There may still be six rounds to go in the Championship, but the six teams competing in the play-offs has virtually been confirmed following the Summer Bash.
Wins for York and Barrow over Newcastle and Widnes on day two at Headingley has now opened up an eight point gap between sixth place and the rest.
York rounded off the weekend with a hard-fought win over Thunder to end a run of four straight defeats.
Winger Joe Brown scored two tries as they led 10-8 at half time and they stretched out their advantage at the start of the second half.
Newcastle did come back within two points on the hour mark, but Danny Kirmond’s converted try gave York a cushion before Brendan O’Hagan’s late drop goal secured a 27-18 win.
Barrow had earlier beaten Widnes 36-24, having fought back from 16-6 down in the first half.
In between those two games, Whitehaven defeated Cumbrian rivals Workington 28-10 to put some daylight between them and the relegation places.
On Saturday, both Halifax and Batley had seen off Bradford and Dewsbury respectively, while Leigh came out on top in the battle of the top two sides against Featherstone.
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The current situation
Leigh sit top on 40 points, five clear of Featherstone in second.
Halifax are third on 30 points, level with Batley, though the Bulldogs do have a game in hand to be played against Sheffield this Wednesday evening.
Barrow’s run of five straight wins in July has them up to fifth on 20 points, a point ahead of York.
The end of Widnes’ five-game winning run leaves them eight points behind York in seventh, two ahead of Sheffield and Bradford.
Newcastle’s defeat today means it’s now mathematically impossible for them to reach the top six from tenth spot.
At the bottom, Workington are now nine points adrift of safety, while Dewsbury are six points shy of Whitehaven and London in the fight to avoid the drop to League 1.
How the Championship play-offs will work
The Championship play-offs will work in the same way as Super League in 2022.
That means 3rd plays 6th, and 4th play 5th, with the two winners going on to play away in the semi-finals against 1st and 2nd.
The Week 1 eliminator round will take place on the weekend of Sunday September 18, with the top two receiving a bye through that first round.
The semi-finals are scheduled for Sunday September 25.
The Grand Final will be played at the home ground of the highest ranked team on Sunday October 2, with promotion to Super League at stake.
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