Salford Red Devils stayed top of the qualifiers as they handed part timers Halifax a lesson in rugby beating the Championship side 62-4 and maintaining their 100% record. The super league side had to come from behind as their hosts took a surprising lead through Sam Wood. However, that didn’t last long, and the Red Devils quickly notched up 30 unanswered points in the remainder of the half including a brace from Derrell Olpherts. The speedster made it a hat trick soon after has his side were now in full control, with no less than 8 different try scorers on the day. Jackson Hastings continued his impressive form with a double as did one-time Kiwi Junior Sau, while Ben Nakubuwai, Kris Welham, Lama Tasi, Josh Wood and Ed Chamberlain all crossed during the 80 mins. Chamberlain adding 7 successful goals to his name.
With Salford looking favourites to top the qualifiers table, there is a scramble for the final two automatic places in next year’s Super League as Leeds lost their 100% record, going down 36-38 to Hull KR at home. The game swayed fourth and back with both sides holding a 10 or more-point lead at sometime during the game, but it was the visitors lead by former Rhino’s skipper Danny McGuire that marshalled the win late in the game. Hat trick hero Craig Hall continued his fine record since re-joining the Robbins, while Rob Mulhern, Adam Quinlan, Chris Atkin and Taioalo Vaivai also crossed. For the hosts, Tom Briscoe crossed for a brace, while Joel Moon, Ritchie Myler and Nathaniel Peteru all added to their seasons tally.
Over in Canada, Championship Minor premiers Toronto Wolfpack survived a second half come back from the London Bronco’s to get back to winning ways and make it one step closer to their dream of Super League. The Wolfpack had all the advantage in the opening half, with Wallace, O’Brien and former NRL star Chase Stanley crossing for tries to give them a 20-0 half time lead.
The wolfpack continued to add the pressure straight from the kick off with Caton- Brown crossing before the Bronco’s decided to up their game and got themselves back into contention , thanks to tries from Williams, Walker, Evans and Davies but with Sammut only manging 3 successful kicks at goal all night compared to O’Brien’s 7 and when Josh McCrone crossed it restored his sides 12 point advantage meaning London just didn’t have enough time left to respond meaning the Wolfpack took the points 34-22.
The final qualifiers game saw French side Toulouse notch up a famous home 42-22 win over a Widnes side that now look destined to spend next season in the Championship. With only 8 points separating the teams at the break, Widnes looked as through they could possible take their first win of the qualifiers, but Toulouse’s second have performance blew their Super League visitors out of the Water meaning Widnes are now joint bottom of the table with Part timers Halifax, while London fall to 6th with their single win over Widnes and Leeds, Toulouse, Toronto and Hull KR all sat on 4 points after all winning two of their opening three matches.
As it stands Salford, Leeds and Toronto would all automatically qualifier for next’s years elite division, with Hull KR travelling to Toulouse for the Million Pound game and the final spot. Although with each side having 3 games remaining no one is guaranteed anything at this point as they all look ahead to this week’s fixtures that none can afford to lose.
- Anything can happen as teams enter the final week of the Qualifers
- Leed's Rhinos all but secure Super League Status, while Widnes look at Championship football in 2019
- 11 men of Salford survive Wolfpack fight back
- Saints break Wolves hearts yet again.
- Rugby Leagues Championships End of Year nominations relevealed.