Category Archive: Super League Rugby

Super League Rugby News

Mar 25

Castleford intent on proving against Catalans that Salford defeat was one-off

• Scrum-half Luke Gale believes Daryl Powell’s side have learned lesson
• ‘This is a big game against Catalans to show we can respond’

A surprise first defeat of the season for Castleford last weekend by Salford may have offered a dose of reality to those who believed the Tigers would breeze through Super League this season. So it is how they respond that will tell us the most about the credentials of Daryl Powell’s side in 2017.

That view is one shared by the Castleford scrum-half Luke Gale. Like so many of his team-mates last Sunday, the England international was noticeably below-par as the Tigers struggled to handle the inclement weather against Salford – and Gale understands how Sunday’s meeting with Catalans will decide external perceptions of his side.

Related: Leeds Rhinos maintain momentum with victory at Huddersfield

Related: Wakefield Trinity deny planning to sell their Super League licence

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/25/castleford-salford-defeat-one-off-luke-gale-daryl-powell-catalans

Mar 23

Wakefield Trinity deny planning to sell their Super League licence

• It’s a non-story, there’s nothing to consider, says chairman Carter
• Trinity still plan to leave Belle Vue but may lodge at nearby Dewsbury

Wakefield Trinity have denied reports that they are set to sell their Super League licence, with the club’s chairman, Michael Carter, describing it as a “non-story”.

The Guardian revealed this month how cities such as Coventry and Newcastle were interested in acquiring an existing Super League franchise and one report had suggested that Trinity were interested in selling up amid continued doubt over where they will play their home games in 2018.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/23/wakefield-trinity-deny-sell-super-league-licence

Mar 21

Rugby league fans moan about TV but 12 matches are broadcast live every week

You will need to pay for it – and buy a diary – but you can now watch Super League, NRL and League 1 matches on TV. There was no coverage 30 years ago

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

We love a moan in rugby league. It’s our factory setting. However, consider this. This week I found an old newspaper cutting from 30 years ago with a report of perennial champions Wigan beating Leeds a few days before their now-famous World Club Challenge win over Manly. Nearly 14,000 were at Central Park to see the game’s biggest two clubs meet. The other six top flight games that afternoon attracted an aggregate attendance of fewer than 25,000 people.

More than 7,000 saw Halifax beat St Helens at Thrum Hall – a reminder of Halifax’s not-so-distant strength – but there were only 4,000 at Warrington. Hunslet were the minnows of the Stone Bitter Championship then: a mere 2,601 rattled around Elland Road for their local clash with Cas. But that was not the smallest gate of the weekend: Bradford, who we all consider fallen giants of our game, hammered Swinton in front of just 2,510 at Odsal. This was early October, when the season was new, hopes were fresh and the weather mild. The average top flight attendance then was under 5,000. Thirty years later, Super League gates average just under 9,000.

Related: Jamie Peacock interview: on England, Hull KR and the wisdom of Rocky III

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/no-helmets-required/2017/mar/21/rugby-league-fans-tv-bbc-sky

Mar 18

Morgan Escaré keen to extend stay at Wigan where he is in form of career

The full-back has been a revelation since joining the Warriors, who have made an unbeaten start to the Super League season, with Huddersfield next up

Morgan Escaré has said he would be keen to extend his stay with Wigan as the Super League champions look to maintain their unbeaten start to the new season. Wigan have won all four of their games in 2017 and can make that five on Sunday with a home victory against Huddersfield.

Related: Toronto send London Broncos packing in Challenge Cup upset

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/18/morgan-escare-keen-to-extend-stay-wigan-form-of-career-super-league-huddersfield

Mar 12

Castleford’s attacking flair secures comfortable victory over Widnes

• Widnes 0-34 Castleford
• Showdown with Wigan looming for unbeaten Tigers

Castleford’s title credentials look as strong as ever. The Tigers have made fairly light work of the opposition during the opening month but here, in a game where they were overwhelming favourites, complacency was perhaps their biggest test they faced – and how they answered any questions.

Slowly, Daryl Powell’s men are redefining perceptions of how rugby league should be played. There were glimpses last year without a doubt but in 2017, the attacking panache with which Castleford play is a marketing dream for the Rugby Football League, who are intent on showcasing the skill levels in Super League as they try to preach the sport beyond the converted.

