Highlights from the Super 8s. Including Castleford v Wakefield, Leeds v St Helens, Hull FC v Huddersfield, Wigan v Salford, Catalans v Leigh and Warrington v Halifax.
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Points mean prizes, as Brucie once said,
and this week we'll see if the Castelford Tigers can get
enough to lift the League Leader's Shield.
Andrew Henderson and Iestyn Harris have joined us
for highlights from eight games.
And the only place to start is at the Jungle, where Castleford
needed just a draw against Wakefield to guarantee top spot
in Super League.
Commentary comes from Dave Woods.
COMMENTATOR: What a roar, what a noise around this ground.
Is this the night they seal the deal, and write their names
into the history books, these Castleford players?
But it's not a night to ignore the opposition.
Wakefield needing to win as well, to keep their Grand Final hopes alive.
This is Finn.
Nervous times here for the home supporters.
It's a penalty.
Luke Gale with a bit of a grab.
Chris Chester looking on with John Kear to his side.
His side likely to take the lead here in the opening two minutes.
Liam Finn with a penalty kick that gives them that early advantage.
Only a slight concern, I'm sure.
McShane at dummy half.
Massey taking it in.
McShane again here.
Castleford looking to open them up if they can.
The little step by Hardaker and Zak Hardaker gets Castleford's
first try of the night.
The acclamation is joyous from all around the terraces.
Hadley at dummy half here, moving it out to Finn and Wakefield
asking some tough questions.
A bit of space.
They go across quickly with Minikin, but Wakefield able to keep it alive.
Taken in by England.
Castleford are being given a stern test here by their neighbours.
Finn out of dummy half.
Dragged to the ground, quickly picked up by Hadley
and out and over the top, and Ben Jones-Bishop is in to score.
Wakefield are playing their part here tonight.
Millington galloping forward again and again looking
for some width here.
Webster back on the inside...
It might have got a touch there from England.
It's got Castleford back on the ball, though, in McShane,
he's stolen it back.
Still an opportunity.
Roberts, Massey, hammers it forward again.
McShane just takes a look.
The crashing run from McMeeken.
Well, he's reached, has he touched it down safely?
Video referee called for for the first time tonight.
James Child thinks no try on the field.
Mike McMeeken, his elbows are up.
Has he hit the whitewash?
Try confirmed, Cas in the lead again.
Tremendous atmosphere here.
They are loving every moment.
Wakefield are making sure it's far from plain sailing
for Castleford so far.
Here's Hardaker with a dummy, support on the inside
from Webster, who's in.
Hardaker's break and vision and Webster's balance
and power taking it in, and the gap opens a little more.
Castleford's line being tested here.
Mason Caton-Brown out of dummy half.
I think he's got there.
Wakefield back in it just before half-time.
Well, they've got a bit of width here.
Held up, put down.
Ben Jones-Bishop is the man who moves at dummy half.
Wakefield looking to prosper again here.
It's back for Kirmond, Danny Kirmond the captain, galloping in.
And they will not go away here, Wakefield.
They want to spoil the party.
Stepped back on the inside, McShane, as they search this
right-hand side again.
McMeeken pops it up, and inside goes Minikin.
Wakefield's defence is scrambling.
McShane delivers back.
Gale, with a pass over the top, right into the hands of Greg Eden.
His 35th Super League try of the season, and it's an absolute
peach of a pass from Gale that puts him over.
They're believing again and it's going to be the night.
What about this pass from Luke Gale?
Missing out two defenders and right into the arms of Greg Eden to score.
They're running with numbers, Roberts puts it back,
it's got a hand, but it's Webster who picks it up and Jake Webster
in for his second.
Well, the party's beginning.
Millington looking for an off-load, but they're hanging off him.
McShane at dummy half again, just taken in...
Webster, hat trick try, and that might just be the one
that seals the deal.
It's a long way back for Wakefield.
And they're beginning to celebrate the inevitable now.
Roberts, dashing and weaving.
McShane at dummy half, they are well set again.
Gale, going for the drop goal.
Well, ain't that the impish factor?!
Luke Gale's one pointer.
Again, they have the numbers here, McMeeken running through,
Webster is there in support.
It's going to be a fourth try of the night for Jake Webster.
