This weekend Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons will enjoy a week off as the likes of Warrington Wolves, Hull KR, Leigh Leopards and Champions St Helens battle it out to join the two clubs in the semi-final.
Whoever makes the semi-finals, they promise to be excellent especially if we get to see a repeat of the 2021 Grand Final between Catalans Dragons and St Helens.
A huge attendance is expected at that game with Catalans confirming that they have been able to change part of their stadium to accommodate an extra thousand fans.
The club said: “In anticipation of the semi-final and the high attendance expected for this match, the technical services of the City of Perpignan have set up the weighing located behind the goal on the side of the swimming pool of the Gilbert Brutus stadium. The club would like to thank the city officials for this new development of the stadium.
“The fence was removed on this weighing, allowing to accommodate more than a thousand supporters on this area.
“The first semi-final in the history of the club in 2021 was sold out and the trend of the first days of sale confirms an identical enthusiasm for this new historic appointment on Friday, October 6.”
The Dragons secured their semi-final in a dramatic final Friday of the season.
The only game that had no part to play in any of these battles was between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers, with both teams simply playing for pride, and it was the Rhinos who responded best after their two humiliating losses of late.
Rohan Smith’s Rhinos have lost their last two games by a combined score of 111-0 but they turned up at Headingley tonight with a massive 46-0 win over the Tigers
As for the battle at the top of the table it was the Battle of the Borough that headlined the matches with Leigh hosting Wigan in an incredibly hard fought match.
A win for the Warriors and they’d lift the League Leaders Shield, such was their dominant points difference, and Matt Peet’s side managed that by a score of 10-6.
That wasn’t a score without controversy though as Oliver Gildart saw a try overturned in the second half.
That Wigan win meant that Catalans, who faced a Salford side chasing playoffs, and St Helens, hosting Hull FC, were battling it out for second place and a home semi-final plus a crucial bye round.
Saints went about their business and put Tony Smith’s FC side away by a score of 30-12, whilst Salford put up a major fight against the Dragons in their hopes of making the playoffs but ultimately they fell short 19-9.
Salford’s loss meant that Warrington made the playoffs and they sealed it in good fashion with a 20-8 win over Huddersfield Giants, Chris McQueen scoring a try on his final game before hanging up the boots for the losing Giants.
With the League Leaders Shield settled, Warrington into the six ahead of Salford, it meant the key score that mattered was Hull KR on their trip to Wakefield Trinity.
Trinity got relegated last week but they had the task of helping out Leigh gain a home playoff game by keeping Rovers quiet but they couldn’t manage that.
Brad Schneider and Mikey Lewis shone in a game where Rovers ran riot, putting up 56 points in a monstrous 56-12 win.
That was a win by such a large margin that it saw Rovers leapfrog Leigh into fourth place, meaning that Rovers will host the Leopards in the playoffs – a huge advantage.
That’s now set up a playoff picture that sees St Helens host Warrington Wolves and Hull KR host Leigh Leopards next week, before Wigan and Catalans will face the winners for a date at Old Trafford.