginning to peak at just the right time once again. And what a night they chose to prove it, as the Ben Barba fanfare in St Helens was silenced by their fiercest rivals.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/01/st-helens-wigan-super-league-rugby-match-report

Aug 31

Leeds one win away from home semi-final after win over Hull FC

• Super 8s: Leeds Rhinos 38-26 Hull FC
• Hull’s brave effort after Wembley final not enough

Leeds moved to within touching distance of a home semi-final in the Super League play-offs following this victory in a bad-tempered contest.

Hull were lifting the Challenge Cup at Wembley five days ago – the scheduling of this fixture so soon after the final attracted much criticism – and they knew two points here were crucial to their hopes of usurping Leeds in second place.

Related: Hull beat Wigan to retain Challenge Cup thanks to Marc Sneyd masterclass

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/31/leeds-rhinos-hull-fc-super-league-super-8s-match-report

Aug 27

Hull FC hoping to follow Challenge Cup win with Super League success

• Hull want to avoid repeat of last season’s slump after winning trophy
• Victory parade on Monday is closely followed by a tricky trip to Leeds

Scott Taylor has issued a rallying cry to his Hull FC team‑mates to use their Challenge Cup triumph as a springboard for the remainder of the Super League season.

“The double is massive,” said the prop, a Wembley winner with both of the clubs who contested the final on Saturday. “We know we can beat anyone on our day and that’s the goal now.”

Related: Hull beat Wigan to retain Challenge Cup thanks to Marc Sneyd masterclass

Related: Wigan’s Tony Clubb: ‘I was told I had a dead kidney and it needed to come out’ | Aaron Bower

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/27/hull-fc-challenge-cup-super-league

Aug 18

Ryan Hall celebrates 300th outing with try as Leeds beat St Helens

• Rhinos surge three points clear of third-placed Hull FC in Super 8s
• Wigan trounce Salford 42-6 while Huddersfield hammer Hull 46-18

The England winger, Ryan Hall, marked his 300th appearance for Leeds with a crucial try to help them get back on course for a home semi-final.

Related: Castleford secure first league title after overpowering Wakefield

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/18/rugby-league-super-8s-leeds-st-helens-ryan-hall

Aug 17

Castleford secure first league title after overpowering Wakefield

• Castleford 45-20 Wakefield

For Castleford, this was a night many of their supporters – and players – may have thought would never materialise. Many have attempted to devalue the importance of the League Leaders’ Shield as Castleford closed in on the prize in recent weeks, but as the gates were locked at this famous old ground just before kick-off, it would have taken a brave man to try to suggest it meant nothing for a town where rugby league is everything.

Related: Castleford’s Daryl Powell: winning league bigger then Grand Final victory

Related: Luke Gale on Castleford’s title battle: ‘I’ve not been in big games but I back myself’

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/17/castleford-wakefield-super-8s-super-league-match-report