Well, they are enjoying themselves now.
All the tension has gone, what little there was,
and it is a night for celebration.
Up field with a ball left.
A slip by Tupou but he's kept it alive and it's going to be
Max Jowitt who gets in.
There's a little pin in the party balloon momentarily.
Roberts is through, has support right and left,
it's left to Hardaker.
He started the night with a try in the tenth minute for his side,
and he might have just finished it too.
He's a great candidate for Man of Steel, but you could say
that of several of these Castleford players.
League leaders, Shield winners.
It's a countdown to a history making moment, 91 years in the making.
For the first time ever, Castleford sit at the top
of the table, at the end of the league season.
They have done it in such style.
And the party breaking out all around the Jungle.
It's been a party atmosphere here all year, to be fair.
Carnival on and off the field.
And there's the winning coach.
Michael Shenton collects that League Leader's Shield.
Not everybody celebrates that piece of silverware,
but Castleford will.
Champagne corks ready to pop here.
They've done it with a bit of razzle-dazzle throughout
the year, and after 91 years, Castleford win that prize.
It's a moment to relish for them and their fans.
It's unbelievable, when you look around,
and it's a good news story, isn't it?
We worked so hard over the last four years for a night like this.
You want to enjoy it.
It's a special place to play rugby league,
a special place to be involved with, so yeah, a top night.
Certainly enjoying, I'm going to enjoy it.
Lost for words, unbelievable.
We said we had to do it at the start of the year,
but for it to come true, you know...
Credit to the coaching staff, the boys, the club,
80, 90% of our team, we've all had adversity,
probably been around the block a bit and it just feels great to win it
with this bunch of men.
It's for the town, really, and all the fans.
All the ups and downs, they've been relegated and promoted,
and, you know, I can't really feel, can't begin to think
what they've been through, so to get this tonight
for them is magnificent.
It's a special feeling, very emotional, very emotional time.
A lot of messages from all the fans about how much it means
to them to achieve this, League Leader's, and we have been
the most consistent team and it's nice to get it done nice and early
and now we can focus on what's next.
So a nice weekend as well, to enjoy it.
I've waited long enough to get some silverware.
As a kid coming to the games and waiting to get some
silverware, so it's great.
We'll celebrate tonight and then we have to start kicking up
towards the Grand Final.
Zak talked there about what the fans have gone through.
You were there when they got relegated back in 2006,
but there have been dark days even more recently, in the last
four years or so.
It's quite an achievement what they've done behind the scenes,
as much as what they've done on the pitch, isn't it?
The club even at one point four years ago
was on the brink of possibly going into administration.
So not only dealing with the yo-yoing of
promotion/relegation, which I was part of that, that era,
and then also they started to this show some promise and build and then
they faded away again and then the club almost didn't exist.
And then four years on, you know, credit to Daryl Powell and the team.
Steve Gill as well, he's been the focal point there.
He's managed to keep that club together, somehow find the finance
and the resource to make it happen.
They do it on a limited budget, and I think you can only credit
Daryl Powell and the coaching team for the fact they've coached that
team to achieve what they've done.
But phenomenal work's done off the field as well.
I'm just so, so pleased for the town and the club and so proud
of everyone involved at Castleford who achieved that, it's fantastic.
They've been very good value for it as well, through the season?
There was a lot of people tipping them at the start
of the year, wasn't there?
Saying Daryl had progressed them over the last two or three years,
they'd added to the squad.
You felt as though they were going to be in the mix for the top four,
but I don't think anybody expected them to finish top, and win it
with games to spare like this.
I think, I agree with Hendo, you have to give them huge credit.
I think Wakefield will be disappointed, because I think
they were in the mix and I think what Daryl will be exceptionally
happy with is the fact they've won a big game.
There wass a lot of pressure on them, internally and externally,
to perform on Friday night, and they did that.
Because when the semifinal comes around in five or six weeks' time,
you don't get a second chance and you've got to perform
on the big nights, and he'll be happy with that.
And Wakefield were never going to roll over and make it easy for them.
They were back within just a couple of points, weren't they,
when Danny Kirmond scored that try?
But Castleford did what Castleford have done so often,
back-to-back tries and bam, the game's out of sight.
