Warrington welcomed Castleford to the Halliwell Jones Stadium knowing they needed something different after being nilled at Leeds in last week’s Round Five game.
Steve Price’s team went back to basics, and it paid off in a low scoring, but tense, arm-wrestle of a game. Defences were on top in the opening session, but the hosts were the team applying the early pressure for the first 10 minutes or more.
Leeds marched to the top of Super League when they played host to Toronto Wolfpack – and did it with style, and some swagger.
Richie Myler filled in at fullback like a natural, while bringing a half’s ball playing awareness to role; Rhyse Martin notched up a 100% 11 out of 11 goals, all conversions; Luke Gale scored two tries, and had a hand in a number of others to record 1,500 career points in 300 games.
And Toronto? Well they came, they scored two tries and converted converted them, but overall - and especially in defence – they looked too much like a Championship side playing a Super League team on fire.
With the fixture between the Swinton Lions and Leigh Centurions falling victim to an unfit pitch, round four of the Betfred Championship comprised six fixtures which were all played on Sunday.
There were some intriguing games as Featherstone made the trip south to play London, winless York were at Halifax, the Bulls went into the Pennines to play Oldham, and in the evening kick-off it was Widnes on the road to Dewsbury.
Elsewhere Whitehaven were the hosts to Toulouse, and Batley had a home game against Sheffield.
A floodlit Tetleys Stadium in Dewsbury was the venue for the final game of round four as the Rams welcomed the Vikings from Widnes for an early season middle of the table clash. The Rams trail the Vikings by two league points but have a game in hand and knew that a win could see them climb into the top five.
The Vikings are chasing a return to Super League and have great hopes for challenging the top of the table in 2020.
It was a little cool but after a sharp shower before kick-off there were good conditions for an open flowing game as both sides looked for the two points.
When you are desperate top record your first win of the season, you would probably rather not be going up against the Champions in your fifth round match. But that is exactly what the Toronto Wolfpack had to do as they took on St Helens in their home fixture being played at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium in Warrington.
Everything pointed to a Saints win which could lift them up into second spot but after last weekends World Club Challenge disappointment the Wolfpack came into the game hoping to gain their first two points which could have lifted them as high as eighth in the table.
It was fifth against sixth as the Leeds Rhinos took on the Warrington Wolves with both sides knowing that a win could lift them into second spot in an already competitive and congested table.
The Rhinos were rocked in midweek by the news that captain Stevie Ward had been stood don indefinitely after continuing to suffer from a concussion suffered in the opening week. There was no place in Agars seventeen for loan signing Joe Greenwood. But kicker Rhyse Martin was back in the side after missing the last two outings.
The Wolves welcomed back their skipper Chris Hill after he missed the last three through suspension but full back Matty Ashton was out with an injury picked up in the win over Toronto.
After a fantastic opening weekend for Hull Kingston Rovers, they have suffered three consecutive defeats, and find themselves just two points above the basement spot and in need of a morale boosting win. Tonights visitors, the Castleford Tigers, knew that a win would see them to the top of the table ahead of the rest of the rounds’ fixtures.
The Robins are suffering a number of early season injuries which forced more changes for Tony Smith while the Tigers brought Mike McMeeken off the bench in the only change to the starting thirteen which defeated Wakefield Trinity last time out.
The bookies favoured an away win, but a vocal home support were hoping that their underdogs could spring a surprise.
The magic of the Challenge Cup was very much alive when National Conference Premier division amateur side, Underbank Rangers from Huddersfield, were drawn away at Bradford Bulls.
Windy conditions as the teams reached the playing surface could have acted as a leveller, but the odds and the expectation were heavily with the Bulls, as they fielded a full strength squad, giving the visitors full respect.
This was a potential banana skin for the Bulls, and coach John Kear was determined that they wouldn’t slip on it.
When two Worlds collide, there can only be one winner. It was the night of Champions as Super League’s finest, St Helens, took on the cream of the ARL in the form of the Sydney Roosters.
The Roosters came to the UK as defending World Club Champions after defeating Wigan by 20-8 last year. They have also won the coveted title on four occasions, compared to Saints two. The last time the home side picked up the trophy was back in 2007 and the bookies believed that they were unlikely to taste glory tonight.
There was no place in the Saints squad for Regan Grace who is suffering concussion and Mark Percival, surgery suspended, also didn’t make the seventeen.