Round seven takes us to the quarter season mark as all our sides look to push for places at the top of the table, or fight to get away from the strugglers at the bottom.
First up was a Thursday night fixture between Wakefield Trinity and the Warrington Wolves with the home side looking for a win to celebrate the news that they have secured the freehold of their ground and that they can now push ahead with their plans to modernise.
Fifth placed Wakefield went into the game four points adrift of a Warrington side who needed the two points, and a big points win, to jump ahead of St Helens to the top of the pile. Wakefield were without, amongsth others, a long-term injured Tom Johnstone, while the visitors were without Ben Westwood who picked up a four match ban in the win over Wigan.
Round Seven of the Betfred Championship would continue to see the league table split into two halves as the top and bottom sides jostled for league positions as the season headed towards its quarter season point.
Toulouse looked to move into top position on Saturday with a home game against struggling Barrow while Toronto would have to wait until the late kick-off to regain their top spot, should they beat Batley. Fellow front runners York had a difficult home game with Halifax while Sheffield were away at Dewsbury against the Rams.
Bottom side, through points deduction, Widnes were at home to the Bulls while Featherstone were at pointless Swinton and Leigh Centurions were at home to Rochdale.
Toronto Wolfpack coach Brian McDermott made five changes to the side which lost last week against Toulouse Olympique XIII as they took on the Batley Bulldogs in the second of the double header at Craven Park.
The Bulldogs have just one win so far this season, the Wolfpack just one loss. A win would take the Wolfpack back to the top of the pile and two points clear while a win for Batley would lift them three places into ninth.
The bookies could only see one winner, for them it was a matter of how many the Wolfpack would run in.
Seventh took on ninth in the first of a double header at Craven Park as Hull KR welcomed the Catalans Dragons to a sunny but blustery East Yorkshire.
The Dragons were still smarting from their nilling at the hands of the Salford Red Devils last Saturday while KR were on a high after their close away win at Wakefield in their round five fixture.
A win for the Rover would see them into the top five but Tim Sheens was without five first choice front rowers. A win by more than an eighteen point margin would see Steve McNamara’s Dragons above KR into seventh spot, but they too had injury issues naming Lucas Albert at hooker for the first time in his career. A good crowd had gathered hoping for a big home win.
Two sides who have had very different starts to their 2019 seasons met at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium when third top Warrington Wolves hosted third bottom Wigan Warriors.
Adrian Lam had rung the changes in making seven changes from the side that lost to the Huddersfield Giants last weekend whereas the Wolves had the luxury of just one enforced change.
A win for the Wolves would lift them into second place andjust two points behind the league leaders but if the visitors could grab the win, against the bookies odds, then they could be up as high as seventh in the embryonic league table.
One hundred percenters, and Super League top placed, St Helens travelled over the Pennines to the John Smith’s Stadium to take on a Huddersfield Giants side languising in bottom, with just one win to their name, and the second worst points difference in the league.
The visitors were, not unexpectedly, big odds-on favourites with the bookies with little chance being given to Simon Woolford’s side who are still suffering through injuries suffered in pre-season, and who have now lost the services of Aaron Murphy.
The Giants upset the form book by securing a famous first season win away to Wigan last weekend and Justin Holbrook will have warned his side against any complacency. A win would see the Giants up towards the middle of the table but if the Saints picked up the points they would go four points clear overnight.
The fourth round of the Coral Challenge Cup saw the entry of twelve of the Championship sides to join those teams who made it through the third round last weekend.
The draw was made at Odsal Stadium, the home of the Bradford Bulls and the Challenge Cup final record attendance, and threw up some interesting clashes which will take place over the weekend of the 30th and 31st March 2019.
Two games will be chosen to be broadcast, one on BBC online and the other on the OurLeague App.
In round six of the Betfred Championship all eyes were on a Saturday evening in the south of France where the Toronto Wolfpack were in town to upset Toulouse Olympique XIII in the game of the round.
The remaining fixtures all took place on Sunday with Widnes still looking to make up a negative deficit on the road to Barrow, the Bulls away at Batley, Featherstone hosting the soaring Eagles as they looked to return to the top of the table, Halifax welcoming the Dewsbury Rams and Leigh at pointless Swinton.
A wintry Vestacare Stadium in Oldham was the venue as high-flying Championshp one side the Roughyeds took on lowly North West Mens Premier League side Haydock in the third round of the Coral Challenge Cup.
The two sides met in the fourth round of the competition two seasons ago when the Roughyeds emerged as 40-12 winners with the odds being stacked on a similar outcome from this afternoons game.
The onus was on the visitors to overcome the elements and their lofty opponents.
The Catalans Dragons had the perfect opportunity to build on the success of last weekends win over the Warrington Wolves as the Salford Red Devils paid a visit to the Stade Gilbert Brutus. Salford, on the other hand, needed a confidence boost after a painful defeat at the hands of front-runners St Helens.
A home win would push the Dragons above Salford into fifth spot but the Red Devils knew that if they could secure the points then they’d be into the top four, stepping ahead of Hull FC in the league ladder.
Fifth played seventh as both sides looked to boost their league position.