Yeah, I thought it was an edgy start for Castleford, I really did.
They admitted to nerves afterwards.
Yeah, I thought it was an edgy start for them.
But like you said, they got a little bit fortuitous,
they got the bounce of the ball there a little bit, but once
they got into their stride...
Wakefield came up with some critical errors, as we said,
Jowitt kicking out, just gifted Castleford position.
Like I said, a little fortuitous on this occasion, here it is -
the ball goes to ground and Webster picks up.
But once they felt they were comfortable and had that ascendancy,
they really kicked on from there.
That's the point, Wakefield will be disappointed with that.
They give them an opportunity to get back-to-back tries.
Great scenes here, Castleford winning, absolutely brilliant.
But when it comes to semifinals, sometimes you don't get that
back-to-back chance and Castleford will know they will need to improve
in the next 4-5 weeks, to win that semifinal.
And just quickly, good timing for them, though,
because they've had a bit of time to celebrate, they get a week off,
they have time to get their heads about what they've achieved,
haven't they, before the semifinals?
Absolutely brilliant timing.
There's not many times in rugby league when you win something
you get an opportunity to enjoy it and I'm sure Daryl will have
said to the players, look, enjoy the weekend,
go and enjoy yourself and then get back to work,
and we've got two weeks until the next game.
Brilliant times for them, congratulations
to Castelford Tigers.
The next big prize will be handed out on Saturday,
when Hull FC take on Wigan in the Challenge Cup final.
Hull are the holders, of course, and they warmed up
for Wembley with a home game against Huddersfield.
Commentary on this one from Matt Newsum.
COMMENTATOR: Houghton poised for Hull.
In a strong position here.
Tuimavave switches the play.
Mahe Fonua comes in the field, and Hull are in range.
Houghton again, probing, prompting.
Gareth Ellis takes it to the line, will he get it down?
Yes he will!
What a way to mark 450 games.
Leaning in field to Brough.
This is where the Giants are dangerous.
Plenty of ballplaying plans, and they get it
through to McIntosh in the corner.
Fine try for the Giants.
Leeming from acting halfback, Hinchcliffe
raiding the line himself.
Dumps it back.
Leeming again, he's got runners in support.
Here comes Gaskell, flying into space and scores
for the Huddersfield Giants.
Hull in sight of the posts.
Tuimavave, lovely move to this right-hand side.
Jake Connor, against his old club, gets Hull back in the game.
O'Brien onto Brough.
Out the back it goes to Rankin, lovely hands to put Mellor through.
That's a smart try for the Giants.
There's been a real ebb and flow so far.
Brough away to that left-hand side.
Hinchcliffe, lovely hands from Rankin.
Darnell McIntosh cuts back in field and will put the ball down.
Taken in by Smith, great hands at the line,
Tyler Dickinson rumbles through, Connor won't stop him.
Huddersfield Giants extend the lead.
O'Brien, Rankin, out the back to Gaskell,
he's been a threat all night.
He goes it alone and will score another try for the Giants.
Hull have been a little shell-shocked, but they've got
a bit of space here.
Fonua out on the right, looks for the off-load to Michaels.
They've worked it out of the cul-de-sac here, Hull.
It's all a little bit lateral for now.
Houghton, looping ball out to the left-hand side.
Griffin has got a bit of space, he will straighten things up,
he will take it past McGillvary and score in the corner.
What a finish from Josh Griffin.
O'Brien, who's been directing the traffic gets the missed
ball to Kruise Leeming.
One hooker to another, and the Giants hit 40.
Now, there's a good ten minutes left of this one.
A dink to the corner, in towards the in goal.
Mahe Fonua has been picked up and taken towards the line,
the ball has come loose and Lee Gaskell's got it.
That is game over, and not the preparation Hull wanted.
STUDIO: Have Huddersfield left it too late or do you think they can
still make that four, the way they're playing?
There's four games left, isn't there?
I think they'll definitely need to win three of the four to give
themselves a fighting chance, but I think Rick Stones has done
a terrific job, hasn't he?
I think ten games into the season everyone was writing Huddersfield
off, saying 100% bottom four and to get them into a position
they are in, they are in the 8s, performing well and ready to kick
on towards the back end of the year, you've got to give them huge credit.
They've got good players, good solid players and they're
starting to play well together as a group, so yes, don't
write them off, but it's going to be difficult, though.
Hull, not ideal preparation for the Challenge Cup final?
Well, you'd say no.
They're missing some big players, missing Jamie Shaul, Albert Kelly,
Scott Taylor as well, three big players for that team.
You could argue it may have disrupted them a little bit
and you could probably argue that probably they've got
their focus on that Challenge Cup final coming up.
I think what they were disappointed with is they've probably lost,
potentially lost that second spot that they were still
in the fighting mix for.
They could still achieve it, if Leeds' results fall away
in the next couple of games, but that will be the disappointing
thing for them, that they probably just took their foot off
the pedal there.
But you've got to credit Huddersfield, you know?
I know you can argue it was probably defensively not the standards that
Hull would like and they're going to be tested a lot
next week against Wigan, but you have to credit the way
They played some really inventive, attacking rugby league,
scored some magnificent tries.
So pleasing for the Huddersfield Giants, probably one of their best
performances of the season.
450th appearance for Gareth Ellis.
Obviously he has been such a servant, hasn't he?
And you know what, 450 games is an amazing feat,
but to play the way he plays the game as well and still
hit that 450 is huge.
He's been a success on both sides of the world.
Anybody who's played with him reaps huge,
huge accolades on him and the one who play against him don't
like playing against him, so I think everything that's been
said about him over the last week, Gareth Ellis, he deserves
all the accolades he's getting.
Terrific player, terrific player.
And a terrific bloke as well, it has to be said.
Wigan's last game before Wembley was against Salford,
so how were the Warriors looking, do you think, ahead of Wembley?
Well, off the back of this performance, you would say
in a pretty healthy position.
What I would say with Wigan is that they're getting all their players
back at the right time and this man, Sam Tomkins, is now starting
to play exceptionally well.
In probably a different way than we expect from Sam Tomkins.
We used to him seeing 60-70 metre tries from two or three years ago.
He's changed his play a little bit from that, but he's become
really the influential.
Burgess is starting to play well.
Does he give them a different aspect,
a different attacking aspect?
He does, yeah.
He sort of links a lot of the players, with Tommy Leuluai
and George Williams, people like Farrell,
coming on them types of lines, exceptionally difficult to stop.
But they are growing as a team, together.
Hull are going to have to play an outstanding game
next week at Wembley.
If they want to challenge their side, who are starting
to grow in confidence.
When you've got Williams in the side, he can do that.
Wigan are dangerous from anywhere on the field.
What has possibly been a weakness through the season
has been their defence, but certainly in the last couple
of games that one-on-one defence seems back where it needs to be?
We said about Wigan, they're starting to get that
edge back, aren't they?
Just as a team.
They are a lot more fluent with the ball than they have been.
Iestyn alludes to Sam Tomkins and the influence he's having.
He's having a kicking threat, as well as orchestrating
things from behind there.
And I just think defensively, like you said, they've
really started to aim up, they're becoming harder to break
down now and we all know Wigan, when it comes to big games,
they know how to step it up, they know how
to raise to that level.
A number of players in that Wigan team playing well now, that's key.
I think what they've got is a bit of a swagger back,
which they always had.
They always had that swagger, that they were going to win games,
no matter whether they were a point down or a point up with ten
minutes left to play.
I think they've got that back again and when they've got back swagger,
they're difficult to play against.
A quick word on Salford, yes, they were missing a few players,
but they have been poor, haven't they, in recent weeks?
They've got a huge game coming up in two weeks' time.
I think they play Wakefield.
I think if they lose that, they're gone, they're
out of that four hunt.
The fact that they've done so well at the start of the year has given
them an opportunity to stay in the march, but certainly
looking exceptionally tired at this moment in time.
That one's for a couple of weeks' time.
And of course you can see the Challenge Cup final live
right here on the BBC.
Join us at two o'clock on Saturday for all the build-up from Wembley.
Kick off is at 3pm.
The Super League Show returns in a fortnight,
when we're expecting to see Ben Barber make his debut
for St Helens against Wigan.
And don't forget, the Five Live rugby league podcast will be
available to download every Monday.
