The final weekend of the Super Eights Qualifiers regular rounds arrived with several issues still to be settled.
We already knew that Warrington Wolves and Hull KR would be plying their trade in Super League in 2018, making their meeting in Round Seven a dead rubber. Halifax and Featherstone were simply playing for prize money on Sunday.
But Leigh needed a win against London Broncos to give themselves the chance of a home game in the sudden death knock-out next Saturday and in the remaining fixture the winner of the Catalans and Widnes fixture would be guaranteed Super League while the loser would be thrown into the Million Pound Game.
Friday night saw Leigh Centurions make short work of the London Broncos. Fleming and Hopkins had both scored first half converted tries for 12-0 at the interval and Hopkins and Clare added four pointers after the interval for 22-0. Gee raised the only home cheer of the afternoon with a try on sixty-three before Reynolds, Drinkwater and Maria completed the scoring for a convincing 41-4 victory.
Warrington Wolves and Hull KR indulged in a points fest at Halliwell-Jones as a joint celebration party. Oakes had opened the scoring for Hull before Pomeroy scores for the Wolves. Shaw got two tries in three minutes for KR but Ratchford and Dwyer both scored before the interval to give leave the Wolves trailing by 18-16 at the break. With the exception of a fifty-ninth minute try for Oakes for the Robins, the second half belonged to the Wolves. Tries from Savelio (2), Pomeroy, Hiku, Currie and Livett gave the home side a 46-24 win to see them progress through the Qualifiers unbeaten.
It was sheer delight for the Widnes Vikings as they beat a devastated Catalans Dragons by 12-10 in a nail biting game in Perpignan. Widnes secured their passage back into Super League for next season while, as losers, the Dragons now have to travel to Leigh for the Million Pound Game with the winners securing the final Super League 2018 berth.
There was just the matter of £50,000 in prize money as Halifax took on Featherstone in the final game of the season for both clubs. Davies gave Fev’ the lead with a converted try on eight minutes which was extended on twenty-three with a Hardman penalty. Kaye struck back for ‘Fax with a converted try just before the break to narrow the arrears to 6-8. Briscoe extended Featherstone’s lead just after the interval but Kaye answered for ‘Fax before Mariano scored a converted try for 20-12. Tualapapa extended the Halifax lead further to 26-12. Tries from Heaton and Worrincy, neither of which were converted, put Halifax to within six of the visitors but Featherstone held on for the win.
One game remains with the ultimate prize of Super League 2018 as the Catalans Dragons travel to Leigh Centurions next Saturday.
2018 Super League:Warrington Wolves, Hull KR, Widnes Vikings Million Pound Game: Leigh Centurions v. Catalans Dragons 2018 Championship:London Broncos, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax