There was another twist in the relegation battle this week, as Toulouse produced a shock win over Leeds and Wakefield suffered defeat to Hull KR.
Further up the table, Salford and Hull KR boosted their play-off hopes with wins as Hull FC were heavily beaten by Wigan.
But what talking points can we take from this weekend’s rugby?
Record breaking Bevan French
Bevan French broke the Super League record for most tries in a single game as he ran in seven during his side’s 60-0 demolishing of Hull FC. He is now the top scorer so far this season, and is averaging 1.54 tries per game. In the earlier games this year, Jai Field was the main man as French was side-lined, but since coming into the side he has shown he is one of Super League’s most natural ever try scorers. When Wigan are in good form, French is almost guaranteed to get a try, and as games get more important his scoring ability will be instrumental.
Toulouse finally off the bottom
Toulouse have got themselves off the foot of the table for the first time since round one. For the last 19 weeks Toulouse have been sat in the relegation spot, but with a downturn in Wakefield’s form as well as their own improvements, they find themselves in control of their own fate. It was not that long ago that Toulouse seemed doomed to be relegated, but they have improved week by week, and survival seems like a real possibility. Wakefield now face the proposition of their first ever relegation from Super League, something that will be extremely concerning to everyone at the club, given how hard it can be to return to the top flight.
Hull FC worries
A victory in the Hull derby won’t be enough to soften the blow of two losses in which they conceded 60 points over the past three weeks. On Friday night, they were beaten 60-0 by Wigan, two weeks after losing 62-16 to Leeds. The black and whites have won one game since May, but the nature of their last two defeats has been unforgivable. There are a lot of players unavailable, which may explain their decline in form, but conceding 150 points in three games at such a crucial point of the season will cause serious concern amongst Hull FC fans. They need to find a way to bounce back but admittedly it was never going to be easy against Wigan after their own defeat to St Helens.
Warrington unable to build on victory
After an impressive display at the magic weekend against Catalans, Warrington were unable to build any momentum as they were comfortably beaten by Castleford. The defeat was their seventh in the last nine, and the negative feeling surrounding the club seems to be growing. When Daryl Powell joined the club, top four was a minimum expectation from Warrington fans, but now they look unlikely to even manage top six, and the pressure is mounting.
Play-offs look more competitive than ever
With eight games of the regular season remaining, just five points separate 5th from 9th. Outside the top 4, Castleford are in the strongest position, sitting in 5th with 20 points. Leeds are currently lagging behind, sat on 15 points and in 9th, however there is plenty of time for the table to end up looking very different. Salford are in good form, and with Hull FC struggling, the 6th spot may well be up for contention for them or one of the clubs below them if they can stay consistent.