Leeds and St Helens met in front of Headingley's South Stand
for the final time on Friday.
They've had some classic encounters down the years, Andrew.
Fair to say this wasn't one of them, was it?
I wouldn't say it was a dour affair, but it certainly wasn't
a spectacle, was it?
It was old-fashioned grit, determination, you know,
to get across the line.
I think it certainly wasn't a spectacle.
The conditions weren't great, a bit greasy, probably didn't help,
but it was far from a spectacle.
But at the end of the day, Leeds have done enough.
I think Saints will be disappointed.
They've been in some really tight contests of late, recent weeks,
they've won by two points and now lost a couple by two points.
They've been in that mix but not quite good enough
to get across the line.
They've had some players like James Roby, who took
some accolades recently, playing some really good football.
They've got some players playing well, but they're just probably not
executing well enough at this moment in time to get across the line.
They will be disappointed here.
Brian McDermott hailed the second-half performance
from Leeds, he said he wasn't quite sure where it had come from.
It's all about winning.
At this time of the year, it's not about how you win sometimes.
Yes, the game wasn't great, Saints have lost a couple of tight
games, as Hendo says, in recent weeks.
Leeds are winning these tight games.
They didn't do it last season, and hence the reason
they were in the middle eight.
Now they're starting to win these tight games.
They're probably not playing as fluent as they'd
like, but with Leeds' grit and determination.
A couple of weeks' rest now, building to the end of the season.
Don't write them off at Old Trafford.
They've got the players to be able to do it and at this end of the year
you don't have to play pretty.
It starts to get greasy, as Hendo said, towards the back end
of the year and they are pretty good in those conditions.
Saints will be disappointed.
Lovely try here.
Shaun Goater got them within two points, but it's them
small margins, isn't it?
It's being in the mix in games and going on and winning those
games, that will get you in the top four.
So, Leeds beat their old rivals and with four rounds to go,
this is how they stand in the Betfred Super League table.
The Rhinos are still in second place and on course for a home semifinal.
No change in the top four, despite those defeats
for Hull and Wakefield, but Wigan are now just a point off
those play-off places.
Well, four more games to come now, as we follow the fight
for Super League status in the qualifiers.
It's getting close to desperate times for Catalan and Leigh
who met on Saturday.
Both teams had won one and lost one in the qualifiers so far,
so a win was all-important as they fight to maintain
their Super League place.
The commentator is Matt Newsum.
COMMENTATOR: Blake plays the ball.
Leigh into space, midfield, looking for an off-load.
Catalan have them all wrapped up here.
Daniel Mortimer, the relative new boy, gets a kick from Drinkwater.
Hanging in towards that Catalan in-goal area.
It's going to pitch and bounce here.
It's been tapped forward.
Leigh might well have a breakthrough,
after just four minutes.
Phil Barnes has gone to the screen, he's given a try
on field decision.
It was an absolute hash of it from Catalan.
It comes off a Catalan player, Langi tapped it back
and Higson was there to score.
And there is the confirmation that Leigh are four
points to nil in front.
Through the hands of that left-hand side.
Leigh looking dangerous, looping past wide again
and finished by Higson, who gets his second.
Krisnan Inu looks a bemused man, because it was
brushed out of the way.
Mickey Higham will be loving this.
Leigh born, in Super League, his hometown club,
and they are in front in Perpignan.
Drinkwater again hoists up a kick.
Again, Catalan scrambling to meet it.
Langi has tipped it into the hands of Cory Paterson
and that is a remarkable score.
A mighty smile, because that is another try
from the Leigh Centurions.
Cory Paterson gets the reward.
His size, his bulk giving Catalan all manner of problems.
Mortimer will take it towards the posts, sends
in a little grubber.
Is it tapped down by Drinkwater?
Well, he's celebrating as if he scored.
Catalan look absolutely shell-shocked.
And Leigh are just a video referee's decision away
from flying even further in front.
It was great chase from Drinkwater.
He's got a clean grounding on that.
Greg Bird could do nothing about it.
Another try for Leigh.
Catalan Dragons with a rare sight of the line.
Walsh with a lovely little pass, it's been dumped forward, has it?
Or did it come off the chest?
