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Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death appear to be much exaggerated”, and while the critics and doom mongers again heralded the demise of our great game in 2024 it appears from the opening week of Super League that their fears have so far been somewhat misplaced.

Without doubt the Super League XXIX was always going to be a 'little different' with SKY committing to cover all of the matches with some games being broadcast simultaneously, while Super League had its own new streaming service and some games would be shown live to a national audience free to air on the BBC.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 19th Feb 2024 2:55 PM
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The draws for the quarter finals and semi-finals of the 1895 Cup took place immediately after the final hooter of this afternoons matches which concluded the opening round robin league format in the overhauled structure for 2024.

Swinton and Barrow were already in the final eight and were joined today by Bradford Bulls, Sheffield Eagles, Wakefield Trinity, York RLFC Knights, Batley Bulldogs and Oldham.

The quarter final ties will be played on the weekend of the 3rd March 2024 for a place in the semi-finals which will be held on the 12th May.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 18th Feb 2024 4:56 PM
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With several of the places in the quarter finals of the 1895 Cup already decided on the results of the opening two rounds, one game which demanded interest was the derby encounter between the Keighley Cougars and the Bradford Bulls with the winners progressing in the competition while the losers would be eliminated.

Both sides had already defeated the Dewsbury Rams earlier in the competition, but it was the Championship side the Bradford Bulls who were the clear favourites to take the win against last season’s relegated Keighley side.

Barrow Raiders and Swinton Lions both had a rest weekend but were safe in the knowledge that they were already in the quarterfinals and one of the teams with a BD postcode would be joining them at the end of today’s game.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 18th Feb 2024 4:44 PM
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It was a round one baptism of fire for Sam Burgess’s Warrington Wolves as they hopped on the place to Perpignan for a Saturday evening encounter with the Catalans Dragons who went into battle for the first time in the post-Tomkins era.

There is no denying that Burgess was a giant of the game as a player, having battled for ten years at the top of the Australian game, but fans of Warrington and neutrals alike were wondering how his no-nonsense playing style would translate into his coaching ethos.

Pre-match the bookies were struggling to pick a side and gave the visitors just a four-point start on the coupon as it promised to be a great season opening battle in front of the partisan Dragons crowd in the South of France.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 17th Feb 2024 7:23 PM
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The vagaries of the fixture computer threw together Leeds Rhinos and the Salford Red Devils with Paul Rowley’s side having to face their two key play makers of 2023 in the colours of their opponents, with Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers making their Rhinos debuts.

It was a new look Rhinos side with several arrivals, and departures, over the close season and Salford had to look to build again in 2024 after losing a few of their key players over the winter.

The visitors were given a big ten-point start on the handicap coupon with the bookies and pundits alike giving them little chance of a first round win, but that’s exactly the odds that the Red Devils like and Rohan Smith will have warned his charges about complacency as his Leeds side look to live up to pre-season expectations.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 16th Feb 2024 9:59 PM
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After a long hard winter, the waiting is finally over as we embark upon the 2024 Super League season which will culminate in a little under eight months with the Grand Final at Old Trafford when after one hundred and sixty-six games the top two sides in the league will fight it out for the ultimate prize.

First up was the Hull derby with the Black and Whites of FC playing hosts to their nearest neighbours the Red and White of KR with local pride up for grabs as both sides look to get their season off to the perfect start with a two pointer against their fiercest of rivals.

After a more successful season in 2023 it was the Robins who were the favourites with the bookies as they were handicapped by six points on the coupon, Willie Peters side expected to take the points against the side built by their former coach Tony Smith.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 15th Feb 2024 9:56 PM
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We are sure that you will remember that Rycroft very sadly died aged just 16 months last June.

Rycroft’s mum and dad, Catherine and Andrew (aka af on RLFANS and @andrewfoster101 on twitter) are looking for 74 more generous people to give just £10.

  Thousands of people have already donated, Catherine and Andrew are roughly 98% of the way there, and they just need a final push to hit their funding target and be able to give £60,000 to his three charities - Great Ormond Street Hospital, Colchester Children’s Ward and SDS UK.

 
Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 12th Feb 2024 8:43 AM
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Two Championship sides were drawn together in the third round of the Betfred Challenge Cup as newly promoted Dewsbury Rams welcomed the ambitious York RLFC Knights to New Crown Flatt, more recently monikered the FLAIR Stadium for a Sunday afternoon showdown.

The visitors were massive favourites with the bookmakers having been given an eighteen-point handicap on the coupon as most pundits believed that Andrew Henderson´s side would have too much quality.

A home game against the Sheffield Eagles awaited the victor in round four.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 11th Feb 2024 3:38 PM
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It was Championship against League One as two more sides began their road to Wembley with Barrow Raiders taking on an Oldham side who finished the 2023 season in fourth place in League One but who have undergone a massive transformation under coach Sean Long.

Barrow were slight favourites with the bookmakers and were handicapped by two points on the coupon as they looked to secure an away game in Round Four against the victors in tomorrow afternoon’s game between Swinton Lions and West Hull.

The forecast was for a chilly but dry afternoon as the two sides took to the field at Craven Park for what promised to be an evenly matched encounter with a potential cup shock on the cards.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 10th Feb 2024 2:09 PM
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Rugby League Commercial and BBC Sport have confirmed a new three-year broadcast partnership which for the first time includes regular live coverage of the Betfred Super League and this month’s Betfred World Club Challenge, as well as the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Challenge Cups.

