Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
38 hours ago
London Broncos moved up to fifth place in the Tetley's Super League table with a 50-16 win at Halifax on Saturday night. Halifax, without a win since the opening day of the season at London, harboured hopes of repeating that when they were level at 10-all during an even first quarter.
But the class of Dennis Moran, who grabbed a hat-trick in the first half, and Bill Peden, who excelled in a switch to loose forward, shone through as the Broncos took a 26-10 interval lead to effectively seal the points.
London got off to a superb start, with Peden breaking through in the third minute and Moran supporting to step past Halifax full back Dane Dorahy to score, Tony Martin goaling.
Dorahy did well to clean up a Chris Thorman grubber and race away soon afterwards, and Halifax levelled the game in the eighth minute.
Martin Moana, returning to the side following a 28-day ban, sent promising youngster Ryan Clayton through a gap, and the centre rounded to score under the posts, Dorahy adding the conversion.
London moved back in front five minutes later, and it was again Peden who created the score, cleverly working the blind side before sending Martin in.
Halifax pulled back to 10-all on 22 minutes, with Johnny Lawless and Andrew Frew working their own short side move to give loan winger John Kirkpatrick a score at the corner.
However, three tries in the final 12 minutes of the half gave London a commanding cushion at the break.
Firstly, Moana was unable to collect a Chris Thorman kick, and the ever-alert Moran pounced to score, before Steele Retchless' inside ball put Peden away, and he drew Dorahy to give the full back his hat-trick.
It was Moran's 13th try in his last five matches, and a third treble in that impressive run for last year's top scorer.
Then, on the stroke of half time, a Retchless charge down gave London the possession, and after Tommy Gallagher was stopped just short, Jason Netherton's offload gave Martin his second score.
London moved 32-10 up three minutes after the restart, Neil Budworth strolling past Clayton from dummy half to touch down.
Halifax gave themselves a glimmer of hope, when Moran's knock on gave them the position for Sean Penkywicz to send Andrew Frew over, Dorahy goaling.
Kirkpatrick had a second ruled out, when Clayton was pulled back for a knock on from Dorahy's bomb, and London's seventh try, on 66 minutes, killed off their hopes.
It was again Peden who did the damage, skirting past Lawless before feeding the supporting Rob Jackson - on his return to the side - for the score.
At 38-16, a fifth successive win was secured, but the Broncos added two more tries to complete the victory.
Chris Thorman burst through Andrew Brocklehurst and dummied past Lee Finnerty for their eighth try, while the Halifax substitute full back was placed on report for a high tackle on the same player soon afterwards.
But that didn't stop the Broncos bringing up the half century for the first time this season, with Russell Bawden sending Rob Purdham in with five minutes remaining.
-------------- Leeds Rhinos slipped to their second defeat of the Tetley's Rugby Super League season with a 29-14 loss at Widnes Vikings on Saturday. The Rhinos, who remain four points ahead of Bradford at the top of the table, trailed throughout against a more enthusiastic Widnes side, which contained five former Leeds players.
The hosts went in front after nine minutes, when Jules O'Neill sent Julian O'Neill over, with the stand off adding the conversion.
Leeds, who have made a habit of slow starts recently, conceded a second try on the quarter-hour mark when Shane Millard sent Adam Hughes in.
The former Leeds centre had scored four tries in this corresponding fixture last season, and was delighted to continue his impressive run and open up a 10-0 scoreline.
Leeds got off the mark on 20 minutes when, after the Widnes defence allowed Kevin Sinfield's kick to bounce, Mark Calderwood sent Willie Poching over, Sinfield goaling.
But Widnes restored their advantage before the half-hour mark, when Stuart Spruce exposed the Rhinos defence to race 40 yards to the line.
O'Neill's goal opened up a 16-6 gap, although Sinfield pulled back two points before half time with a penalty after Dean Lawford caught Richard Mathers high.
Widnes moved 14 points clear on 51 minutes when Paul Devlin touched down for a converted score, but Matt Adamson's try gave Leeds hope of a comeback.
However, a second for Devlin with 12 minutes remaining restored the gap, and a Lawford drop goal sealed the Vikings' win.
---------------- Warrington Wolves secured a second 32-28 win inside a week and kept up their challenge for a top six spot in Tetley's Super League when they saw off Huddersfield Giants on Saturday afternoon. The Wolves needed a late Graham Appo try to break the deadlock at Widnes last Sunday, but this time held the advantage to secure two points which take them level with Castleford Tigers.
They twice came from behind before eventually securing the points thanks to Rob Smyth's second try of the game, in the 72nd minute.
Huddersfield had gone in front after six minutes with a try to Darren Fleary, which was goaled by Brandon Costin.
Appo cut the gap to two points with a touchdown on ten minutes, but a Costin penalty nudged Huddersfield ahead.
Lee Briers' try, on 28 minutes, levelled matters at 8-all, and Smyth's first score soon afterwards looked set to give the hosts a half time advantage.
But Papua New Guinean playmaker Stanley Gene crossed a minute before the break, and Steve McNamara's goal meant that the contest was again tied going into the interval.
The Giants then returned to the lead three minutes after the restart when Paul March crossed, McNamara again goaling, but a Briers penalty and Ian Sibbit's try created a 20-all stalemate.
Two more penalties for Huddersfield, through McNamara, edged the visitors back in front going into a tense final quarter.
But Mark Hilton celebrated his Lancashire call-up with a score on 67 minutes, and Briers' goal gave the Wolves the advantage.
When Smyth touched down, and Briers goaled to open up an eight-point gap, the home side had enough cushion to secure the points, despite Costin's 76th minute try giving Huddersfield hope of a late comeback.