Brayden Wiliame scores, the ball did go forward and I think that's
what the referee is just clearing up with his in-goal judge here.
He's given the try.
McNally and Dawson are perplexed.
We might see a little better here.
As Leigh goes through the line, as he off-loads it, bounces
off his chest into the hands of Wiliame, and that is a score.
Gathered up by Walsh.
Catalan looking for an option here.
They're obviously down on troops. Paul Aiton went off
early on, but they have
found a route to perhaps the try line here through Inu.
No, he's just put it straight into the hands of Cory Paterson.
The big back rower, is he going to hold off the cover?
He's going to give it his best.
He won't be caught, and that's a remarkable breakaway
try to finish this game off.
Absolute delight for Leigh, but Catalan Dragons,
they're in trouble.
STUDIO: Given what happened to Leigh last week, that was quite some turn
around and they seemed really disciplined out there.
A fairly simple game, wasn't it, they played?
The kicking was really strong and they just built on all of that.
I thought they were outstanding.
I thought it was a real clinical performance from Leigh Centurions.
I felt Drinkwater, particularly with his kicking game,
I thought turning them around, pinning them back, had real energy,
and a kick chase team, like you said, kept it really simple,
but they were so methodical and effective with how they went
about their business.
And because of the kicking game, the outcomes at the end
of their sets, it gave them the field position, which gave
them the opportunity.
Credit to Leigh, they held a really good attacking shape and caused
Catalan a lot of problems and were deserving of that result
and that win in the end.
Catalan are in a right mess, aren't they?
Yeah, absolute total mess.
There's no hiding away from it.
They just haven't got any backbone, have they?
Do they look like there's infighting?
A couple of the French players came out afterwards
and were fairly harsh.
It doesn't look great, does it?
It doesn't look great.
I think it's been bubbling for a while and there's
been lots of rumours out there in the South of France,
that things weren't all that great.
You know, I think it's now starting to show on the field.
Whenever they get into any type of difficult game,
they come out on the wrong end of it.
And do you know what - four games to go, there's
going to be some difficult games coming up in these next
four games for them.
Unless they can get some harmony within the group, unless they can
find some performances,...
The Million Pound Game is probably a cert for them now,
it might get a little bit worse for them if they can't
sort their problems out.
It's a big, big job Steve's on his hands, hasn't he,
in the next couple weeks, to turn this around?
Yeah, a massive job.
I think the ex-coach had done a reasonable job
over a period of time.
Yes, it went a little sour towards the end,
but Steve McNamara's now got a huge rebuilding project, but he's got
to get through this year first.
It's all well rebuilding, but rebuilding in the Championship
is a lot more difficult than rebuilding in Super League.
Well, Andrew and the London Broncos were looking for their first
win in the qualifiers.
You were away to Hull KR on Sunday, talk us through this one.
A bit of the good, bad and ugly for you?
Yeah, I mean, look, it was a bright start from us.
We got over here, an early try.
We were sort of in that arm wrestle, as we say, going set-to-set
with Hull Kingston Rovers.
Unfortunately for us, our kicking strategy wasn't executed
well enough there for a few players and we started to come up with some
penalties and some errors early in the tackle count at the wrong
areas of the field.
It really invited some good field position and possession
for Hull Kingston Rovers.
And, as you can see on the footage now, they were able to capitalise
on that field position and score.
The thing that must be frustrating as a coach,
because they haven't had to work overly hard for the tries,
have they, Hendo?
No, they haven't.
You can see here, some pretty soft tries conceded.
But, again, it was down to us, gifting that field position.
Again, a scrum on the halfway line from a knock-on from us.
That was the nature of that last part of the first half.
We came out second half a little bit better at the start, defensively.
Still a couple of penalties that we gave away, but I was proud
of the effort from the players in the last 25.
We didn't give in, we competed hard and once we started to play a little
more disciplined about how we went about our business,
we started to give ourselves a platform we could play off.
We caused Hull some problems.
Interesting, Tim Sheens said he felt like his side started to watch
the clock and it was a criticism he said he'd had in a few games
they've had recently.
Look, I take nothing from Hull KR.
I thought, and I said to Tim after the game,
I thought they were very disciplined at methodical about how they went
about their business.
