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Rugby League: Leeds Thrashed But Stay Top

Leeds Rhinos remain top of the Super Eights despite a heavy defeat at the hands of Catalans. The French side beat the Challenge cup winner 46-16, although the result has come too late for them to mount a challenge to finish in the top four and qualify for the semi-finals.

Elsewhere St Helens beat Castleford 42-38 to qualify for the semi-finals and end their opponents hopes of joining them in the top four. Wigan now have the same amount of points as Leeds after narrowly beating Hull 30-24, but remain second due to their inferior points difference. The final match of the Rugby League weekend saw Huddersfield beat Warrington 48-10 to stay in third place.

While the battle to finish in the top four of the Super Eights is already decided, The Qualifiers remains an intriguing competition.

Hull KR maintained their perfect record in the competition after beating Bradford 48-4. The Challenge Cup runners-up are now assured of their place in Super League next season. Widnes are also closing in on sealing their place in next season’s competition after thrashing Wakefield 48-4.

Leigh suffered a shock defeat to Halifax which all but end their hopes of playing in Super League next year. Despite being tipped to challenge at the top, losing 34-12 to a team they were expected to comfortably beat means they have now lost four of their five matches. Salford beat Sheffield 53-34 but now have to face Widnes and Hull KR in their remaining two games and may have to win at least one to avoid the one-off play-off match.

The season heads into its penultimate week with much still to be decided in both leagues. Although Leeds, Wigan, St Helens and Huddersfield have all qualified for the semi-finals it remains to be seen who will win the league and get the most favourable draw. In The Qualifiers Salford and Wakefield will be eager to finish strongly to come third and avoid a one-off play off match against the fifth placed team, which is likely to be Bradford.

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