Category: Super League Rugby

Super League Rugby News

May 27

Sean O’Loughlin believes Wigan can retain Super League title despite losses

• Champions play Wakefield needing win to boost title hopes
• ‘We’ve got every confidence we’ll be up at the right end come end of the year’

Sean O’Loughlin insists Wigan remain capable of retaining their Super League title despite a run of form that appears to suggest Monday’s game against Wakefield is arguably their most important of the season.

The reigning champions are without a win in their past four games and despite a relatively strong start to the season they now find themselves in mid-table as the regular season enters its final stretch.

Related: Mark Percival’s late try welcomes Justin Holbrook to St Helens with derby win

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/27/sean-oloughlin-wigan-retain-super-league-title-losses

May 26

Matt Parcell shines as Leeds storm to clinical victory over Warrington

• Leeds 40-0 Warrington
• Wolves attacking frailties brutally exposed

There have been many moments already this season to suggest Leeds and Warrington are on different paths – this was perhaps the most conclusive of them all. A year ago, it was Leeds toiling at the wrong end of Super League while Warrington pressed ahead for major honours, finishing with the League Leaders’ Shield and appearances in both major finals.

There is a way to go yet before Leeds can reach any of those milestones, but the annus horribilis that was 2016 is slowly being cast further into the back of everyone’s minds at the Rhinos. This year has been much more like the Leeds of old – and how fitting it was that in their biggest ever Super League victory against Warrington, some of their old guard stole the show.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/26/leeds-warrington-super-league-match-report

May 25

Mark Percival’s late try welcomes Justin Holbrook to St Helens with derby win

• St Helens 22-19 Wigan
• Mark Percival’s second try edges thrilling derby against Wigan

Justin Holbrook could be forgiven for thinking life as a Super League coach is always this easy. There will be tougher times ahead for the new man in charge at St Helens, but this has been quite the seamless transition for the Australian as he begins the sizeable task of reviving the Saints’ fortunes.

Holbrook watched on last week as his new side produced the standout performance of Magic Weekend, beating Hull FC 45-0. His first official match could not have been much tougher – the rip-roarer that is rugby league’s greatest derby, St Helens against Wigan.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/25/st-helens-wigan-rugby-league-super-league-match-report

May 21

Castleford put on stylish show to beat Leeds during Magic Weekend

• Catalans 10-18 Huddersfield; Leigh 22-36 Salford; Castleford 29-18 Leeds
• Greg Eden scored a second-half hat-trick in a 17-minute spell

The schedulers have often got it wrong when it comes to building up to a grand finale at Magic Weekend. At times the sport’s annual on-the-road jamboree has ended with a whimper but here five very different portions of hors d’oeuvres set the tone for not only an enthralling main course but the team everyone in rugby league wants to see right now.

If any side have deserved the platform and backdrop St James’ Park provides for the Magic Weekend, it is Castleford. They have led the way since the start this year, have looked irrepressible for large periods of it and, perhaps most tellingly of all for a side with championship aspirations, are capable of winning in different ways.

Related: Storm and Vixens back on top, and more: Australia sportwatch – as it happened

Related: Sports quiz of the week: Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and King Arthur

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/21/castleford-leeds-magic-weekend-

May 20

Magic Weekend roundup: St Helens pull one out the hat to stun Hull FC

• Hull FC 0-45 St Helens; Widnes 12-34 Wakefield
• Wigan 24-24 Warrington

If this is to be the final Magic Weekend in Newcastle, then all the signs point to the event going out on a high. There have been no shortage of upsets and standout moments in the 11-year history of rugby league’s annual on-the-road round and the opening day of the 2017 event had a heartening mix of everything.

The middle salvo of an encouraging first act to the weekend offered up one of the event’s most surprising results in recent years. Seven days ago, St Helens would have been forgiven for dreading the prospect of facing second-placed Hull here, but with their new coach, Justin Holbrook, taking his place in the stands for the first time, one always suspected the Saints would raise their game – although surely not to this level.