How they stuck to script for large parts of the game.
I thought Jamie Ellis' kicking game was excellent across the board,
and that was a deserved win for Hull KR, no doubt about it.
We didn't deserve to be in that game.
I'm just disappointed we weren't better for longer
periods of that game.
Terrific try here from your side, Hendo, but I think Hull KR,
in general, haven't put an 80 minute performance in yet.
I think they've played well in patches in games
and he'll be extremely happy, Tim Sheens.
Three from three, won some tight games and probably not
hit their best form yet.
You'd think they are in prime position now to be able
to get minimum requirement of the Million Pound Game,
but certainly a chance of automatic promotion,
as Leigh Centurions did last year.
There certainly in a great position for that and Tim Sheens will be
exceptionally happy with that.
And where do you feel your guys are at?
Do you still feel...?
We still have a chance.
The great thing is we're not dead and buried yet.
I know the players are disappointed, but you know, we have
to draw a line under it.
We have four games to go.
There are eight points still up for grabs.
We still have a chance.
As each week goes by, it gets tougher, but realistically
we still have a chance and we still believe and we're
confident if we can pull bits and parts of the first three games
and pull it all into one strong performance, we can get
the results that we desire.
Two Championship teams were away to Super League opposition.
First up let's see how Featherstone got on at Widnes.
COMMENTATOR: After the drama of last week's 32-32 draw with London,
Featherstone came crashing back down to earth with a resounding
thud at Widnes.
Rhys Hanbury scored the first of 11 Vikings' tries,
after only three and a half minutes.
And he crossed again shortly after, setting the tone for the biggest
score yet in this series of Super 8s.
Head coach Denis Betts had called on his side to be more
ruthless and they responded, with the margin of victory
eclipsing last week's 36-12 hammering of Halifax.
Rovers completely left in the shade.
Having touched down for try number three, Charly Runciman
scored try number four.
Finishing a flowing move, he surged for the line
and it was as good as game over.
20 plus points on the board, less than 20 minutes played.
Featherstone fizzed into life only briefly in this game,
but at least they did manage to get on the scoreboard.
Anthony Thackeray's kick caused chaos and Misi Taulapapa's finish
was certainly the most acrobatic of the day.
A Rovers revival was swiftly ruled out, though, with a pair
of back-to-back tries from Chris Bridge.
First he picked off a stray pass to charge from inside his own half,
galloping away to score.
That was followed by a fleet of foot quickstep through the Rovers'
defence from the 32-year-old former England international.
Bridge, who's retiring at the end of the season,
produced a man of the match display.
34-4 at the break.
Two minutes into the second half, Featherstone manage their second try
of the game, as James Lockwood finished off Anthony
If that was a sign of complacency from the Super League side,
it was short lived, as the ball went to ground marauding Stefan Marsh
remained vigilant for the Vikings, gathering it up before speeding away
for a 60 metre run to the line.
40 points on the board for Widnes with over half an hour to go,
and they showed no mercy.
Rovers coach John Duffy declared himself very disappointed
with his side's performance.
"We need to look in the mirror", he said afterwards, although time
spent scrutinising the match video might be more productive,
ahead of a must win game at home to Hull KR in a fortnight.
After Bridge had completed his hat-trick, Joe Mellor
used his boots to find a way through for Stefan
Marsh to score again.
After a frustrating season blighted with injuries and disruption,
Denis Betts' team are finding their fitness, form and consistency
at just the right time.
Rhys Hanbury took Widnes pass the 50 point mark with his hat-trick try.
And the scoring was rounded off in the closing moments by Joe Mellor.
Widnes rampant, Featherstone flattened.
Leigh are the Vikings' next opponents.
STUDIO: A tough one for Featherstone, but for
Widnes Denis Betts very satisfied that they kept going,
because that points difference could be crucial, couldn't it?
Yeah, it's massive, and I think I'd put that down as a really
efficient performance, because what you've got to do
as a Super League side is win the four Championship games.
If you win them, you're in a really, really strong position.
Featherstone are part-time, but they were really efficient,
they were clinical and they will grow some confidence from that.
So Widnes in a pretty good spot at this moment.
Warrington were looking to maintain their 100%
record in the qualifiers.
