The final round of the Qualifiers promises to be thrilling to say the least – with six sides still in the hunt for promotion places going into the last weekend of the regular season.
Here’s a look at what each of those six sides need to do to give themselves a shot at either automatic promotion via a top-three finish, or secure a place in the Million Pound Game.
From here, it would take something extraordinary for Leeds not to be in the top-three by Sunday teatime. Avoid defeat against Toronto on Friday and Leeds are in, and they are in as the top-placed side. Lose, and things start to get interesting – though it would still need a defeat by 32 points or more and other results going against them to suck them into the Million Pound Game places.
Salford, like Leeds, know victory against Toulouse on Thursday night gets the job done and secures their Super League place. However, if they lose, they need to rely on one – or both – of Toronto and Hull KR losing this weekend to ensure they don’t end up in the Million Pound Game once again.
Toronto know that a comprehensive victory at Leeds – again, by 32 points or more – would ensure automatic promotion to Super League at the first attempt – but even a smaller victory of any kind puts them in contention. If that happens, they would be waiting until Sunday to see whether Hull KR can overhaul them on points difference. Defeat to Leeds potentially puts them in the Million Pound Game places – but the Wolfpack could yet miss out altogether.
Hull KR (4th)
By Sunday afternoon when Hull KR play Widnes, the Robins will know exactly what they need to do. If one of Toronto and Salford slip up and Tim Sheens’ side win, then Rovers are in the top-three. It’s as simple as that. As mentioned, a victory for both Toronto and Hull KR could develop a points difference shootout – but defeat is barely worth thinking about for Robins fans. In reality, it would put them in the Million Pound Game places – but they could also miss out altogether if London and Toulouse rack up big enough wins earlier in the weekend.
Realistically speaking, Toulouse’s best chance of promotion is via the Million Pound Game. Lose on Thursday and they’re out of the running in all likelihood – but win, and a top-five finish is not beyond Sylvain Houles’ side.
The Broncos have perhaps the easiest game, at home to Halifax on Saturday teatime – but that doesn’t make things any more certain for Danny Ward’s side! London would need a fair swing of results – two of Salford, Toronto and Hull KR all to lose – to open up the door on a potential top-three finish, so the Broncos are looking at the Million Pound Game. If Toulouse lose at Salford and London beat Halifax, the Broncos will be in the play-off game – it’s just a case of whether they’re at home, or away.