ESL ESL Competition - General News and Comment - English Super League - Incl Grand Final

S J

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Wayne Bennett's decision to fly half of the England squad over to Australia for the one-off Pacific Test fixture paid dividends both on and off the field after a 30-10 victory against Samoa at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday night.

NRL regulars Josh Hodgson and James Graham got over the line for Bennett's men but it was the English Super League players that stood tall with halves pairing Kevin Brown and Luke Gale creating four try-assists in the 20-point win.

While the Englishmen were clinical in a five tries to two display in front of an 18,271 strong crowd, it proved more valuable for the team off the paddock just as much as on it.
 

S J

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I thought Samoa would give them more of a game than this. Not a bad side.

Full marks to England.

England 30 (Ryan Hall, Stefan Ratchford, Josh Hodgson, James Graham, Jermaine McGillvary tries; Luke Gale 5 goals)
def.
Samoa 10
(Joey Leilua, Anthony Milford tries; Anthony Milford 1 goal) at Campbelltown Stadium. Half-time: 14-0.

Crowd: 18,271
 

moto748

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... it proved more valuable for the team off the paddock just as much as on it.

Dpn't know whether those are your words or someone else's, but what do you mean by that, SJ?
 

S J

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Dpn't know whether those are your words or someone else's, but what do you mean by that, SJ?

No - a line from media ... sorry - sometimes I ad-lib and forget everyone else can't read my mind ... :)

"Bennett copped criticism from fans in the Northern Hemisphere when his final 17 was announced on Thursday.
St Helens centre Mark Percival missed a spot in the line-up as the premiership-winning coach opted for former Penrith Panther Zak Hardaker to start in the No.4 jersey, despite strong form in the fullback role at Castleford.
English fans will learn soon enough that behind every decision, Bennett always has a plan."

"England skipper Sean O'Loughlin admitted he has noticed a change in the side's development in the space of 12 months after playing under Bennett for the first time on Saturday."

There did seem some criticism of Benny in the papers here - before the game ... :) Samoa were strong favourites - in the media. AND - they did have a very good team.
 

moto748

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I've only seen the highlights, but it looked like Gale and Brown did OK in the halves, and we handled the big physical Samoan forwards pretty well. I know people in Australia think we don't have any decent halves in England, but I said during the Four Nations that Gale has been the form half in SL for the last couple of seasons, and he's a good goal-kicker too.
 

moto748

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Samoa have good individual players, but that doesn't make them a good team. England had organisers in O'Loughlin, Hodgson, Brown. Milford, for all his talents, is not an organiser.
 

S J

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I've only seen the highlights, but it looked like Gale and Brown did OK in the halves, and we handled the big physical Samoan forwards pretty well. I know people in Australia think we don't have any decent halves in England, but I said during the Four Nations that Gale has been the form half in SL for the last couple of seasons, and he's a good goal-kicker too.

Yes - halves went well.

Samoa have good individual players, but that doesn't make them a good team. England had organisers in O'Loughlin, Hodgson, Brown. Milford, for all his talents, is not an organiser.

Samoa was a VERY strong team - missing a half though. Why they played a prop at dummy half is beyond me.
 

S J

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Super League Dream Team 2017
  • Backs: Zak Hardaker (Castleford); Greg Eden (Castleford), Michael Shenton (Castleford), Mark Percival (St Helens), Mahe Fonua (Hull FC); Albert Kelly (Hull FC), Luke Gale (Castleford).

  • Forwards: Grant Millington (Castleford), Matt Parcell (Leeds), Seb Ikahihifo (Huddersfield), Ben Murdoch-Masila (Salford), Mike McMeeken (Castleford), Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan).
 

S J

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The two Super League semi-finals - Castleford v St Helens and Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC - take place on Thursday and Friday respectively, with the winners progressing to the Grand Final at Old Trafford on 7 October.
 

moto748

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Through gritted teeth I have say, both the semi-finals were very good contests, with Castleford/Saints going to the wire, with Saints ahead with a couple of minutes left and Castleford (rightly) being awarded a penalty which Gale had to kick to take the game to golden point as the final hooter blew. Which he did, and kicked the winning field goal too, whereas Saints' kicker managed one out of five. Then tonight Leeds narrowly got the better of a ferocious battle with Hull FC. It should be a cracking GF.
 
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S J

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Zak Hardaker has been left out of Castleford’s squad for the Grand Final following a breach of club rules.

The fullback, shortlisted for the Man of Steel after an incredible maiden season at the Tigers, has been dropped as a result of the incident.

His exclusion comes as a huge blow to the Tigers’ hopes of winning their first ever Grand Final. The 25-year-old has been one of the competitions best performers this year, making the move from Castleford’s opponents at Old Trafford, Leeds Rhinos.

In a short statement, Castleford said: “Zak Hardaker is unavailable for selection due to a breach of club rules. The club will make no further comment at this point as full attention is focused on Saturday’s Grand Final.”