They were at home to Halifax, and Dave Woods was watching.
COMMENTATOR: Ratchford's in here at dummy half, looking
for a route towards that try line.
Warrington desperate to open their account here,
but it's been really solid stuff from Halifax so far.
Swinging it around.
Wider still that they look here, Hughes with the off-load.
Hiku with a little dummy...
And finally Warrington find a way through.
Peta Hiku the man to score.
It's an excellent position they find themselves in here.
Boyle looking right.
Grubber kick towards the corner, which is being chased hard
here by Chester Butler, and Chester Butler with
a try back for Halifax.
They deserved that.
A set of six to come, as Hughes takes it in.
Can Halifax survive the pressure here?
Hill, Chris Hill reaches out that big long arm and touches down.
Warrington back ahead.
It's interesting, isn't it?
It's a position they find themselves in with some optimism.
Going to that right-hand side.
Saltonstall with a ball over the top, he got away,
Chester Butler, he's got a second.
Well, they will not go away.
Well, they want to have another look here.
Thinks it's a try.
Look how well he rides the tackle here from Tom Lineham,
real strong stuff.
His right foot stays in the field of play and then
it's a duck and a dive.
What's the grounding like?
Nothing wrong with that.
This will be a second for Chester Butler, and Halifax
still with a lot of interest in this game.
What a performance from them.
Atkins, he's going to go.
Just held up, just kept at bay.
Last tackle to come.
Swept wide, Brown's kick towards that right-hand side,
a super catch, and Matty Russell is claiming this
with some confidence.
A collision of bodies and corner flags and potential touchline means
we have to look again.
Great catch, juggled, no knock-on, and touched down.
Warrington in the ascendancy.
Back on the inside here for Savelio.
He's got over, he's got over and surely in getting over, has won
the match now for Warrington.
It's been a struggle, but it's going to be another win
for the Super League side.
STUDIO: Tony Smith admitting that Warrington were a little bit flat,
but they did what they needed to do, but the moral victory
is Halifax's, isn't it?
They've been really good in these qualifiers.
Yeah, they didn't get the result, but they were fantastic.
For a part-time team to go to Warrington was unbelievable,
and to compete for 65 minutes, and had a couple of little things
gone a little bit different, they may have nicked it,
you know it.
One of the pleasing stories for me is Chester Butler,
who was a product of the Halifax reserve system, has come
through the programme there, which is something I know
Richard Marsh was really proud and pushed hard to keep at Halifax.
To see him come out of there and produce the level of
performance he did was remarkable.
I think it's a great story for rugby league, for Halifax,
and I'm sure he will be asking for a bonus on his
contract next time round!
It's great though, it's great.
There speaks the coach who has to have those conversations!
Well, another win for Warrington and this is how they're all shaping
up in the qualifiers.
Warrington and Hull KR are leading the race
for the Super League places.
Widnes move above Leigh on points difference.
Four rounds to go, but as things stand, the Centurions and Catalan
would meet in the Million Pound Game.
Well, that's it for this week.
My thanks to Andrew and Iestyn for joining us.
We'll leave you with the Super League leaders for 2017, goodbye.
COMMENTATOR: Castleford have started in electrifying fashion.
That is a sensational try from Zak Hardaker, bang in form!
They're taking Leeds apart here.
Another spectacular airborne finish from the Castelford Tigers.
The Castleford fans are loving this tonight.
What a performance!
They are sparkling here tonight.
Robin Ellacott. I'm the new temp.
The world knew her as Lula Landry.
I think she was murdered.
My name is Cormoran Strike.
I'm a private investigator.
Robin Ellacott. I'm the new temp.
Do you think Lula Landry was murdered
and we messed up the investigation?
She was scared.
Tanya Arnold and guests review all the highlights from the Super 8s, as the battle for a place in the play-offs continues.
Leaders Castleford Tigers entertain near neighbours Wakefield Trinity, while Leeds Rhinos meet St Helens, Hull FC host Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils make the short trip to Wigan Warriors. In the qualifiers, Leigh Centurions travel to France to face Catalans Dragons, Warrington Wolves host Halifax, Widnes Vikings play Featherstone Rovers and Hull KR are at home to London Broncos.