The race to make the Qualifiers – the run-in

With four rounds of the Championship season remaining, the race to make the Qualifiers is set for its most thrilling conclusion since its introduction.

As the finishing line comes into sight, five clubs are fighting it out in an almighty tussle for three spots in the top four.

Toronto’s inclusion has already been confirmed, with a victory against Sheffield on Saturday securing them the league title.

But for Toulouse, Featherstone, Halifax, London and Leigh, everything is still to play for. After 19 rounds, just four points separate the teams, and with them all set to play each other, anything could yet happen.


But who will end up making the cut? Here’s a club-by-club guide to the run-in.


Remaining fixtures: London (H), Barrow (A), Halifax (A), Dewsbury (H)

The French club currently have a two-point advantage on London in fifth, but that could all yet change.

Inevitably, crucial games, first at home to the Broncos, and then at Halifax, will ultimately decide whether they make it or not. Defeat in both of those games could see them slip out, while they also face a tricky trip to Barrow, where both Leigh and Toronto have come unstuck this year.

That said, they remain the favourites to make the four, and they’ll be hoping to ensure no repeat of last year’s late collapse.


Remaining fixtures: Halifax (A), Swinton (A), London (H), Toronto (A)

Like two of the other teams on this list, Fev have still to play three of the top six.

The plus of that is victories could ensure second spot and four home games. On the flip side, defeats could cost them so very dearly.

It is inevitable Fev will not want to go to Toronto needing a victory, so will most likely need victories in their first three games to guarantee that isn’t the case. With a trip to Halifax and a visit of London to come, they will do superbly to head to Toronto unscathed, but they’re more than capable.

Despite being without Martyn Ridyard and Tom Holmes, Fev have been performing well with Anthony Thackeray and Matty Wildie in the halves. But the big test is to come.


Remaining fixtures: Featherstone (H), London (A), Toulouse (H), Rochdale (A)

The undoubted underdogs in the race, Halifax have a challenging run-in.

Consecutive games against Featherstone, London and Toulouse present Halifax with a huge challenge, but one they’ll relish.

In reality, they can afford one defeat in their final four games, should they come through with three wins, they’ll make it. But that’s easier said than done.

Nevertheless, Fax are on an impressive run of form having lost just one of their last eight games.

London Broncos

Remaining fixtures: Toulouse (A), Halifax (H), Featherstone (A), Barrow (A)

Of all five clubs in the race, London almost certainly faces the toughest run-in of all.

Games against three of their chasing rivals, and a daunting trip to Barrow, present London with a massive task to reach the Qualifiers for a third straight year.

But they’re playing well, have proved their quality and, with games against their rivals, could ease into the Qualifiers and into second if they pick up a string of results. But ultimately, they’re playing catch-up.

Leigh Centurions:

Remaining fixtures: Batley (A), Rochdale (A), Swinton (H), Sheffield (H)

For Leigh, the final few weeks provide a nervy, nervy wait.

It certain that Leigh have the easiest run-in of all. With four games against bottom-half sides, they’ll be widely expected to win all four.

But they are currently three points adrift of the four and ultimately need results to go their way.

Unlike the other sides, Leigh don’t have their own destiny in their control. Simply put, they need to win their games and hope results go their way.

Their points difference will help them and with the other sides facing each other they will pick up points on the way, but they need to finish above two sides.