Just points difference separated top and third coming into tonight's game at the Halliwell-Jones between the Wolves of Warrington and the Warriors of Wigan.

Warrington could boast the tightest defence, and the second best attack, with a massive points difference in their favour but whoever won tonight's match would go two points clear.

This was a real four-pointer and the outcome could go some way to deciding the minor premiership come September. On paper this was, without doubt, the game of the round.

Round eleven of the Kingstone Press Championship got underway on Friday night when the high flying London Broncos visited the Sheffield Eagles. Saturday saw Challenge Cup sixth round participants Oldham Roughyeds travel to Whitehaven, with the rest of the weekends games on Sunday afternoon.

Swinton visited Batley, Bradford started their post-Lowes period as they entertained Workington Town, Featherstone had the job of trying to stop Leigh Centurions return to the top of the table and Halifax had a tough looking game at home to Dewsbury Rams.

While a win of any description would see the Dragons up into second, a fifty four point win would see them climb back to the top of the pile after Warrrington and Wigan both recorded wins earlier in the round.

But Salford Red Devils also had plenty to play for. A forty-seven point win would see today's opponents in the south of France up into sixth as they continue their quest for a valuable top eight spot.

In-form Tony Gigot was rested for the game being replaced by Morgan Escare but the Dragons were challenged at hooker as they were without both Aiton and Pelissier. The Red Devils were also missing players and were without the services of Lee and Caton-Brown.

Saints are having an inconsistent season and after last weeks loss at home to the Catalans Dragons, their fourth consecutive home loss, they are in sixth spot in Super League. But a big home win against the struggling Leeds Rhinos could see them up to fourth by the end of the evening.

The Rhinos had the confidence boost of a close home win over Hull FC last weekend but were still without many first teamers including; McGuire, Moon, Hall, Cuthbertson and Briscoe. Saints have had their own injury problems but welcomed back a handful of players including Lomax and Vea.

With third against bottom the pundits and the bookies believed that there was only one possible outcome as the Warriors welcomed an embattled Huddersfield Giants to the DW Stadium. Despite last weekends win over table topping Warrington Wolves, those who travelled from West Yorkshire were debating how many their side would lose by, rather than the chance that they'd pick up a crucial two points which would lift them above both Hull KR and the Leeds Rhinos into tenth.

When the sides met in Round 2 of Super League XXI it was the Warriors who edged to a narrow 18-13 victory in a close game which gave little indication of the way that the fortunes of the two sides would diverge over the coming weeks.

Both sides came into the game without a number of their regular starting stars but the Warriors were still strong favourites with the bookies and a win of any description would see them into top spot ahead of the rest of the weekends fixtures.

The draw for the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup sixth round draw took place live on BBC Radio 4ís Today programme this morning.

Round six is probably the most anticipated of the season, with last years top eight Super League clubs joining the remaining eight teams who have battled their way through the earlier rounds.

Radio 4ís most popular programme, Today, was chosen to host the draw as it reaches more than three million daily listeners.

The draw for the sixth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, the round which sees the introduction of the remaining eight Super League clubs, takes place live at 8:30am on BBC Radio 4 next Thursday morning.

After a sensational fifth round, the hat will include both Toulouse Olympique XIII and Oldham Roughyeds who recorded fantastic victories over loftier opposition to punctuate this years competition with a couple of great cup shocks.

The Fox's Biscuit Stadium was the venue for a fifth round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup match, the local derby between the Championships third and fifth placed sides, Batley Bulldogs and Featherstone Rovers.

Jon Sharp's Rovers met John Kear's Bulldogs in a Championship round two game at Post Office Road earlier in the season, and won by a narrow 14-12 scoreline, but coming into today's game there was very little to choose between the two sides on paper.

The prize on offer was a place in the sixth round and the chance of an outing against one of the top Super League sides.

Second bottom welcomed third placed Hull FC as Headingley Carnegie played host to the latest chapter in what is turning into a nightmare season for the Rhinos.

FC needed the win to maintain the pressure on the top two, while the Rhinos were desperate for a confidence boost and a third win of the season which would see them go above Hull KR into tenth spot in Super League XXI, but with a chasm to cross to make the all important top eight.

Leeds were without a whole host of stars in a seventeen which contained just eight of the side who won last years Grand Final. The Airlie Birds were looking for their sixth consecutive win in a run which has propelled them into the top three, and signalled them as real contenders for 2016 honours, but they would have to do it without Shaul, Pryce, Ellis, and Minichiello.

Catalans Dragons are increasingly looking like the 'real deal' in 2016 and they took a five game unbeaten run to Langtree Park. They were taking on a Saints side who are struggling to find form and consistency, but who were on a high after last weeks win over league leaders Warrington Wolves.

It was second against sixth and an unlikely sixty point win would see the Dragons top of the pile overnight. But in a close season where only six points cover the top nine sides, a sixty point win for the Saints would see them above the Dragons and into second spot.
All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the RLFANS.COM or its subsites.

Copyright 1999 - 2016 RLFANS.COM