Highlights and analysis from the Super League. Wigan v Leeds, Catalans v Castleford, Warrington v Widnes, Leigh v Salford, Wakefield v St Helens and Hull FC v Huddersfield.
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There may be no more sunkissed island of love this week,
but fear not, there's plenty of love to go around in the
Super League studio.
Ready to leave you weak at the knees are our very
own heartthrobs Jamie Peacock and Castleford's Zak Hardaker.
Tonight we'll see the final round of matches before
the Super 8s commence.
Here's what's coming up.
"Let Yourself Go" by Green Day.
We start in Perpignan, where home side Catalans
were already resigned to the qualifiers having won
only two of the last 12 Super League matches.
By contrast, opponents Castleford were looking to make it a perfect
dozen having won their last 11 ties.
Mike McMeeken to play the ball.
Here comes Grant Millington.
Always causing problems.
This is where Castleford come into their stride.
Shenton gets one away to Hitchcox.
He puts it down!
Another spectacular finish from Castleford Tigers.
Or is it?
Jy Hitchcox, in for Greg Egan, picking up where he left off.
As he gets the ball up in the air, puts it down, no question.
The board confirms.
Jy Hitchcox gives Cas the lead.
Alex Foster looking to test the Catalans line.
Justin Horo, too long in the tackle.
A penalty for the Tigers.
Will they take the two from here or tap?
There's the answer.
Luke Gale, expert in these situations.
A simple two to take the scoreboard on in front of the Tigers fans.
Luke Gale once again on the spot.
Castleford look for a quick short side play.
Zak Hardaker into space.
He's got space in front of him.
Has he got the pace?
They scramble across but it's in vain.
That is a sensational try from Zak Hardaker!
Bang in form.
Shades of a knock-on from Paul McShane, but they spotted
the space and when you've got Zak Hardaker with that kind of pace
and that kind of power, no one was going to catch him.
Catalans look to get some kind of foothold.
Lovely pass away to Lucas Albert, who will split the defence.
He goes in to score.
Catalans have a try.
That was a bit of a missed pass.
It's been tapped forward so that will be back to zero for Catalans.
Inside to Gigot.
Suddenly Catalans Dragons right in the game.
Tony Gigot finishing off a great move.
Catalans just two points behind now and it's they who are having
the swing of possession.
They are loading up this right-hand side.
Back towards the middle.
Good hands out to the left.
There's Yaha and suddenly the game has been turned on its head!
Daryl Powell with some pondering to do at the break.
Mike McMeeken takes the ball in and he has won his side a penalty
right on the hooter.
He and Vincent Duport sharing their thoughts.
Luke Gale might be leaving this one to Zak Hardaker.
He takes the restarts and the kick-offs for Castleford
so he has some boot on him.
I think he might well have landed that one as it hangs and dips
and goes through the sticks.
Suddenly the scoreline looks a little more
flattering to Castleford.
Almost 15 minutes gone of this second half and Castleford
still behind on the board.
Interesting tackle technique by Jason Baitieri.
I don't think Nathan Massey was too happy about it.
Big space out on the right-hand side.
Lovely kick through and he will get there first ahead of Justin Horo!
That is a superb piece of skill from Greg Minikin.
No wonder Justin Horo looks downbeat.
Gale's kick measured to the huge expanse on that right
and as the ball fell to Minikin, well, that is measured
to the centimetre.
The touchdown was exceptional.
A real ding-dong battle here in the heat of Perpignan.
Catalans look to clear their lines.
Some tough tackling.
Kevin Larroyer involved.
Vincent Duport has stayed down.
He's holding a rather delicate region.
Kevin Larroyer comes in third man.
That is painful.
You can see by the look on his face.
Vincent Duport in a world of pain.
The punishment for Kevin Larroyer is ten minutes in the sin-bin.
Here comes Greg Bird, they've kept him quiet
for most of this game.
That's a bit of a sloppy play-the-ball.
The penalty goes Catalans' way.
Mike McMeeken will go to the sin-bin as well.
Castleford down to 11, albeit temporarily.
Catalans right in front of the posts.
Greg Bird again with another assault on the Castleford line.
The Tigers need to stand firm here.
A little dink to the corner.
Has he got that down?
