Category Archive: Super League Rugby

Super League Rugby News

Apr 29

Castleford power back to the top after record win over Wigan

• Castleford Tigers 54-4 Wigan Warriors
• Luke Gale scores 20 points in comfortable victory

Castleford powered back to the top of the table in style with their biggest Super League win over Wigan. The scrum-half Luke Gale needed to pass a head test before kick-off to take his place in the Tigers side and he gave the Warriors an almighty headache with a 20-point haul, comprising eight goals from nine attempts and one of their nine tries.

This rout enabled Castleford to complete the double over the champions and demonstrate a sizzling return to form after back-to-back defeats by St Helens and Hull had cast some doubt on their title credentials.

Related: Steve Gill, the unlikely chief executive leading the Castleford revival

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Apr 27

Oliver Roberts caps surprise win for Huddersfield at second-placed Leeds

• Leeds 12-31 Huddersfield

This will not rank among the contenders for the end‑of‑season highlights DVD but for Huddersfield it will not matter one bit.

Five days before this surprise win the Giants, without a win in nine games, were beaten by a part-time side, Swinton, in the Challenge Cup. They were visiting a Leeds side who would have gone top of Super League with a fourth successive victory.

Related: What we’ve learned from the first half of the Super League season | Gavin Willacy

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Apr 23

Hull FC dig deep to see off Castleford despite early dismissal of Liam Watts

• Hull FC 26-24 Castleford Tigers
• Two Mohe Fonua tries help hosts see off fightback from Super League leaders

Daryl Powell had made it abundantly clear while his Castleford side were sweeping aside all before them in the embryonic weeks of this season that his side would falter at some stage. It seems he was not wrong. In truth, this was a result which said as much about Hull FC as it did the Super League leaders. Hull were magnificent in forging an early 18-0 lead in as many minutes, but the sending off of the prop Liam Watts after just 20 minutes looked to be the catalyst for Castleford to overturn that deficit.

Related: Steve Gill, the unlikely chief executive leading the Castleford revival

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Apr 21

Patrick Ah Van drives over to snatch win for Widnes against St Helens

• Widnes 16-14 St Helens
• Late try gives struggling Vikings vital victory

How pivotal an evening this could prove to be for Widnes. With only one win from their first 10 games, it perhaps goes without saying that points are at a premium for Super League’s bottom side.

This victory, therefore, could turn the Vikings’ season on its axis. They will have felt they could have secured victory against an out-of-sorts St Helens side long before Patrick Ah Van’s 71st-minute try but in essence it matters little. It is a victory, and how priceless it may prove to be.

Related: Declan Patton keen to help Warrington back to another ‘real high’

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Apr 15

Wigan’s George Williams says he was tempted by lure of Australia

• Williams has signed new four-year contract until 2021
• ‘I’ve had some sleepless nights weighing it up’

George Williams has said he was tempted by Australia and the NRL before he eventually decided to commit his long-term future to Wigan this week. The England international has agreed a new four-year contract with the Super League champions until the end of 2021 after months of speculation over his future, but will be allowed to leave in 2020 if a “pre-defined” transfer fee is met.

Williams was the subject of interest from a number of NRL sides and he conceded it was a tough decision. “The temptation to go there was massive,” he said. “It wasn’t something I just decided on overnight, we’re talking three or four months here to weigh everything up and work out what the right decision was at this stage of my career.

Related: Wigan sink St Helens after Kyle Amor is sent off in derby thriller

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Apr 14

Wigan sink St Helens after Kyle Amor is sent off in derby thriller

• Wigan Warriors 29-18 St Helens
• Saints’ Kyle Amor sent off after 13 minutes for high tackle

Meetings between Wigan and St Helens have provided fans with a pantheon of flashpoints and moments throughout the course of rugby league’s history – and although debate will continue as to whether the sending off of Kyle Amor here was the correct decision, it is impossible to argue it was the game’s major talking point.

Related: Joe Philbin helps Warrington show they can win tough at Widnes

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Apr 10

St Helens sack Keiron Cunningham after poor start to Super League season

• ‘It is both upsetting and disappointing that it has ended at this point’
• Saints in seventh place in Super League after disappointing start

Keiron Cunningham has been sacked as head coach of St Helens, the Super League club have announced.

Related: Super League intensifies efforts to tempt union players to switch codes

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Apr 10

Super League intensifies efforts to tempt union players to switch codes

• Super League out to attract the best talent in the world
• High-profile former rugby league players to be targeted

Super League will step up its efforts to lure rugby union players following the salary cap increase, after the man who spearheaded the move said chances have been missed in signing union players.

The £1.825m wage ceiling will rise incrementally over the next three seasons, reaching £2.1m by 2020. However, it is the dispensations clubs voted through last Wednesday which may make the biggest change; with clubs granted exemptions from the salary cap to sign “returning players” – those who have left Super League to join the 15-a-side game.

Related: Super League clubs vote for salary cap rise and second marquee player

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Apr 05

Super League clubs vote for salary cap rise and second marquee player

• Wage cap will rise to £2.1m from £1.825m by 2020
• Plans not voted through unanimously by clubs

Super League clubs have approved an increase to the competition’s salary cap as well as a number of dispensations to slow the player drain from English rugby league and attract more star power to the competition in return.

The £1.825m wage ceiling has risen only slightly since its introduction in 1999, while this season, NRL teams are allowed to spend around £4m per season on salaries. However, at a meeting in Manchester on Wednesday, senior officials from the 12 clubs voted through proposals to raise the cap to £1.9m next season, with incremental increases for the two seasons thereafter: £2m in 2019, followed by £2.1m in 2020.

Related: NRL clubs and poker machines: is there not another way to raise funds? | Matt Cleary

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Apr 01

Kurt Gidley penalty seals Warrington comeback in thriller against Hull FC

• Warrington 22-22 Hull FC
• Matty Russell scores three tries as Wolves clinch first point of season

Warrington secured their first point of the season courtesy of a thrilling and deserved draw against Hull FC. Last season’s losers in the Grand Final remain bottom of the table and without a win almost a third of the way through the regular season, but they can at least take solace from a much-improved performance here against a Hull side with just one defeat to their name all season.

The home side trailed by 14 points with half an hour remaining as Hull looked set to move level on points with leaders Castleford and Leeds, before the Wolves staged a fantastic second-half comeback to at least ensure some semblance of a platform to build from heading into the Easter period.

Related: Leeds hold off Wigan to keep revival rolling in enthralling victory

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Mar 30

Salford capitalise after St Helens lose concussed stand-off Theo Fages

• Salford 22-14 St Helens

Salford moved into Super League’s top four with a fourth victory in five games as their renaissance under the stewardship of Ian Watson continued with a deserved victory against St Helens.

It is almost six months to the day since the Red Devils secured Super League survival in the Million Pound Game – but on this form Salford are more likely to be concerned with proceedings at the top of the competition in 2017, rather than the bottom.

Related: Hull’s Lee Radford can celebrate after St Helens suffer another defeat

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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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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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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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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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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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