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Category: Super League

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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

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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

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

• Castleford on verge of winning League Leaders’ Shield for first time
• Coach believes feat is better than Grand Final or Challenge Cup win

The Castleford coach, Daryl Powell, has insisted the League Leaders’ Shield is the biggest prize available in rugby league as his side close in on winning it for the first time.

Castleford have never finished top of rugby league’s first division in their 91-year history, a record they will lay to rest on Thursday night should they avoid defeat against local rivals Wakefield.

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

• Castleford on verge of winning League Leaders’ Shield for first time
• Coach believes feat is better than Grand Final or Challenge Cup win

The Castleford coach, Daryl Powell, has insisted the League Leaders’ Shield is the biggest prize available in rugby league as his side close in on winning it for the first time.

Castleford have never finished top of rugby league’s first division in their 91-year history, a record they will lay to rest on Thursday night should they avoid defeat against local rivals Wakefield.

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Shaun Lunt double sinks Leigh to keep Hull KR on track for Super League return

• Leigh 16-20 Hull KR
• Captain seals victory with late try after Leigh dominate early on

Hull Kingston Rovers took a significant step towards an instant return to Super League next season by maintaining their unbeaten start to the Qualifiers with victory over Leigh Centurions.

The Robins, widely expected to be the side most capable of achieving promotion from the Championship this season, will probably need to win only three of their remaining five games after two tries from their captain, Shaun Lunt, laid the platform for victory here.

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Jacob Miller shines as Wakefield wizards turn on style against Leeds

• Wakefield 38-6 Leeds
• Trinity move into play-off places after six-try rout of Rhinos

It is perhaps typical of this Wakefield side that when their backs are firmly against the wall, and the critics are at their most vociferous, they produce the kind of performance which suggests this most incredible of seasons is not in danger of ending any time soon.

Related: Rugby league: Wakefield suspend Adam Walker after positive drug test

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St Helens’ Matty Smith: ‘The doctors told me I was lucky not to lose my sight’ | Aaron Bower

The scrum-half’s Super League club are in the play-offs but he is just happy to be playing again after a poke in the eye left him sitting in the changing room with ‘people trying to do all sorts to stem the blood’

As the doctors hurried around Matty Smith and the ambulance was being prepared to take him to Leeds General infirmary, what at first seemed like a minor moment of frustration quickly transformed into a potentially life-changing situation. Rugby players are renowned for being tough and, thankfully, Smith is now able to raise a smile when he is reminded that what was nothing more than a stray poke in the eye from a St Helens team-mate almost cost him much more than a few weeks on the sidelines.

A little over four weeks ago, Smith was hit with a stray hand from Jon Wilkin during a game against Leeds. At first it seemed innocuous enough but the severity of the situation became apparent quickly as blood began to pour from his left eye. “At the time, I wasn’t sure the eyeball was still in the socket,” Smith says with a grin on his face.

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Scruton’s late try completes Hull KR fightback against brave Halifax

• Hull KR 26-22 Halifax
• Championship winners overcome 22-14 deficit in Qualifiers opener

Hull Kingston Rovers survived a scare to edge Halifax in a thrilling Super 8s Qualifiers opener. Ben Heaton put Halifax in command with four tries but Hull KR turned around a 22-14 deficit to make a winning start in their bid for an immediate return to Super League.

The result may not rank as a shock, with the side who were third in the Championship beaten by the team who finished top, but the difference between the two clubs is stark.

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Widnes suspend Rangi Chase after positive test for cocaine

• Chase to miss opening Qualifiers home match with Warrington
• St Helens produce masterclass to shock Castleford 26-12 in Super 8s

Rangi Chase, the former England international and man of steel winner, has been suspended by Widnes after testing positive for cocaine.

Related: Widnes Vikings face move out of rugby league heartland if club is sold

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Super League to stage Wigan v Hull regular season match in Australia

• Match will take place in February 2018 in Wollongong
• Super League-NRL double header will also be staged

Super League will host a match outside Europe for the first time in February 2018 when Wigan and Hull will play a regular season fixture in Australia.

The Warriors, who are understood to have forfeited a home game to facilitate the move, will face Hull at the WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Saturday 10 February, before travelling to Sydney to complete a three-match tour.

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Castleford move closer to title thanks to Jy Hitchcox against Catalans

• Catalans 24-32 Castleford
• Tigers close to winning League Leaders’ Shield

Two Jy Hitchcox tries secured a 20th regular season win for the Castleford Tigers as they defeated Catalans Dragons in Perpignan and all but confirmed the Super League leaders a semi-final place in the end of season play-offs, even before the Super 8s start this week. They will need a maximum of two wins from the seven games to secure the League Leaders’ Shield.

The Tigers scored two late tries to secure the victory despite being down to 11 men at one point in the second half following the yellow cards for Kevin Larroyer (unsportsmanlike behaviour) and Mike McMeeken (holding down in the tackle).

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Michael McIlorum leads way as Wigan show inexperienced Leeds no mercy

• Wigan 34-0 Leeds
• Oliver Gildart also runs in two tries as Wigan score seven without reply

“It was a no-win situation,” said the Wigan coach, Shaun Wane, of the scenario his side were presented with during this convincing victory: and while he may well be correct, it will not be entirely until a week’s time whether both sides’ preparation for a peculiar evening pays off with a trip to Wembley in August.

