With two rounds of Betfred Super League matches taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, we take a look at what is still to play for in the regular season; Plus, how to watch the action from Rounds 25 and 26 live on Sky Sports
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 23/08/22 10:41am
The Betfred Super League regular season is approaching its climax with a double-header over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
With just one more round of fixtures to come following the conclusion of Rounds 25 and 26, it means the play-off and relegation picture will become much clearer following the conclusion.
Here, we take a look at what is still at stake and what could be decided in the next week in Super League…
League Leaders’ Shield
St Helens are well-placed to finish top of the table for the first time since 2019 and victory over old rivals Wigan Warriors in Round 25 would secure the Shield for the club.
Saints are six points clear of the Warriors following their Round 24 win over Hull Kingston Rovers and victory at the DW Stadium on Friday would put them in an unassailable position at the top of the table.
Should Wigan win, they would narrow that gap to four points but would need to win both of their remaining games and hope other results go their way if they are to secure the Shield for the fourth time since it was introduced in 2003.
Defeat for St Helens means Kristian Woolf’s side would then have to wait until Bank Holiday Monday’s home match against Wakefield Trinity to secure top spot and the Shield for a record-extending ninth time.
Jonny Lomax won the game for St Helens and broke Wigan Warriors’ hearts with less than a minute left on the clock at Magic Weekend in July.
Should both teams finish the regular season level on points, it would then go to points difference. Heading into Round 25, St Helens have the superior points difference of 316 compared to Wigan’s 281.
If the teams are still level on points difference, the tiebreakers in order are points percentage, most tries, most goals and most drop goals. If teams are still level on all of those, final placings are determined by the toss of a coin.
The race for the play-offs
St Helens and Wigan are both already guaranteed a spot in the top six, with reigning champions Saints already assured of a top-two finish and home semi-final as well.
Huddersfield Giants are the only other team certain of making the play-offs and trail the second-placed Warriors by three points, so could still overtake the Betfred Challenge Cup winners to secure a home semi-final.
Super League table after Round 24
The Giants kick off Round 25 on Wednesday away to West Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos, who are among six teams battling it out for the remaining three play-off places.
Catalans Dragons, currently fourth, lead that group on 28 points ahead of the all-French showdown against Toulouse Olympique on Thursday. The Rhinos are just behind them in fifth on 25 points, one above Salford Red Devils.
The Red Devils are currently occupying the last of the play-off places on points difference from Castleford Tigers, who they face in a potentially make-or-break clash on Bank Holiday Monday.
The other two clubs still in with a chance of making the top six are Hull Kingston Rovers and Hull FC, although both teams are four points behind Salford and Castleford with three games to go and any defeats over the course of this weekend could deal a mortal blow to those slim play-off hopes.
The relegation battle
Highlights from the Betfred Super League match between Wigan Warriors and Toulouse Olympique.
A heavy defeat away to Wigan last Friday means Toulouse’s relegation back to the Betfred Championship after one season is all but confirmed barring a series of improbable results.
They are six points behind both Wakefield Trinity and Warrington Wolves, and defeat at home to Catalans on Thursday would make certain that Toulouse are down.
The Olympians’ only hope of remaining in Super League is to win all three of their remaining games and hope either Warrington or Wakefield lose all of their, as well as overturning a significant points difference disadvantage.
How to watch
Round 25 will see Sky Sports broadcast three matches and it all kicks off on Wednesday evening with Leeds hosting Huddersfield live on Sky Sports Arena from 7.30pm (8pm kick-off).
The French derby between Toulouse and Catalans is on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm (7.30pm UK time kick-off) on Thursday followed by the clash between Wigan and St Helens on Friday on the same channel from 7.30pm (8pm kick-off).
Then there is a Round 26 double-header on Sky Sports Arena on Bank Holiday Monday too, starting with Castleford against Salford from 3pm (3.30pm kick-off). The day concludes with Catalans at home to Leeds (6pm UK time kick-off).