It's not confirmed.
We'll go to the big screen.
Phil Bentham has gone for no try.
It's a lovely kick from Myler.
As it comes in, to put the ball down is he in touch?
That foot from Zak Hardaker and then the follow-through.
It's a try and immediately Phil Bentham sets off
to the centre of the sticks and that is a penalty try.
Zak Hardaker's boot has brought it about.
Gale checks across the line, tries to get it to Ben Roberts,
who has slippery feet.
A two-point ball game.
Inside the final six minutes.
Gale will go to the left-hand side.
Shenton puts one to the corner.
Oh, Jy Hitchcox!
Better than the first.
They will go to the screen once again.
But Jy Hitchcox, absolutely sensational.
Nathan Ross scored a try up at Newcastle in the NRL,
Interesting tackle technique by Jason Baitieri.
Better than the first.
Nathan Ross scored a try up at Newcastle in the NRL,
but that was better.
Gravity defying stuff from Jy Hitchcox.
Castleford Tigers, with five minutes to play, are in front here.
The fans have much to cheer.
Again that Catalans right edge the target.
McShane poised as ever.
Gale looking to thread one through, on the last.
Still the fifth tackle.
McShane jinks, dives, scores!
Castleford Tigers on course for a 12th straight win
and they edge ever closer to ending a 91-year wait for a first
Zak, how tough a win was that to get?
It's always tough to go over to France.
It's in heat we aren't used to.
It was a great two points to get in the end.
We're all already giving you the League Leaders' Shield.
You're ten points clear.
Are you guys looking at that, are you being told
not to look at that?
How hard is it not to look at the table?
We're fully aware of where we're sitting at the moment,
but we can't be too complacent.
We've got to keep grinding the games out, getting the two points
and trying to hit some form for the end of the season.
That's where the business end is.
We've got a couple more games to win, hopefully get
the League Leaders' Shield and then all the focus will turn
to the semifinals.
There was a moment of contention in the game and in the end it didn't
matter, but the penalty try, which you were very much part of,
when you see it back, what do you think of the penalty try?
It was a tough one because I thought it had been knocked on and I got my
boot to the ball as well.
It was one of those where I thought it wasn't a try and obviously
the video ref disagreed with that and overturned it.
I'm not quite sure what to make of it, to be honest.
What do you think?
I think you tried to stop the try, I've got to be
honest with you, mate!
I don't think you're allowed to kick the ball, are you,
as it's going over and he's seen it as black and white, the referee.
No contention about Jy Hitchcox's try.
You've probably watched your guys practice this in training.
It's just spectacular, isn't it?
I just called him a freak after he did it.
Wingers nowadays can finish like that.
The corner flag doesn't come into contention any more.
That enables people to finish spectacular tries like that and he's
come up with an absolute beauty.
Have you seen many better than that one?
Not really, no.
It's the context of the try as well, the importance of the try,
to get Castleford back in front.
And a young man who's not been playing all season.
It's a wonderful position to play, on the left wing, for Castleford.
I think I might have got a few tries there!
Not like that.
It was an amazing finish and to put Castleford out in front adds even
more weight to the quality of the try.
What about your own form?
You've talked about the fact you feel you're playing better
than when you won Man of Steel.
Are you faster?
You look to me to be faster.
Maybe it's the naked eye.
Another length of the field try from you.
I've got a few now!
I think I have got a little bit quicker.
That's enabled me, from having a full pre-season.
I've not had one for the last four or five years.
That's enabled me to get extra weights and extra training sessions
that I've not had before.
What else do you think you've added to your game at Cas?
Every player has got aspects of their game they need to work
on and mine is ball-handling.
I've been working really hard at that throughout the season.
I've still got a long way to go.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not the finished article yet,
but probably that's the only thing that's missing from my game
and I really want to add another string to my bow.
Looking at Catalans for the last couple of weeks, they've been
in contention in a game and fallen away at the end.
Will that worry Steve McNamara as he goes into the qualifiers?
I think he'll be pleased at the direction they're heading.
The performances they've strung together recently have been
better than the ones eight and 12 weeks ago.
The key for them is their fixtures at home.
They are four winnable games and then they need to win one away.
Then they aren't in the million pound game, and safe.
