The 2020 Betfred Super League season will be reshaped through November in response to the impact of Covid-19 cases at two clubs.
After Wigan Warriors’ shot at the League Leaders’ Shield on Friday evening, four elimination Play-Offs will determine the make-up of the Grand Final on Friday 27 November.
Following the confirmation on Monday that Castleford Tigers are unable to play for at least another week after further positive tests, fixture planning for the remaining three rounds of the regular season was further complicated by news of a number of positive tests at Hull KR who this morning advised that they would not be able to fulfil the remaining three matches.
The Super League and RFL Boards have agreed on a revised format which will see the regular season wrapped up within the next four days, after which the top six teams in the table will qualify for the Play-Offs. The club that finishes seventh – either Salford Red Devils or Huddersfield Giants – will remain on standby.
As a consequence of the change in the Regular Season structure, the previous requirement for a Club to complete a minimum number of games (15) has been removed.
The two remaining Super League fixtures, both Round 20 matches to be played at Emerald Headingley on Friday 6 November, will see Wakefield Trinity and the Red Devils conclude their campaigns at 5.30pm, which will be followed by the Warriors v Giants at 7.45pm, a fixture which will determine who wins the League Leaders’ Shield.
The St Helens and Catalans Dragons fixture, scheduled for Thursday 5 November in Perpignan, will be cancelled, with both teams having already qualified for the top six, and due to the imminent national lockdown and heightened concerns over international travel.
The Warriors hold top spot with a winning percentage of 75% after last Friday’s compelling derby victory at St Helens – but will face Giants knowing that defeat would hand the League Leaders’ Shield to Saints for a third consecutive season, on points difference percentage.
The top two teams will sit out the first round of the Play-Offs, while those finishing third to sixth in the table on win percentage move into the elimination matches. Those games will be played on November 12 and 13.
The winners will then face first and second in the semi-finals on November 19 and 20, at home venues, to determine who plays in the Betfred Super League Grand Final at the KCOM Stadium on Friday 27 November.