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In weeks to come we may look back on Round Nineteen of the Kingstone Press Championship as a decisive one in determining the top four spots, and the coveted places in the middle eights.

Sheffield and Featherstone met on Friday night while the remainder of games were held on Sunday afternoon. The games of the day looked like they would be third placed Bradford against fourth placed Halifax, league leaders Leigh away to London, and Dewsbury at Batley.

Elsewhere, Oldham took on Whitehaven, and Workington hosted Swinton.

A semi-final place, joining Wakefield and Warrington in the draw, was on offer as league leaders Hull FC welcomed fourth placed Catalans Dragons.

Both sides made a number of changes, welcoming back players from injury and in the case of Ben Garcia for the Dragons, after a spell away from the club.

It looked like the tie of the round and neither side would take a backward step.

The Ladbrokes Challenge Cup signified the suspension of Super League, but still pitted teams from the top flight in some interesting looking fixtures. The first of these was a Thursday night, all-Yorkshire, fixture between Huddersfield and Wakefield.

Just a fortnight ago these two sides met at the John Smith's where Wakefield did the double with a 10-2 win thanks to a solitary Danny Kirmond try after also being the victors back in March, then by a more convincing 36-22.

With league position counting for little, eleventh placed Giants had home advantage over sixth placed Wakefield, but could they upset league form and avenge the league double?

Corey Parker's final farewell on Queensland soil.

The big night upon us, the Blues and Maroons once again to lock horns. The old graveyard of Lang Park the location, the game begins, Advance Australia Fair rings out, the teams line up and a global TV audience to 50 countries awaits to enjoy State of Origin 2.


All six games in round 18 of the Kingstone Press Championship took place on Sunday afternoon with the game of the round looking like the third placed tussle between Bradford Bulls and Batley Bulldogs.

Elsewhere table toppers Leigh Centurions were at home to Workington, second placed London Broncos had a home game against Oldham. The sides chasing that all-important fourth spot included Halifax who had a short trip to Dewsbury and Featherstone who played hosts to Whitehaven.

The final game was essentially a dead-rubber between Swinton and the Sheffield Eagles.

The tie of round nineteen saw the visit of third placed Catalans Dragons to the Halliwell-Jones to take on fourth placed Warrington Wolves. A home win would see the Wolves up to a third, but if the Dragons could get the two points then they'd be top of the pile, ahead of Hulls game on Sunday.

Warrington were looking for the double after a 30-20 win in Perpignan earlier in the year and with the Dragons missing a few first teamers, the bookies had the Wolves as the favourites.

Wigan Warriors had a score to settle as they travelled to Widnes to take on the Vikings after losing their home fixture 18-12 back in March. A win for Widnes would be their first double over Wigan for twenty-seven years.

A win for Widnes would see them into fifth spot in the Super League table ahead of St Helens but Wigan needed the win to go back level on points with Hull FC at the top of the pile.

Wigan were without George Williams, John Bateman and Sam Tomkins, the first injured, the second suspended, and the latter rested.

Round seventeen of the Kingstone Press Championship was spread over three days this weekend as we continued the race for the top four and a place in the middle eights.

Third placed Batley Bulldogs had a Friday night trip to Sheffield while Halifax had a Saturday evening trip to Whitehaven.

On Sunday top placed Leigh Centurions were at home to fifth placed Featherstone Rovers, second placed London travelled to Swinton, the Bradford Bulls were in Cumbria to play Workington and Dewsbury Rams were up against Oldham.

It was fourth against fifth as Saints travelled to the south of France to take on the Catalans Dragons. The home side needed a win to take second place, two points behind league lading Hull FC but a loss for Saints would see them losing touch with the battle for a top four finish.

Pat Richards was back for the home side after missing last weeks win at Leeds Rhinos, and Nathan Percival returned for Saints after their mauling by Warrington last weekend.

Super League games don't get any bigger than this.

Second placed Warrington Wolves welcomed league leading Hull FC to the Halliwell-Jones for a battle royal and an important indicator in the battle for the minor premiership. A win for FC would see them open up a four point gap at the top, but a sixteen point win for the Wolves would see them up into top spot.

Both sides had close to full strength squads, and both went into the game optimistic about picking up the crucial two points.
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