I thought the Castleford win was fantastic.
They've had two standout performances for me.
The one where they butchered the Rhinos and then when they beat
St Helens when they had all their England
players out as well.
I think that one is up there as well, to come from behind,
two players in the sin-bin, in France, fantastic.
Our mission at the BBC is to inform, educate and entertain.
So with that in mind, here's a look at the current form
of eighth placed Wigan, who faced second placed
Leeds on Friday night.
"Theme From PSB" by Public Service Broadcasting.
Williams moves into position here.
Taking on the Leeds defence down the middle.
They're advancing efficiently here, Wigan.
McIlorum with the dummy and slides over.
Using the wet conditions to his advantage.
First try, 11 minutes.
A little step by Leuluai, but put down by Jordan Baldwinson.
A left foot step, but not finding any give at the moment.
He off-loads back to Tomkins.
Tomkins having a look for the arcing run, and a little chip.
Here comes the chase.
Tomkins is the man to grab and score!
That's a wonderful, wonderful try from Sam Tomkins.
Having to pound it out from their own area and they've lost
it, the ball has been spun to the ground.
Wigan have it back again with Tony Clubb.
All that pressure remains on Leeds.
And Wigan have got a penalty.
Jamie Jones-Buchanan with a little extra effort.
Williams with a dummy.
He's over the line.
The referee is having a good look here.
He's asking a question.
What does he think?
He thinks try.
That's a crucial decision on the field.
The angles are not entirely clear as to whether he got it down or not
so it's going to count in Wigan's favour and George Williams' favour.
The try is given.
Picking it up and having a dabble.
Wigan advancing again.
It's a wet night, a miserable night if you're a Leeds fan
because the side that has been without 15 of their regular
first-team stars has been under the pump all night.
Gildart is in for Wigan's fourth try, the first of this second-half.
Ten minutes played in the second period.
Wigan search for the middle.
Trying to create something here.
Williams has got the gap now, running into it.
Has support if he needs it and he passes away.
Gildart with his second try of the night.
Spaced by four minutes only.
It's a double.
Gildart out at dummy half, back towards the middle again now.
Leeds hanging on.
Shaun Wane looks on as Wigan search for another try in the last few
minutes of this game.
That's a good flick.
Here comes Gelling trying to create, and has created.
A very good finish from Tom Davies.
A bit of sparkle on the night with that try from Wigan.
Good stuff all around.
Bateman changing the angle, giving the off-load away,
quick hands, quick thinking from Tomkins and Gelling
with a bit of magic as well to draw in the winger
for his own winger to score.
Sutton just inside the Leeds half.
Wigan are going to get their win here tonight to keep them
in touching distance of the top four.
They might get more points as well!
Gildart with the pass away and Williams is over to score!
It's been very one sided.
Wigan have got the points and improved their points difference.
It could be a big night ahead of the Super 8s.
Shaun Wane said afterwards, Wigan were in a lose-lose situation,
everybody expected them to win, but what did you make
of the Wigan performance?
I thought they did as well as they could.
You're right, it was a zero-sum game for Wigan.
Looking at their attack, it's a lot better than it's been
recently, a lot more potent, a lot more numbers in position.
They've been working on it all week and it looked like they had
and it's good for them going into the semifinal on the back
of that performance.
They also nilled Leeds, which is always difficult
They also nilled Leeds, which is always difficult to nil a side.
Leeds had a big deal of commitment and they'll be pleased
about that side of it.
Wigan have been a little bit up and down in terms of their form.
Will that give them a bit of rhythm going into the semifinal?
How important do you think that is, going in with a win?
They have, yeah.
In recent weeks they've had their star players back
and that's showing now.
They've probably had most of the senior boys out
during the season so they've not been training together,
they've lost the flow of what they're doing.
They're getting those players back, they're training together.
You could see them putting things together and they look really sharp.
That's really good going into the back end of the season,
going into the semifinal.
What did you make of Leeds' youngsters?
I thought probably technically some of them were poor in terms of how
they carry the ball, catching the ball,
But I think the work ethic, the commitment and desire
from the team, and the willingness to have a go, was really there.
It was a great test for some of those players.
Brian McDermott spoke afterwards.
