Round four of the Super 8s got underway with the visit of fifth placed Castleford Tigers to third placed Huddersfield Giants and looking for a big win to get within striking range of the hosts third spot in the race for the top four.
The Tigers would be without Justin Carney, suspended for internal disciplinary reasons, and Michael Shenton through injury. The Giants fielded the same side for the second game running and hoped to back up the win at Saints a fortnight ago.
It was billed as the most one-sided Challenge Cup final for years as the cup holders and runaway league leaders the Leeds Rhinos took on the Super 8s Qualifiers and massive underdogs, Hull Kingston Rovers.
Brian McDermott showed that he was far from complacent in mid-week interviews against the team who had already defeated the likes of Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves in the earlier rounds. Would the sleeping giant of Hull KR finally awaken in the Wembley cauldron or would it be business as usual for the all-conquering Rhinos.
The next eighty minutes would tell a magical story for one set of fans at the packed national stadium.
While Leeds Rhinos fans will be hunting through their drawers to find last years lucky shirt, socks or underpants, supporters of Hull KR will be popping round to their grandparents to see whether they have any remaining garments from the Robins last winning trip to Wembley back in 1980.
Not since the Rhinos demolished London Broncos back in 1999 has there been a final which the bookies and pundits perceive as such a 'done deal' making the Blue & Amber 1/5 favourites to lift the trophy for the second year running while the Red & Whites are rank outsiders at 15/4.
In a crucial Sunday Qualifiers Super 8s game, top of the table Widnes Vikings were up against third placed Hull KR with both sides locked together on four points having won both of their opening two games.
A win for either side would go a long way to guaranteeing them Super League rugby in 2016 but a loss would throw them right into the nail-biting mid-table tussle and chance of ending up in the 'million pound match' come the end of the seven game series.
With one eye on next weeks cup final, Chris Chester rested a handful of regulars making the home side the runaway favourites with the bookies and pundits.
All eyes were on the Castleford Tigers for their trip to the south of France to take on the Catalans Dragons in their fortress. The Tigers were looking to draw level with the Saints and the Giants and give themselves the chance of a play-off place finish.
The Dragons are practically out of the play-off places and are playing for pride in their remaining games. A win today would see them above Hull FC and up into seventh and a big win, by forty-four points or more, would lift them above Warrington into sixth.
In a dress-rehearsal for what many have tipped to be the 'Million Pound Game' come the end of the season, the Wakefield Wildcats travelled to Leigh Sports Village to take on a Centurions side still looking for their first win in the Super 8s Qualifiers.
Wakefield were full of confidence after last weekends win over the Bradford Bulls but there was an air of desperation around Leigh as they knew full well that a loss this afternoon could bury their hopes of Super League in 2016.
The sunny and dry conditions were perfect for a classic match.
With a week to go until the Rhinos travel to Wembley to take on the red half of the city Hull, they were in town to take on the Black and Whites in a game which could have a massive bearing on the finishing positions ahead for the Super League play-offs in late September.
Top placed Leeds had opted to rest Danny McGuire and Kallum Watkins but we're also without the services of a whole host of other players with injuries including; Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Aiton, Moon, Delaney and Sutcliffe.
Anything but a win would end Hulls chances of a play-off place and depending on the result over the Pennines at Warrington a Rhinos win could maintain or extend their four point league lead.
The fourth placed side in the Super League Super 8s, the Huddersfield Giants, were the visitors to Langtree Park to take on third placed St Helens. Thanks to their sensational defence, the tightest in the competition, the Giants just needed a win to jump above their hosts on points difference.
The Saints were still smarting from their three consecutive losses to Leeds, the Dragons and Hull FC while the Giants had a confident home win over the Catalans Dragons last week after losing their opening Super 8s game to Wigan Warriors. Saints had been the victors on both previous meetings in 2015, but both times by very close margins.
A mouthwatering prospect was on offer at The City of Salford Stadium as the Red Devils looked to back up last weeks win over the Wakefield Wildcats with a revenge defeat of the Leigh Centurions side who dumped them out of the Challenge Cup earlier this season.
Just eleven miles separate these two sides who both have aspirations of Super League in 2016. The Reds were eyeing top spot, but a thirty-three point win for Leigh could see them top.
Could the Centurions replicate their Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win and defeat Salford for a second time? The next eighty minutes would give us a good indication of how the Qualifiers might pan out.
The second round of the Super 8 Qualifiers got underway at Belle Vue as Bradford Bulls quest for a 2016 Super League place rolled into town to take on a Wakefield Wildcats desperate to retain their own top flight position.
Wakefield lost narrowly to the Salford Red Devils last week, while the Bulls were getting their campaign off to the best of starts in going to the top of the table with a big 42-10 victory over the Sheffield Eagles.