The Catalans Dragons were looking to make it two on the bounce as the Warrington Wolves flew into Peripgnan, themselves looking for a return to winning ways after two consecutive defeats.
Both coaches made a small number of changes to their starting thirteens and benches, Warrington without the injured Ryan Atkins who didn’t make the trip and the Dragons without Jason Baitieri who was suspended.
A win for the Dragons would lift them off the bottom of the table while a Warrington victory would see them into the top eight. The bookies fancied a Warrington win, to add to Steve McNamara’s misery.
It was one of the biggest afternoons in the history of National Conference side the Normanton Knights as they decamped from their home at Queen Elizabeth Drive to the much larger LD Nutrition Stadium in Featherstone to take on Championship side the Rochdale Hornets in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup.
Twenty places and two divisions separated the two sides and unsurprisingly the Hornets were the red hot favourites to progress into the fifth round and the inclusion of four of the sides from the top flight.
It was a freezing afternoon with a snow storm blowing in just before kick-off.
The only unbeaten side in Super League, St Helens, were up against the defending Champions, the Leeds Rhinos, in what was arguably the game of round six.
Saints made just one change and had Jon Wilkin back in the starting line-up with McCarthy-Scarsbrook dropping to the bench to replace the injured Alex Walmsley. Leeds promoted Anthony Mullally from the bench in for Mitch Garbutt (knee), with Cameron Smith and Mikolaj Oledzki in the bench.
The home side were strong favourites with the bookies and the pundits, but Justin Holbrook acknowledged during the week that this would be their sternest test of the season so far. Leeds were still without a number of their stars as they looked to continue their 2018 campaign.
Hull KR were on the road for the second consecutive weekend as they travelled to Huddersfield to take on the Giants looking to capitalise on last weekends victory over the Widnes Vikings.
It is six years since Hull KR have recorded a victory in Huddersfield. A win tonight would give either side a massive lift as they push for the safety of the top eight before the split into three divisions.
Both coaches made a number of changes to last weeks line ups, some enforced, some tactical and with so much to play for it was likely to be a nervous affair. One side would settle well and have the great game, the other had a nightmare.
On top of the Betfred Super League we have the fourth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup as the Championship sides get involved in the competition for the first time in 2018.
There are some tasty looking games in Round Six of Super League with the Champions Leeds Rhinos travelling to league leaders St Helens, Wigan Warriors on the road at a resurgent Castleford Tigers and the two sides who have lost players during the week, Salford and Hull FC, meeting at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The Challenge Cup has thrown up some interesting ties with National Conference Premier side Kells playing host to the mighty Toronto Wolfpack and all Championship match-ups between Barrow and Sheffield with Batley taking on Leigh.
The RLEF board has confirmed that the Greek Rugby League Association has been awarded affiliate status.
The officially-sanctioned governing body took over the running of the sport in Greece two years ago and has made significant progress which will see them involved in the 2021 World Cup qualifiers, have three clubs - Rhodes Knights, Aris Eagles and Attica Rhinos – involved in the 2018 Balkan Super League, with the Knights and Rhinos also set to play in the domestic Grand Final.
RLEF Central & Eastern Europe regional director, Jovan Vujosevic, commented: “The GRLA has made significant progress after rebuliding the national governing body and revamping its competition structure, with the support of the Greek Australian community. They realized the importance of organic domestic growth of the sport, and they are now back on track to be one of the strongest countries in South East Europe. This is a real boost for the Balkan region.“
Round six of the Betfred Championship boasted a full Sunday afternoon of action with six eagerly anticipated encounters as the season continued with three sides looking to continue their quest for the top spot.
The unbeaten London Broncos had a home game against the Batley Bulldogs while fellow eight pointers Toulouse were at Dewsbury and Halifax entertained the beleaguered Leigh Centurions. Toronto Wolfpack, tucked in a point behind the join leaders had a trip to Sheffield to take on the Eagles.
The final two games of the round saw Featherstone Rovers at home to Swinton Lions and Rochdale facing an impressive Barrow Raiders side who are making a good fist of their first season back in the Championship.
The Catalans Dragons and Hull KR had their second meeting of the season in the South of France as the Stade Gilbert Brutus was the venue for a bottom of the table clash.
KR’s only win of the season so far was their 23-4 win against tonights opposition just under a month ago when the sides met in a brought forward round twelve game on the east coast. The Dragons have had a woeful start to the season and were still hunting their first victory after four straight losses in 2018.
The bookies favoured the home side to grab the win but the margin would need to be eleven or more to lift them off the bottom of the pile. A big win, over forty-five points, for the visitors would see them into fifth spot.
St Helens were looking to maintain their perfect start to the season as they travelled to a troubled Halliwell-Jones Stadium to take on the Warrington Wolves. This is a fixture that the home crowd dread and the Wolves have an awful record against the Saints.
Warrington were without the services of Bryson Goodwin and Declan Patton (starting a five game suspension), replaced by Toby King and Kevin Brown but St Helens had Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook in for Jon Wilkin (concussion), with Matthew Lees brought in on the bench.
It was a daunting task for Warrington, up against a Saints side who came into the game as the leading scorers and with the best defence in the competition, having scored twice and many as the Wolves while conceeding half their total.
The Challenge Cup holders took on the incumbent Super League Champions as Hull FC travelled to a new look Headingley Stadium to take on Leeds, looking for their first Super League away victory over the Rhinos in over ten years.
Neither team had a fully fit squad to choose from with the Rhinos still nursing a long injury list, but with six players returning to the side who lost in Widnes a fortnight ago. The Airlie Birds were without Faraimo (concussion), Watts (suspended), Kelly and Houghton (both injured) while giving a Super League debut to Jordan Lane.
It was a reduced capacity crowd at a sold out Headingley, the new South Stand taking shape but only partially open, and with a temporary stand on the north side of the stadium.