He can't replicate that in training and that's true.
Going to Wigan, Wigan is a really difficult place to go and play,
one of the toughest away places to play.
I thought in terms of those characteristics they did well,
but technically they weren't where they needed to be.
A quick one on Jack Walker, who's not signed the contract Leeds
have put in front of him yet because he wants
to play at fullback.
Obviously Ashton Golding has just signed a four-year deal.
Do you have sympathy with him as a fullback because there's
only one in the team?
He's only 17 years of age.
He's trying to be a rugby player at the end of the day.
He wants to play rugby league, he wants to be on that team.
He's set his sights on being a fullback so I think good on him,
he's backing himself and his ability and I want him to do well.
The Rhinos will be losing Danny McGuire to Hull KR
and Rob Burrow to retirement at the end of the season.
They've both been fantastic servants to the club.
A huge coup for you guys to get Danny McGuire.
How much are Leeds going to miss these two?
They've been two absolutely wonderful players for Leeds
over the last 15 years.
The biggest thing you can say about them is they play outstanding
during the regular rounds, but I think they leave a legacy
of big-game players.
They've both won Man of the Match in Grand Finals and featured heavily
in Challenge Cup wins as well.
They've been a pleasure to play alongside and I would say two
absolute champions off the field as well.
I loved my time with them in and around the dressing room
and rightly they should go down in Leeds history as a couple
of the greatest half-backs the club has ever seen.
And in the same way that you and Kevin Kiley were leaving
the club, how much do you think this can motivate Leeds
to win silverware?
They'll want to go out on a high and I'm sure the players,
being friends as well, will want to send
them out on a high.
That will be an extra motive for Leeds to do well this year.
Leeds' chance of lifting the League Leaders' Shield may look
unlikely, but they are in pole position to take this
year's Set of Six title, where our Super League sparks
try to complete six sets with their brains rather than brawn.
Leeds's Ryan Hall is top of the pile, which only leaves
Matty Dawson stood in the way of being crowned champion.
Dog, cat, rabbit, hamster, rat...
Bird, like a budgie, that'll do.
Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, David Moyes, who else is there?
Car, bike, bus...
Loads of things, isn't there?
Can't think of anything.
How many more do I need?
Pen, pencil, ruler, protractor, ...
Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Captain America, Antman...
Why is it so hard?
And congratulations to Matty Dawson, our Set of Six champion.
On the field, Leigh's set has not been quite so consistent.
The Centurions losing 14 of their last 16 Super League games
and in danger of finishing bottom of the table.
For Derby opponents, Salford, a win would secure them their place
going into the Super Eights and their highest league
finish in 40 years.
Commentary on this one comes from BBC Radio Manchester.
Leigh centurions heading to the Salford try line.
They are in here.
It is their opening score, for Leigh Centurions,
who have carved their way through.
He cannot get the final ball away.
This is the last tackle for the Centurions.
Two metres away.
Salford are going to be exposed again.
Massive gap, a second try for the Centurions.
Burr, across the line, in towards the right-hand side,
real problem here for Salford, are they going on?
They think they have scored, the referee will confirm the score,
Salford are now in big bother.
Ben Murdoch-Masila, went for the line, he got the ball away,
nobody there to take it and with that, arguably,
goes the game for Salford.
Five and a half minutes remaining, 18-0, there is a dropped goal.
For Leigh Centurions.
Here comes Josh Jones, and Johnson, he is nailed.
All play well, the Centurions will try and go the length of the field,
he will finish in style.
What a score, what a night, what a try.
Salford knocked out of sight by Leigh.
Zak, how important for Leigh going into the qualifiers do
you think that victory could be?
I reckon they will be disappointed with themselves,
with the season so far, but to get a good win
against a good team there, will give them a lot of confidence,
going into the eights.
Do you think they will go further in the qualifiers, they know
what it is about, obviously?
I think their experience now will be good for them,
I think they would have liked to have finished outside
it, to be honest.
I think they will have known their season was geared around
surviving this year.
They got into Super League last year, they should
be commended for that, but now it is about the survival.
They understand the dynamics and the pressure of this competition
and I think that experience will be good for them.
For Salford, what do you make of Salford?
They were so solid at the beginning of the season, but they have had
a really rocky run of late.