Related: George Williams powers Wigan Warriors to easy win against Warrington

Related: Records tumble as Castleford thrash Leeds to continue strong start to season

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/12/widnes-castleford-super-league-match-report

Mar 11

Logan Tomkins escapes shadow of elder brothers in new life at Salford

Logan Tomkins, whose brothers Sam and Joel made their names at Wigan, has moved to Salford and is looking forward to facing Wakefield on Sunday

Life cannot have been easy growing up for Logan Tomkins. The youngest of three brothers, he spent his formative years having to watch his two siblings, Sam and Joel, make waves with Wigan, and must have known that once he followed in their footsteps and made his debut for his hometown club, comparisons would follow.

“People used to say: ‘There’s another Tomkins brother’ and watch me more closely because of it,” he says, jokingly. “And if I didn’t play that well, people would be all over me.”

Related: Salford win Million Pound Game to relegate Hull KR after stunning finale

Related: Salford’s Gareth O’Brien shows his worth in win at Huddersfield

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/11/logan-tomkins-escapes-shadow-brothers-salford

Mar 04

Junior Sa’u leads Salford home as Warrington still seek first win

• Salford Red Devils 24-14 Warrington Wolves
• 2016 Super League runners-up continue to look a shadow of last year’s team

Warrington are still without a Super League victory this season after they were sunk 24-14 by Salford at the AJ Bell Stadium. Junior Sa’u scored twice for the home side to help them to their first win over Warrington in 10 meetings. The centre has scored tries his last four games against Warrington and it was his touchdown seven minutes from time which finally settled a hard-fought contest.

Despite beating Brisbane Broncos in the World Club Series, Tony Smith’s side find themselves at the wrong end of Super League and on Thursday face another tough assignment against champions Wigan.

Related: Roosters beat Titans, Dragons smash Panthers, bizarre try seals Cowboys win

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/04/junior-sau-salford-warrington

Feb 27

Keegan Hirst: ‘I envied the lads brave enough to come out at school’

The 29-year-old is close to making his debut for Wakefield Trinity – to become the first gay English rugby player to reach the heights of Super League – but he ‘went through bad phases’ to get there

‘There were a couple of times when I thought about killing myself,” Keegan Hirst says as he remembers how, as a gay rugby league player unable to reveal the truth about his sexuality, he faced the darkest moments of his conflicted life. “I got to a point where I was thinking: ‘How am I going to do it? Where am I going to do it? When am I going to do it?’”

Related: Former league star Mark Geyer says he wouldn’t sue NRL over concussion

John Kear said: ‘You’re a rugby player and you’re my captain. Whatever else you are is OK by me.’

Rugby league players are like old women and love a gossip. I was getting texts off players I’d played with before

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/27/keegan-hirst-i-don-t-feel-brave-envied-lads-come-out-at-school-wakefield-trinity-super-league

Feb 25

What next for the World Club Series? Now is the time to dream big

Victories for Wigan against Cronulla Sharks and Warrington against Brisbane Broncos have reinvigorated a competition that can become a truly global event

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

So, what next for the World Club Challenge? Sunday’s smash-hit event in Wigan was its 18th consecutive year and we can be confident the champions will continue to meet annually, whether in England every February or in Australia if Wigan, Warrington, Leeds and RFL have their way, Tony Smith saying his Warrington team would “love to go there”.

The consensus is that Super League’s 2-0 win has given the concept the kiss of life after NRL teams had won 11 of the last 12 games, but it may also have provided the European game with the platform to be more aggressive rather than bowing to the NRL’s whims.

Related: Wigan turn on the style to beat Cronulla and win World Club Challenge

Related: World Club Series defeat better than an NRL trial, says Wayne Bennett

Related: Wigan’s Oliver Gildart finds hope in father’s World Club Challenge story

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/no-helmets-required/2017/feb/25/world-club-series-wigan-cronulla-sharks-warrington

Feb 24

Wigan to face RFL investigation after switch of home game to Widnes

• Super League match went ahead at Widnes: Wigan won 28-26
• DW Stadium still scheduled to host Wigan v Nottingham Forest

Wigan face an investigation from the Rugby Football League over the furore surrounding the Super League champions’ match against Widnes, which was postponed only hours before the match was to be played.

Wigan released a statement on Thursday night that said the match, five days on from their World Club Challenge victory against Cronulla, had been postponed owing to the DW Stadium pitch being unable to support two games in 24 hours. Co-tenants Wigan Athletic are set to play Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon.

