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Below are the remaining fixtures for the top eight in League 1.  It's reasonable to assume that Newcastle will leap-frog us on Saturday by beating Skolars at home. 

Finishing Top

To finish top in this league we need to win all our remaining games — including three against top 5 clubs — and hope Hunslet and Workington do us a favour when they play Whitehaven. 

We need to ensure we keep to our end of that bargain.  The lads will be up for it; can they pull it off?  We've been beaten by the same three top 5 clubs already this season.

Ignoring potential banana skins I can't see Newcastle losing other than against us.  If we slip up against anyone and Whitehaven stutter, the league title is going NE.

If Hunslet beat Whitehaven on the 27th, they'll consider themselves right back in it.  We could potentially have a title decider in Leeds on the last day of the season if results elsewhere go our way and we've already won four games.  

Play-Off Places

Finishing second gives you a home game in a semi-final; win and you're in the final, lose and you have a lifeline into the preliminary final.

Finishing third means you play fourth at home. The winner is then away against 2nd in the semi-final.  The loser plays the winner of fifth and sixth at home to get into the preliminary final.

Finishing fourth follows the same path as third except you start off away.

Finishing fifth or sixth is the toughest path.  You need to win three games to get to the final, all away apart from fifth play sixth at home in Round 1.

A Neutral Outlook

If heartland clubs always win at home and always beat non-heartland clubs away (counting Newcastle as heartland here) and then non-heartland clubs win at home against other non-heartland clubs (except WW Raiders who always usually lose), I think the final table will end up like this:

  • 32 Whitehaven 
  • 29 Newcastle
  • 28 Oldham
  • 28 Hunslet
  • 22 Doncaster
  • 21 Workington 
  • 18 North Wales Crusaders
  • 15 London Skolars 

We'd then play Newcastle away in Round 1, with a lifeline.

We really need Haven to stutter and then make sure we beat Newcastle at home, well, win all our games in truth!

All could change with banana-skin incidents or heartland clubs beating other heartland clubs away etc.  Who knows what's going to happen!

 

The Fixtures

* I'm editing this list as time goes by.

Whitehaven [26pts]

  • [A] Keighley Cougars
  • [H] West Wales Raiders
  • [A] Coventry Bears

Oldham [24pts]

  • [H] Doncaster
  • [A] Coventry Bears
  • [A] Hunslet

Newcastle [23pts]

  • [H] Coventry Bears
  • [H] North Wales Crusaders
  • [A] Keighley Cougars

Hunslet [22pts]

  • [A] London Skolars
  • [H] Workington
  • [H] Oldham

Doncaster [20pts]

  • [A] Oldham
  • [H] Keighley Cougars
  • [A] Workington

 

Workington Town [19pts]

  • [A] Hunslet
  • [H] Doncaster

London Skolars [15pts]

  • [H] Hunslet
  • [A] North Wales Crusaders

North Wales Crusaders [14pts]

  • [A] West Wales Crusaders
  • [A] Newcastle Thunder
  • [H] London Skolars

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Edited by Dave Naylor
Pretty colours
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It isn't like the the RFL to come up with a structure that doesn't confuse the hell out of everyone! 😣🤯

I expect the RFL to announce that they have changed their minds and the top 2 go up automatically, probably  just after the first round of Play Off games has been played.

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If you win, you just have to beat 2nd to get into the final.  Lose and you have to beat the Elimination Final winner to then get into the Preliminary Final.  So you have to win one more game.

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It goes without saying that the Newcastle and Doncaster games are the biggest of the season. The club must promote both as such.

They need to get posters or similar out to all the rugby clubs and other clubs, the press and the community radios. It's an opportunity that shouldn't be missed

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11 hours ago, ChampagneCharlieReturns said:

Going to put my neck on the line here n say we will finish.......... 5th 

My predicted position of fourth relies on us winning our two remaining home games.  We could easily lose one or both of them, things are that tight in this division this year.

In their recent player focus articles, all the players have described the season as up and down, so we may experience the same in these last five games too.  It wouldn't be fun if we didn't do it the hard way!

We sneaked into the last available play-off place last year by the skin of our teeth.  That always meant we'd have to play York or Bradford away to achieve promotion — a tough proposition.  This year the teams are more evenly matched, so those who hold their nerves will prevail.  

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It's a difficult one, for me I would not be surprised if you we fail to get promotion due to the inconsistent nature of the team performances 

 

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Are Whitehaven stumbling?  😎

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With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

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3 hours ago, Bedford Roughyed said:

Are Whitehaven stumbling?  😎

Not necessarily, but Town's injured players are returning and we are improving in each game we play under coach Chris Thorman.

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