Yes, I am not sure, I don't know if the Challenge Cup has been a bit
of a distraction or they are getting a bit too complacent, I am not sure.
I am sure they are going to be looking ahead to the Challenge Cup,
I am sure they are really excited about the challenge and trying
to get to the Challenge Cup Final.
I'm not quite sure what has gone on in the last few weeks.
Ian Watson was scathing, saying that players will lose their shirts
because of that performance.
Do you think there has been maybe complacency?
That maybe they weren't expecting to do as well,
they secured their top eight finish, found themselves in the semi-finals?
I don't think it is complacency.
It is a new experience for them to be in the competition on two
fronts, to be up here at the top four, and also be in the semifinal
of the cup as well.
It is as if their expectations, at the beginning of the year,
not to be involved in the middle eights, and they have achieved that,
then where do you go from there?
You have achieved your goal for the year and I think
it is important that that group of players and that group
of coaching staff, assess whether they are going to go
for the back third of the year and if they can set themselves some
lofty goals, they will give themselves a chance.
Of improving over the back half of the year.
McCarthy is in contention for that final spot,
how much can he bring to the side?
Especially the Finn on the wing, what they call him in Australia.
He is a real handful and he will bring a lot
of experience with him.
McCarthy is a really good player.
He has been there and done that with Warrington,
and also been in Australia with St George, he will bring some
vital rugby experience, especially if he gets chucked
into the deep end with the semifinal.
We will see if they are.
As the Challenge Cup semi-finals approach,
here are the details of how you can see and hear the best
of the action on the BBC.
and after a hat-trick of losses, it wasn't exactly
an emphatic display.
But better from Hull, Jamie?
Yes, I think they were slightly better, but they are a difficult
side to play at the KC Stadium.
I think for them, they had some experience back on the side,
they had their talisman, Gareth Ellis back playing
and I think he is a player who installs confidence
in all those around him.
There was a great try from one of their most experienced
players in Minichello, but going back to Gareth Ellis,
he is one of those players that you look around the dressing room
and think, we have a good chance of winning with him on the field.
And they talked about stripping back after the loss to Leeds.
Do you see a different Hull here?
In the work that they have done in the last few weeks?
I think they are making less errors.
If you do not make errors, it goes a long way towards winning the game.
Completion rates as well.
Like you say, stripped back to the basics there and get
the basics right and hopefully get the job done and that is
what they have done here.
And a measure of the improvement in Huddersfield, they were really
disappointed to lose this.
They have been coming along nicely, they have been developing under
Rick Stone, I think this game is more about where Hull
are heading, into the semifinal, can they get some form
going into it?
I think they have, following the win, they have some
of the fundamentals right.
You can have all the best players in the world,
but unless you make the tackles complete assists, you have no
chance, particularly in semi-finals.
You need to be up around the 80 or 85% mark to do it and I think
that is what they will be aiming to do, Hull.
I mean, Huddersfield, if they lose the first couple
of games, there is a danger that they will put their feet up
and go, season over, isn't it?
It could be easily done like that.
On the other hand, when you're going to play at Huddersfield,
they have got nothing to lose and everything to gain and that is
when the game becomes tricky.
On one hand, yes, they could put the cue on the rack but on the flip
side of that, they could play some exciting Rugby League
and cause some upsets.
And for Hull, how do you sum up the season so far,
because they were very good against Castleford
in the quarterfinals, but then not so good.
I don't think they reached the levels that they did last year,
I thought last year they were exceptional
at times last year.
They have had some great games, I think the game against Castleford
was a standout performance this year and they will have to reach
that kind of level, if they want to beat the Rhinos,
on Saturday, but going for them, they are still in the Challenge Cup
and still pushing to get into that top four as well.
The key is at the back-end of the year, they are going to have
to try and find consistency if they want to try
and stay in that top four.
Well with Salford slipping, the door was left wide open
for Wakefield to swoop in and steal a top four spot.
Anything more than a defeat by more than 14 points would be enough
to secure their highest ever Super League finish.
Saints on the attack.
Richardson to Fages.
He is back there and Roby jostles them.
Richardson is available.
Looks to his left, though, he is in!
Here's Finn, that will quieten the expectant crowd.
