The Betfred Super League Qualifiers went up yet another gear this weekend as time continues to run out for teams to secure their seat at the top table in 2019. Filled to brim with both brilliance and controversy, round 5 proved to be one of the most dramatic yet.   

 Leeds Rhinos 18 Salford Red Devils 16.

Rhinos take a big step. Devils hard done-by?

The Salford Red Devils were left reeling at Headingley on Friday night after a late Leeds penalty saw them lose their 100% record in the Qualifiers in a thrilling encounter.

Leeds were awarded a shot in front of the sticks in the dying moments after a Salford player was judged to have gone in with a swinging arm whilst tackling Richie Myler, and Liam Sutcliffe was able to convert for a crucial two points.

The hosts took an early lead through Tom Briscoe but were quickly pegged back by a Niall Evalds try. Jimmy Keinhorst and Greg Burke exchanged scores before Briscoe crossed for his second to give Leeds second half lead.

Derrell Olpherts then levelled the scores again, setting up a tense finish, before the late penalty saw Leeds claim their fourth win of the Qualifiers.

The result leaves both sides at the top of the table on 8 points, knowing that one more win will guarantee there Betfred Super League status, and both sides face Betfred Championship opposition in their final two fixtures.


Toronto Wolfpack 13 Toulouse Olympique

Wolfpack stay on course. Toulouse running out of time.

The Toronto Wolfpack recorded the narrowest of wins over Toulouse at Lamport Stadium to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.

With game on a knife edge at 12-12 on 76 minutes, Gareth O’Brien slotted a drop goal to earn his side what could a be a crucial 2 points in the race to the Betfred Super League.

The game wasn’t without controversy however as Toronto winger Mason Caton-Brown appeared to lose control of the ball in the process of scoring his first sides first try, and Toulouse may be left ruing the chance the pick up a famous win on Canadian soil.

A second Toronto t4 pointer from Nick Rawsthorne and a try from Chase Stanley were cancelled out by converted efforts by Paul Macron and Stanislas Robin, before O’Brien came up with a clutch moment in the dying stages.

Toulouse nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat late on, but Tyla Hepi was unable to cleanly claim the ball as looked to score in the corner.

The result means that Toronto stay on course for a home berth in the Million Pound Game, but could still reach the Betfred Super League automatically if results go their way. Promotion looks unlikely for Toulouse, who need wins in their final two games, both against Super League opposition, whilst needing London to slip up to reach the MPG.


Widnes Vikings 26 Halifax 12

Widnes finally on the board. Halifax brave in defeat (again).

Widnes Vikings kept their narrow survival hopes alive for another week by finally getting their first win of the Qualifiers, whilst Halifax look doomed to finish bottom of the table.

Braces from Krisnan Inu and Patrick Ah Van and a try from Weller Hauraki were enough to end Widnes 17 game losing streak in front of their own fans. Tries for Jason Saltonstall and James Woodburn-Hall kept Halifax in the game, but errors proved costly and in the end the Chemics ran out relatively comfortable winniers.

The Vikings can still qualify for the Million Pound Game, but know that even wins in their last 2 games may not be enough to earn them one last shot at survival.

Halifax gave another decent account of themselves, but again fell short against Super League opposition. Reaching the Qualifiers was an achievement in itself for Fax and Coach Richard Marshall will be optimistic of another strong season next year after seeing some positive signs in the last 5 games.


Hull KR 30 London Broncos 18.

Rovers almost there. Broncos still hunting crucial win.

Hull Kingston Rovers took a big step to Betfred Super League survival with a win over a plucky London side at the KCOM Lightstream stadium.

There was not much between the two sides in the early exchanges as Hull KR found themselves a man short as Ben Crooks was sent to the sin bin. Rovers early lead courtesy of James Greenwood was quickly cancelled out by Michael Channing, and the side from the capital were sniffing a second win against Super League opposition.

Rovers rallied however, and once they were back to a full compliment they took control of the game, with Tommy Lee adding to a Junior Vaivai try.

Will Lovell put the Broncos back in the chat after the break, and with the momentum firmly with London, Channing capitalised on the pressure with his second of the match to cut the deficit to 2.

A London mistake from the kick off proved to be a crucial turning point in the game as the good field position enabled Greenwood to barge over for his second. Vaivai also crossed for his brace in the dying minutes to secure the 2 points.

London are still poised to make the Million Pound Game providing they can find a win from their remaining two games against Salford and Halifax, whilst Hull KR know that one more win should be enough to secure their Betfred Super League spot for another season.