It’s been perhaps the most dramatic and exciting Super League season in the history of the modern era. Going into the final round of the season, seven of the eight slots in the play-off places are yet to be decided, with only Leeds knowing for sure that they will start the play-offs from sixth position.
Catalan and Widnes are jockeying for seventh and eighth, whilst the battle for top four slots is incredibly enthralling. As well as that, Castleford and St Helens are battling it out to finish top of the tree, meaning this weekend’s action in the Super League is certain to be action packed.
However, although England’s top division will be full of drama, both Championship and Championship One shouldn’t be overlooked too. Their play-off series’ get underway this weekend, and after a hugely dramatic final round of the regular season last time out, there is certain to be just as much drama as teams put their season on the line.
Although the Championship follows the same play-off structure as Super League (with the exception of Club Call), Championship One is a five-team play-off competition, with Hunslet and Oldham kicking off the action on Friday night. And even though the loser gets another life, the battle to get one step closer to potential games against Leigh, London and Bradford next year is sure to make it a feisty atmosphere.
And there’s a great battle of two non-heartlands clubs on Sunday night, as Gateshead host Hemel Stags – who have enjoyed a great season under boss Troy Perkins. There’s a little bit of spice added to the mix too, with a controversial kick-off time of 6pm upsetting the Stags – as reported on in this Monday’s League Express.
With only one Super League game being held in the traditional Sunday afternoon slot, it means the Championship play-offs can take centre stage – and that’s richly deserved. There’s a repeat of the Championship Grand Final of 2013 on Saturday, as Sheffield and Batley take part in a sudden-death game. Then on Sunday, things really kick off in style – as the top four come into the reckoning.
Featherstone will take on Halifax in a huge West Yorkshire derby – with temporary boss Scott Murrell leading his troops into the play-offs off the back of a narrow win over Barrow last weekend. The dominant Leigh – who have only lost once all season – take on Doncaster on Sunday afternoon. Incidentally, the Dons are the only side to beat Leigh in Championship competition this year, which makes that tie an incredibly enthralling one.
And to round it all off, Glenn Morrison’s Dewsbury lock horns with a rejuvenated Workington Town side, with the loser of that game bidding farewell to the 2014 play-offs after just a week.
With hardly any Super League action on Sunday, it’s a rare opportunity for the Championship to show what it is made off. So if you’re in the region of either Dewsbury, Leigh or Featherstone on Sunday, why not take in a game of Championship action?
Trust us – you won’t be disappointed.