For Wigan this was a much-needed victory to build some confidence and form before their Challenge Cup semi-final with Salford next weekend. A side close to Wane’s strongest possible line-up proved too good for Leeds and, in what has been a chastening season for the reigning Super League champions, there will at least be some satisfaction they won with such ease.

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Michael McIlorum leads way as Wigan show inexperienced Leeds no mercy

• Wigan 34-0 Leeds
• Oliver Gildart also runs in two tries as Wigan score seven without reply

“It was a no-win situation,” said the Wigan coach, Shaun Wane, of the scenario his side were presented with during this convincing victory: and while he may well be correct, it will not be entirely until a week’s time whether both sides’ preparation for a peculiar evening pays off with a trip to Wembley in August.

For Wigan this was a much-needed victory to build some confidence and form before their Challenge Cup semi-final with Salford next weekend. A side close to Wane’s strongest possible line-up proved too good for Leeds and, in what has been a chastening season for the reigning Super League champions, there will at least be some satisfaction they won with such ease.

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Leeds keep up Castleford chase as Jack Walker try earns win over Hull FC

• Leeds 10-7 Hull FC
• Ryan Hall scores 250th career try in Rhinos victory

For Leeds, if there is to be a trophy at the end of Danny McGuire’s farewell tour in a Rhinos shirt, these are the moments which could get them a long way towards sending their captain off into the sunset with something to savour.

Leeds have fluctuated between the sublime and precariously out-of-sorts this season, yet following this narrow victory they are already guaranteed a top-two spot heading into the Super 8s. This was a performance certainly ranking in the latter of those categories.

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Ben Currie try boosts Warrington’s hopes of top-eight finish in win over Wigan

• Wigan 10-16 Warrington
• Forward helps secure victory on return after long period out with knee injury

Ben Currie marked his return after a long injury nightmare with the winning try as Warrington kept alive their faint hopes of a top-eight finish and spoiled Sean O’Loughlin’s 400th Wigan appearance.

Last season’s Grand Finalists knew anything other than victory here would consign them to this summer’s Qualifiers, where they would face the Championship’s best sides in a battle to avoid relegation to the second tier.

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Ben Currie try boosts Warrington’s hopes of top-eight finish in win over Wigan

• Wigan 10-16 Warrington
• Forward helps secure victory on return after long period out with knee injury

Ben Currie marked his return after a long injury nightmare with the winning try as Warrington kept alive their faint hopes of a top-eight finish and spoiled Sean O’Loughlin’s 400th Wigan appearance.

Last season’s Grand Finalists knew anything other than victory here would consign them to this summer’s Qualifiers, where they would face the Championship’s best sides in a battle to avoid relegation to the second tier.

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Zak Hardaker: ‘I am a better player than when I won Man of Steel’

Full-back has rebuilt his career with Super League leaders Castleford after things turned sour at Leeds following their all-conquering 2015

Life is rarely dull for Zak Hardaker. Even when the supremely talented 25-year-old manages to catch a breath and take a seat to discuss this most extraordinary of seasons, he is still never too far away from being the headline act.

“Waheyyy! Zak Hardaker!” is bellowed from across the hall in Castleford’s hospitality suite. It is approaching 11pm following their recent victory against Hull and the beer has been flowing as the Tigers moved further clear at the top of Super League: a run in which Hardaker has been hugely influential.

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Danny McGuire on fire for resurgent Leeds in thumping win at Salford

• Salford 24-50 Leeds
• Win propels Rhinos to second spot in Super League

Leeds delivered the most impressive display of their title credentials yet with this emphatic victory against Salford. It was their fifth victory in six games and their only defeat in that period was a narrow one against the leaders, Castleford. After the annus horribilis of 2016, when the Rhinos went from champions to relegation contenders in the space of 12 months, there is little doubting that they are fully capable of going all the way again this season.

The reigning Super League champions, Wigan, have shown with back-to-back wins that their title challenge is not over just yet. St Helens, with two wins from their past three, have begun to threaten the same of late.

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Luke Gale gets his kicks as relentless Castleford overcome Wakefield

• Wakefield 24-25 Castleford
• Leaders come from behind to win

Wakefield fans could easily be forgiven for wondering how their side let this game slip through their fingers, as the Super League leaders Castleford overcame a 16-0 deficit to win by a single point.

Trinity had become the first team to hold Castleford scoreless in a half this season and were in prime position to add to their first-half tally. But a Wakefield knock-on early in the second half opened the door to Castleford and the Tigers duly scored. Nine minutes later, that 16-point lead had become a two-point deficit.

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Luke Gale gets his kicks as relentless Castleford overcome Wakefield

• Wakefield 24-25 Castleford
• Leaders come from behind to win

Wakefield fans could easily be forgiven for wondering how their side let this game slip through their fingers, as the Super League leaders Castleford overcame a 16-0 deficit to win by a single point.

Trinity had become the first team to hold Castleford scoreless in a half this season and were in prime position to add to their first-half tally. But a Wakefield knock-on early in the second half opened the door to Castleford and the Tigers duly scored. Nine minutes later, that 16-point lead had become a two-point deficit.

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