Richardson was the first score of the afternoon.
Right to left, Wakefield go, here is Kirmond.
250 up for Craig Kirmond.
Playing the ball, a couple of metres out towards Finn,
chance for Ashurst, who is in.
Wakefield hit back.
Tries to break through.
Roby is going to get this.
Just like shelling peas for James Roby.
Easy as you like.
Fages to Wilkin.
Richardson to Knowles.
Out to Makinson.
Makinson chips, can he get there?
Wonderful kick and collect from Tommy Makinson.
Here is Walmsley, to Fages.
All Saints this.
Here comes Percival, going to set Grace in.
Grace touches the ball down, Saints in command.
What can Wakefield do at the start of the second half?
Five metres from the line.
Tries to break through.
Back to Grix.
He is a slippery one.
He is through, Wakefield have a lifeline.
Finn to his left.
Cut out pass and Caton-Brown touches down, Wakefield are back within ten.
It is not dealt with there by Wakefield.
Chance here, Lomax, he is going to send McCarthy-Scarsbrook away.
And that could be the try that seals it for Saints.
Percival with it.
Thought he was going to kick for a moment there,
instead set Douglas away.
That was a funny looking thing, funny effort, but Taia will touch
the ball down and that stretches beyond Wakefield.
They could find themselves out of the four here.
Disappointing end then for Wakefield.
Grix will just kick the ball away.
Saints have not switched off, though.
What will he do?
He will drop a goal and he will rub salt into the Wakefield wounds.
Saints sit in sixth place and finish just a point behind
fifth place Wakefield.
Jamie, I don't want to be all doom and gloom, because Wakefield have
had a fantastic season up to this point and have definitely defied
the critics, but how disappointed will they be with that performance
and that result?
I think they had two options, you beat a side who are lower
than you in the league, you finish third, or you lose
by less than five points and you finish fourth,
and they didn't come up with either.
I think Wakefield now really need to look at what they're going to do
in these next seven games.
They need to try and consolidate a place or do they want to try
and go after the Rhinos in second place?
If they have a bad next seven games, that is what people will remember,
the back end of the year.
The squad and the coaching staff are capable of more than that,
but they need to start delivering on that.
As for St Helens, they were on a bit of a roll at the moment.
They will definitely be looking like top four.
Like I mentioned earlier, they could be a team that will get
into the top four quite easily.
It is up to the third and fourth team to do
something about their spot.
Saints are on a really good run at the moment.
Will Saints be concerned about their away form,
because they have got four away fixtures?
I think they will look at that, because earlier in the season had
not gone well, but there are seven new games, they have got
a new coach, who has been in charge for six or seven games now
and I think, they have got a history of performing at the back-end
of this year and the players running into the grand final.
They will be trying to hunt down on third and fourth place.
Now to the Helliwell Jones where Warrington and Widnes
were already consigned to the qualifiers.
But with them Vikings going into the match on the back
of three straight defeats, a loss threatened to leave them
holding the wooden spoon.
It wasn't the most gripping derby, was it, Zach?
No, I think it was one for the spectators to watch,
but it is a good two points for Warrington and trying to hit
some form for the eights that they are going into,
and bragging rights as well being at a derby game.
Are Warrington looking a little bit more themselves?
Yes, they are.
We speak about this every week in sport and I think they are back
in the habit of being able to win games.
I don't think they were anywhere at the levels they were
when they beat Brisbane.
Right at the beginning of the season, but you will want
to go into this middle eight competition with
the habit of winning.
The Rhinos did that earlier in the year and did that seven
from seven and I would imagine Warrington will be
looking to do that.
Will they have wanted to put a marker down,
because obviously these two will meet now in the qualifiers?
Yes, without a doubt.
Being a bit of a derby game, they have got
bragging rights as well.
They have got quality players, there was a World Cup
at the end of the year, you want to perform
at the best of your ability, whether you are English,
Irish or Scottish, New Zealand, you want to get a spot
for the World Cup, it is a big competition.
They have got something other than to win some games, to go out.
And for Widnes, they were missing quite a few players who should be
back for those qualifiers.
Would you, if you were a fan of Widnes, would you be concerned
going into the qualifiers?
