Super League: How the relegation run-in shapes up
Yorkshire sides Leeds Rhinos, Wakefield Trinity, Huddersfield Giants and Hull KR all find themselves just two points adrift of London Broncos, who sit bottom of the Super League table.
Here’s how each team shapes up going into the relegation run-in:
It has been yet another season to forget for the Rhinos, who find themselves in an all-too-familiar position at the lower end of the league.
However, a 44-0 thrashing of Huddersfield on Friday night has seen the Rhinos climb to eighth, on points difference, their highest position of the season.
Leeds made a total of five mid-season signings, which has seen some improvement in performances.
Half-back Robert Lui has added some much-needed structure to the side while Ava Seumanufagai and Rhyse Martin have strengthened the forward pack.
Friday’s win was the biggest of the year for Leeds and fans will be hoping to see more of the attacking threat which their side showed throughout the game.
With still no permanent coach announced Leeds need to keep up the form which they have found in recent weeks to ensure their Super League survival this season and build for the future.
Four of the Rhinos’ final five games are at Headingley, their home advantage could be the key for them to ensure their Super League survival.
Run in: Catalans Dragons (H), St Helens (H), London (A), Salford Red Devils (H), Warrington Wolves (H).
Points difference: -58.
Wakefield have lost eight of their last nine Super League fixtures, which has seen them get dragged into the fight to survive.
Chris Chester’s men fell to another defeat against league leaders St Helens on Friday night, as they dropped to ninth place, a position that seemed unthinkable mid-way through the season, when there was hope of a play-off place at Belle Vue.
Trinity’s only win in their last nine came against fellow strugglers Huddersfield, a result that could be vital at the end of the season.
Trinity will play both Hull KR and London in their final five games, meaning their fate is still in their own hands.
Run in: Hull FC (H), Hull KR (A), Wigan (H), Warrington (A), London (H)
Points difference: -127.
The Giants have been hot and cold in recent weeks, with wins against Salford and Hull KR keeping their heads above the water.
However performances such as Friday’s against Leeds are a huge cause for concern for Simon Woolford’s side.
All of Huddersfield’s fixtures are against teams who are placed higher than themselves in the table, the Giants will have to rediscover the form they found in spells earlier in the season if they are to retain their Super League status.
Run in: Salford (A), Castleford Tigers (H), Hull FC (A), St Helens (A), Catalans (H).
Points difference: -131.
Danny McGuire gave Rovers’ survival chances a boost with an inspired performance on Sunday.
The veteran half-back kicked a 40/20, followed by a drop goal as the Robins secured a golden point win against Castleford Tigers.
KR went into the game on level points with the London Broncos, who fell to defeat against Salford, meaning a win was crucial.
The Robins sit second from bottom in the table, their points difference is the second worst in the league, only London’s is lower.
Rovers also have a run in which sees them face teams who are also involved in the battle and their win against the Rhinos will give them some encouragement, going into their relegation four pointers.
Run in: Wigan (A), Wakefield (H), Catalans (A), London (H), Salford (A).
Points difference: -187.
The Broncos have surprised the Super League this season with many pundits writing them off from the start.
Danny Ward’s men have been impressive and have already picked up wins against Leeds, St Helens (twice) and Wigan this season.
However poor home form could see them return to the Championship, winning just two games at the Ealing Trailfinders Stadium.
London’s last three games come against sides also scrapping for their Super League lives, so a late turn in form could be enough for the Broncos to defy the odds and play in Super League again in 2020.
Run in: Castleford (A), Catalans (A), Leeds (H), Hull KR (A), Wakefield (A).
Points difference: -250.