The RFL have also refused to comment.

Jy Hitchcox has been drafted into the squad to take his place, with Oliver Holmes also returning to replace Andy Lynch.

Castleford squad to face Leeds: Cook, Eden, Foster, Gale, Hitchcox, Holmes, Massey, McMeeken, McShane, Millington, Milner, Minikin, Moors, Monaghan, Roberts, Sene-Lefao, Shenton, Springer, Webster.
 

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Stevie Ward has been named in the Leeds squad ahead of the Grand Final, despite dislocating his shoulder last week.

Head coach Brian McDermott ruled out the possibility of Ward, who has made 25 appearances this season, of recovering in time for the final at Old Trafford.

But in a late twist, the back-rower has been named in the club’s 19-man squad, with the Rhinos saying they will give him as much time as possible to recover.

Ward has been a key performer for Leeds this year and recently scored a hat-trick against defending champions Wigan.

It means McDermott has been able to name an unchanged squad for the clash with Castleford, with Ashton Golding and Jimmy Keinhorst included despite missing out in the semi-final against Hull FC.

Leeds squad to face Hull FC: Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan Ablett, Ward, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Garbutt, Keinhorst, Ferres, Mullally, Walker.
 

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Old Trafford will continue to host the Super League Grand Final until 2020 after a new three-year deal was agreed.

Manchester United's 75,643-capacity stadium has staged the event since the 1998 opener, and was the Premiership final venue between 1987 and 1997.

This year's showpiece takes place on Saturday 7 October.

"Grand Final night at Old Trafford under lights is an iconic event that the sport should be proud of," Super League chief executive Nigel Wood said.

"We're approaching the 20th final at Old Trafford and each one has delivered great sporting drama and first-class entertainment."
 

S J

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Super League Grand Final

Venue: Old Trafford Date: Saturday 7 October Kick-off: 18:00 BST

Coverage: Listen to live coverage on BBC Radio 5 live & watch highlights on Sunday on BBC Two at 17:00 BST

The 20th Grand Final takes place at Old Trafford this Saturday, and Castleford Tigers take on Leeds Rhinos to decide the champions of rugby league's Super League.

All the action will be live on BBC Radio 5 Live and there is an extensive highlights programme on BBC Two at 17:00 BST on Sunday.

Australia - Sun 8 Oct 3:00am - 6:30am - FOX 2 or FOX LEAGUE HD Sun 8 Oct 2:00pm - 3:30pm

NB - check your guide depending on location for times - eg NSW / Qld different due to DLST.
 
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moto748

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The Hardaker business is a massive story here. It's a real body-blow to Cas on the eve of the GF. But he's another one who has form for getting himself into trouble. Leeds got rid of him... but he has played the best footy of his career this season. Personally I think it does Cas coach Powell enormous credit that he's not prepared to sweep it under the carpet on the eve of the biggest game in the club's history. Whatever 'it' is, and there's all kinds of speculation about that, which I won't copy here.
 
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S J

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The Hardaker business is a massive story here. It's a real body-blow to Cas on the eve of the GF. But he's another one who has form for getting himself into trouble. Leeds got rid of him... but he has played the best footy of his career this season. Personally I think it does Cas coach Powell enormous credit that he's not prepared to sweep it under the carpet on the eve of the biggest game in the club's history. Whatever 'it' is, and there's all kinds of speculation about that, which I won't copy here.

No - tell us - you can trust us ... :)
 

S J

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Betfred Super League Grand Final

Castleford (0) 6
Try:
Foster Goal: Gale

Leeds (7) 24
Try:
Briscoe 2, McGuire 2 Goal: Watkins 3 Drop-goal: McGuire 2

Danny McGuire marked his final Leeds game with two second-half tries as the Rhinos beat Castleford Tigers to win a record eighth Super League Grand Final.

Captain McGuire, who will play for promoted Hull KR in 2018, was named man of the match at Old Trafford for the second time in three seasons.

Tom Briscoe scored the Rhinos' other two tries on a wet night in Manchester.
 

S J

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Women's Super League Grand Final, Manchester Regional Arena

Bradford Bulls (16) 36
Tries:
:)ey, Forsell, Booth, Garner, Hardcastle, Henegan, Hields Goals: Garner 4

Featherstone Rovers (6) 6
Try:
Roche Goal: Roche

Bradford Bulls beat Featherstone Rovers 36-6 to win the inaugural Women's Super League Grand Final and complete a league and cup double.

Tries from captain Kirsty :)ey and Lois Forsell put Bulls ahead before Georgia Roche replied for Rovers.

Charlotte Booth went over to give Bradford a 16-6 lead in Manchester.

Second-half scores from Claire Garner, who also kicked fours goals, Amy Hardcastle, Charlene Henegan and Haylie Hields ensured victory.

Bradford won the Challenge Cup this season and finished the campaign with a 100% record across all competitions.