Related: Catalans Dragons see off Hull FC with fighting spirit to the fore

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/24/wigan-widnes-rfl-investigation-rugby-league-switch

Feb 23

Catalans Dragons see off Hull FC with fighting spirit to the fore

• Hull FC 14-16 Catalans Dragons

Catalans Dragons made it back-to-back victories at the start of 2017 with a win against Hull FC which perhaps showcased their fighting spirit as opposed to the flair and panache with which many believe Laurent Frayssinous’s squad possess in abundance.

The opening fortnight of the new Super League season has been filled with plenty of exciting matches but this was one such game which may not make the end-of-season highlights DVD for either side. It was a match largely dominated by the actions of the referee, Robert Hicks, who awarded over 20 penalties and produced multiple cards on a stop-start night which ultimately meant neither side were able to properly showcase the credentials.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/23/hull-fc-catalans-dragons-super-league-match-report

Feb 19

World Club Series defeat better than an NRL trial, says Wayne Bennett

  • Warrington Wolves beat Brisbane Broncos 27-18 at Halliwell Jones Stadium
  • First time since 2012 a Super League club has won a WCS match

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett pulled no punches about Brisbane’s poor performance in their World Club Series defeat to Warrington but insists the game was perfect preparation the NRL round one clash with defending premiers Cronulla.

An almost full-strength team went down 27-18 after the Super League side dominated the first half to lead 24-6 at half-time in Warrington. The tourists were much improved after the break but unable to claw back the deficit despite tries from James Roberts and David Mead.

Related: NRL: Wins for Penrith, Bulldogs and Manly, as Knights hammer Raiders

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/19/world-club-series-defeat-better-than-an-nrl-trial-says-wayne-bennett

Feb 16

Salford’s Gareth O’Brien shows his worth in win at Huddersfield

• Huddersfield Giants 20-30 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils recorded their first win of the new Super League season as they edged a thrilling game against Huddersfield Giants, thanks largely to an imperious performance from the full-back Gareth O’Brien.

O’Brien was Salford’s hero in last year’s Million Pound Game after preserving their Super League status with a golden-point drop goal against Hull Kingston Rovers. If he is as influential as he was both then and here throughout this season Salford can be confident they will not sail so dangerously close to relegation in 2017.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/16/huddersfield-giants-salford-red-devils-super-league-match-report

Feb 11

Wigan open Super League title defence with win at battling Salford

• Salford Red Devils 16-26 Wigan Warriors
• Oliver Gildart scores two tries to give Wigan 26-0 half-time lead

Wigan showed they are in good form for next weekend’s World Club Series showdown with Cronulla by launching their defence of the Super League title with an irresistible first-half display to sweep aside Salford on Saturday.

For 40 minutes, Wigan were irresistible. They led 26-0 at the break and had anyone from Cronulla snuck in to take a peek at the Warriors, they will have been mightily impressed. In the second half they were handed a stiffer test as Salford rallied to threaten a late comeback – but by then, the visitors’ job had been done.

Related: Super League roundup: Leigh slump on return as Luke Gale shines for Castleford

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/11/salford-red-devils-wigan-warriors-match-report-super-league-2017

Feb 10

Super League roundup: Leigh slump on return as Luke Gale shines for Castleford

• Castleford 44-16 Leigh; Widnes 16-28 Huddersfield
• Gale racks up 24 points for Castleford as Leigh struggle

Leigh and Widnes slumped to defeats in their first fixtures of the new Super League season as Castleford and Huddersfield, two teams seen as potential contenders for the title, hit the ground running.

Related: Mark Percival edges St Helens to victory over Leeds in Super League opener

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/10/super-league-roundup-castleford-leigh-widnes-huddersfield

Feb 09

Mark Percival edges St Helens to victory over Leeds in Super League opener

• St Helens 6-4 Leeds Rhinos

It is always difficult – perhaps impossible – to gauge what the fortunes of any side will be following the opening night of a Super League season but here both St Helens and Leeds fans will have learned little as to what the next eight months has in store for them.

Nobody could have expected that Leeds’ last two campaigns would have culminated in a treble and a relegation battle respectively following the opening game, perhaps best illustrating the need for calm after the first 80 minutes of a long league season. However, questions may rightly be asked as to whether some of the lessons from a dismal 2016 have been learned after a frustrating night in attack for the Rhinos.

Related: Super League 2017 team-by-team guide: can Leeds Rhinos bounce back? | Aaron Bower

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/09/st-helens-leeds-rhinos-super-league-match-report

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