Related: Super League’s Magic Weekend transcends what happens on the field | Aaron Bower

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/20/super-league-magic-weekend-roundup

May 19

Super League’s Magic Weekend transcends what happens on the field | Aaron Bower

Bonus round would be obvious RFL cull in busy schedule but financial worth to host cities such as Newcastle and popularity with fans suggests it is here to stay

The Super League goes back on the road to Newcastle on Saturday as the 11th instalment of the Magic Weekend returns to St James’ Park but in true rugby league fashion there is already more than one eye being cast on what happens next, rather than perhaps the most unpredictable round of fixtures the event has had since its inception in 2007.

Related: RFL contemplates moving Challenge Cup final away from Wembley Stadium

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/19/super-league-magic-weekend-transcends-what-happens-on-field-newcastle-rugby

May 10

Former Bradford Bulls players and staff launch legal proceedings against league

• 47 separate legal cases will be brought to tribunal later this year
• Three parties, one of them the RFL, are subject of the actions

Almost 50 former players and staff employed by Bradford Bulls before the club’s liquidation in January have launched legal proceedings against three different parties including the sport’s governing body, the Rugby Football League.

Following several weeks of deliberation, 47 separate cases will now be brought against the RFL, Bradford Bulls Northern Limited – the holding company of the Bulls when they were placed into liquidation – and the new company (new-co) that replaced them, Bradford Bulls 2017 Limited.

Related: St Helens confirm surprise appointment of Justin Holbrook as head coach

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/10/bradford-bulls

May 04

Jesse Sene-Lefao seals priceless win for Castleford over Huddersfield

• Huddersfield 21-26 Castleford

This was a crucial win for Castleford, who extended their lead at the top of Super League and showed they have the squad depth to be genuine title contenders this season.

While their absentee list was not necessarily extensive here, Castleford were shorn of Luke Gale, Zak Hardaker and Mike McMeeken as the England trio prepare for the Test against Samoa in Sydney.

Related: St Helens confirm surprise appointment of Justin Holbrook as head coach

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/04/huddersfield-castleford-super-league-match-report

May 04

St Helens confirm surprise appointment of Justin Holbrook as head coach

• Sydney Roosters assistant joins club on two-and-a-half year deal
• Australian Holbrook replaces sacked Keiron Cunningham

St Helens have confirmed the appointment of Justin Holbrook as their new head coach on a two-and-a-half year contract.

The Saints have been looking for a coach since the departure of Keiron Cunningham last month. A three-man coaching team of Derek Traynor, Jamahl Lolesi and the former Great Britain half-back Sean Long had been in temporary charge.

Related: Rugby league rallies round to create defibrillator legacy for Danny Jones | Aaron Bower

Saints are delighted to announce the appointment of Justin Holbrook as Head Coach. https://t.co/V83Hg7LDLQ #saintsasone pic.twitter.com/0tmXMA9edC

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/03/st-helens-coach-justin-holbrook-rugby-league

May 02

Salford’s Justin Carney suspended for eight matches for racial abuse

• Salford winger pleads guilty but disputes severity of the charge
• Charge followed incident in the Challenge Cup tie against Toronto Wolfpack

Salford are to launch an internal investigation after the winger Justin Carney was banned for eight matches after pleading guilty to a charge of racial abuse.

The 28-year-old was involved in an incident in the Challenge Cup tie against Toronto Wolfpack and was issued with a charge of verbal abuse based on race/colour by the Rugby Football League’s disciplinary panel.

Related: Great Britain’s rugby league Lions edge closer to a southern hemisphere tour

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/02/justin-carney-ban-eight-matches-racial-abuse-salford-red-devils

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/29/castleford-tigers-wigan-warriors-super-league-match-report

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/27/leeds-huddersfield-super-league-match-report

Apr 24

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

Castleford are worth watching; Wigan won’t surrender their title without a fight; Hull FC are bizarre; and Toronto Wolfpack are far too good for League One

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

Every Super League club has now played 11 games, meaning we are at the halfway mark of the regular season. Here’s what we have learned so far:

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

Related: Rugby League Week’s demise a sad sign of the times in NRL media

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/no-helmets-required/2017/apr/24/super-league-season-rugby-castleford-wigan-hull

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/23/hull-fc-castleford-tigers-super-league-match-report

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/21/widnes-st-helens-super-league-match-report

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/15/wigan-george-williams-tempted-australia-nrl