They have been up and down this year and at their best they are a good
side but we have not seen that often enough this year and I think,
you can tell by the voices coming from the camp that this
is a separate competition.
Forget what has been going on in the past 23 rounds,
focus on these next seven, be the best that we can be
as a Widnes club and if they have that kind of mindset,
they will give themselves a chance of staying
in Super League next year.
So after 23 rounds, here is how everyone stands
in the betFred Super League table.
Confirmation that Castleford with that stunning win in Perpignan,
sit seven points clear at the top of the table with Leeds closest
in the chasing pack.
Hull move up to third with Salford snatching fourth place
by the skin of their teeth.
Wakefield, St Helens, Wigan, Huddersfield will therefore
play for away fixtures in the super eights.
Warrington, Catalan, Lee and Widnes are joined
by Hull KR, London Broncos, Halifax and Featherstone
in the qualifiers.
The Super League show returns in a fortnight's time
with highlights from both the super eights and the qualifiers
plus the show is available all week on the BBC iPlayer.
But for now, here is a guide to the teams looking to win a place
in Rugby League's premier competition with Dave Edwards.
Hull KR have the chance to regain their place
in the Super League after last year 's crushing drop goal drama
in the million pound game.
It is absolutely, utterly unbelievable!
Hull Kingston Rovers cannot believe what has just befallen them.
But 12 months on, will those tears turn to cheers?
Rovers go into the qualifying as comfortable winners of the league
leaders shield in the Championship.
The London Broncos come into the eights having impressed
in last year 's competition.
They beat Salford and came close to unseating Leeds.
Andrew Henderson's team will be looking to upset
the favourites again.
Beware the bucking Broncos.
Halifax are the form team from the Championship,
they cemented their place with this victory over Hull KR on Sunday.
Don't underestimate Richard Marshall's team
who were only two points off second place in the million
pound game in 2015.
Challenge cup quarterfinalists and a place in the super eights
looks like a good season on paper for Featherstone but it was not
enough to keep head coach Jon Sharp in a job.
He parted company with Rovers last week with John Duffy moving
from Swindon to guide them through the next eight
weeks and beyond.
So Jamie, how are you and Hull KR approaching the qualifiers?
We have been looking forward to this part of the year
for a couple of months now and we want to get our players
back into Super League.
Just speaking at the club, I think every stakeholder involved
in the club has been tremendous this year.
The support we have had from the fans, through the sponsorship,
right up to the chairman has been fantastic for the club
and we are in a position to go out and attack the middle eights,
that is how we are going to do, we're going to go for it and try
and get a place back in Super League.
And the three other Championship sides involved, you will be looking
out for Featherstone with your Featherstone hat on,
can you see any of them making it into Super League,
to think it is a realistic chance for them?
It is going to be a tough ask, but I think Hull KR have a good
chance, apart from them, maybe London, the other teams
we mentioned, they are part-time, some of them are painters
and decorators, so they are out of the house 14 hours a day
and I think it will be a tough ask.
I would fancy a few upsets, one or two games maybe,
but I cannot really see past Hull KR.
We have run out of time, the RFL will be releasing the full
fixture list for the super eights on Wednesday, but from all
of us here, goodbye.
Welcome to The Mash Report!
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Highlights from the latest round of matches as the first part of the 2017 Super League season reaches its conclusion. At the end of this round the top eight teams will battle for a place in the play-offs, while the remaining four teams will fight to avoid relegation to the Championship.
The two best-supported teams in the competition, Wigan and Leeds, meet at the DW Stadium. The two sides met in the very first grand final in 1998, and their rivalry has been a key highlight of the last 20 Super League seasons. Leeds have been battling towards the top of the table for most of this year, but the champions Wigan have started to find their form and move closer to play-off places. This match against one of their oldest rivals will give plenty of indications as to whether Wigan can go on to defend their title this year.
Castleford hope to move a step closer to claiming the League Leaders Shield when they travel to the south of France to take on Catalans. The Tigers have raced away at the top of the table and look set to finish in first place for the first time in 91 years. There's a local derby for Warrington, who meet Widnes. Leigh take on Salford, Wakefield are at home to St Helens, and Hull FC warm-up for their Challenge Cup semi-final when they take on Huddersfield.