The multi-platform coverage will also include highlights of every Super League match on the BBC Sport website and app, and an extension of Rugby League’s partnership with BBC radio, with commentaries on BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra, as well as the extensive coverage on BBC local radio which includes Betfred Championship and League One.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 9th Feb 2024 7:13 AM
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Rugby League Commercial have today announced a tie up with multi-award winning German brewery ABK who will have rights across the Betfred Super League, Betfred Challenge Cup and England Rugby League with prominent branding at all Super League fixtures in 2024.

ABK will now become the official beer of rugby league and fans will get their chance to taste the range at the Magic Weekend which will be held in August at Elland Road in Leeds.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 5th Feb 2024 4:34 PM
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Round two of the group stages of the 1895 Trophy pitched a York RLFC Knights coming into the game on the back of a 114-10 win over Newcastle last week, against the recently relegated Wakefield Trinity who were taking part in their first competitive fixture of the season as they travelled to the LNER Community Stadium.

Wakefield, under new ownership and the coaching of the vastly experienced Daryl Powell, were expected to push aside all challengers in their quest for a return to Super League but at this early stage of the season there were plenty unknowns which Andrew Henderson’s York hoped to exploit.

This was the first meeting between the two sides in almost twenty-seven years, York victorious on that occasion by 13-10 at the Huntingdon Stadium.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 4th Feb 2024 4:39 PM
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The draws for the third and fourth rounds of the Betfred Challenge Cup 2024 took place today as twenty-two semi-professional sides from the Championship and Championship one joined the remaining community sides who still have a hope of qualifying for the sixth round and a game against a Super League side.

The draw was held at Widnes to commemorate forty years since they won the trophy beating Wigan by 19-6 on the final.

The draw was conducted by two Widnes winners that day, brothers Mike O´Neill and Steve O'Neill.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 29th Jan 2024 6:22 PM
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As reward for beating Haresfinch in the opening round of the 2024 Challenge Cup, North West Mens League team Orrell St James were rewarded with a home fixture against National Conference League Premier division side York Acorn in what looked on paper to be a massively one-sided affair.

The visitors were massive favourites with everyone but diehard Orrell supporters expecting a big win for the Yorkshiremen, but the Challenge Cup is a strange beast and if Orrell could find the perfect eighty minutes then they could sneak into tomorrow night’s third round draw.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 28th Jan 2024 4:13 PM
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The magic of the Challenge Cup has reached round two with the BBC choosing the clash between two sides from the National Conference First division with the relegated Leigh Miners Rangers and Stanningley poised for a classic trans-Pennine battle.

Jus six places separated the two sides at the end of the 2023 season with Leigh finishing third bottom and Stanningley fourth from the top of their respective leagues and despite having home advantage there was a real chance of an upset in favour of the side from Leeds.

Leigh Miners were the bookies favourites for the win in their home game at Twist Lane, with Stanningley having been given a twelve point start on the coupon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 27th Jan 2024 2:03 PM
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After an exciting opening round of 2024 Challenge Cup action, the schedule for round two is now complete and as the draw was made in advance of the opening round, the ties are now available for the second step of the road to Wembley.

  In the broadcast matches we saw progress for the Royal Navy, Orrell St James and Fryston Warriors who are rewarded with games against Thatto Heath, York Acorn and Hunslet ARLFC.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 15th Jan 2024 2:32 PM
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St Helens based Haresfinch made the short seven-mile journey to Orrell St James for their first round Challenge Cup match as the sides who finished second and third in the 2023 North West Men’s League table went into battle for the first time in 2024.

The sides last met just under four months ago when Orrell were the victors by 26-22 on their way to win the Grand Final which would see them end the season as League Champions.

It was their second win in three meetings between the two sides in a highly competitive season at the top of the division meaning that this afternoon’s game was too close to call.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 14th Jan 2024 3:45 PM
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The first competitive match of the 2024 season saw an eagerly anticipated clash between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy as the two sides clash in the Challenge Cup for a place in the second round.

There has been an intense rivalry between the two services since the ban on rugby league was lifted in the armed forces in 1994 with the Royal Air Force forming in 1994 and the Royal Navy side forming in 1997.

It is notoriously difficult for both coaches to pick anything like consistent sides due to deployments and work commitments and both sides have many changes from the sides which tool part in last years competition when the Air Force exited in Round 2 at the hands of York Acorn while the Navy went out at the same stage after a heavy defeat at the hands of the North Wales Crusaders.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 13th Jan 2024 2:18 PM
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The waiting is nearly over, with tickets for the 2024 Magic Weekend going on sale this Sunday – and Super League fans can expect a first taste of the competition’s new look for a digital-driven future.

Super League’s 17th Magic Weekend will return to the height of summer, on August 17-18, at its sixth venue – Elland Road, home of Leeds United and the scene of so many great Rugby League moments.

It’s going to be a summer festival of Super League, with all 12 teams gathering for six Round 22 matches which are guaranteed to have a big impact as the countdown intensifies to the Play-Offs and the Grand Final.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Tue 9th Jan 2024 6:04 PM
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Live rugby league returns to you screens on the thirteenth of January as the 2024 Challenge Cup gets underway with the opening round of the competition which see sixty four community clubs embark on the long road to Wembley.

Both the BBC and The Sportsman will live stream a fixture each, one on Saturday lunchtime and the second on Sunday afternoon to ensure that you can get your fix of the greatest game with a month still to go until the start of the Super League season.

It's time for the little guys to take centre stage.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 5th Jan 2024 12:59 PM
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