2019 Review of the Year – Part 2 (Apr-Jun)

Magic Weekend - Wigan v Warrington - Saturday 25 May at Anfield

Danny McGuire led Hull KR past his former club Leeds and for the first time, relegation seemed a real possibility for the Rhinos after a dismal start to the campaign. They were still having to deal with rumours linking Trent Merrin with a return to the NRL, though they did boost their ranks with the signing of Ava Seumanufagai.

More wingers had their seasons ended, with Fetuli Talanoa having to hang up his boots permanently through injury, while Wigan winger Dom Manfredi suffered a season-ending injury.

Former Man of Steel Rangi Chase returned to rugby league, first joining an amateur side before eventually moving on to Doncaster later in the season. Meanwhile, Blake Austin led the way for the 2019 award.

Wigan’s off-field woes continued as Gabe Hamlin was suspended for failing a drugs test, while Chris Chester distanced himself from reports linking him to the Warriors job amongst the ongoing uncertainty over Adrian Lam’s future and Shaun Edwards’ u-turn.

Brian Barwick stood down as RFL chairman, with Simon Johnson standing in as interim before getting the job permanently later in the year.

Toronto set a new record crowd for the Championship, 9,562 against Swinton, with crowds in the division up by 52%. The clubs also expressed their support for the New York and Ottawa bids to join the leagues.

On the pitch, St Helens were still dominating, a Regan Grace hat-trick helping them to another win over Wigan, after which Justin Holbrook revealed he was keen to sign a new deal to say.

Former Saints centre Michael Shenton caused a storm with a limp pass to deliberately earn a penalty at the play the ball, which prompted calls for changes to the rules.

Must read April 2019

The remarkable XIII of players given their professional debuts by Tony Smith

Expansionist Blog: Coventry a brilliant example of an organic expansion club

RFL to consider dropping hectic Easter schedule, admits Ralph Rimmer

Leeds parted company with David Furner after just 14 games in charge, with Kevin Sinfield saying the problems at the club were “deep rooted”.

Catalans beat Wigan in a historic game at the Nou Camp, home of FC Barcelona, to break the Super League crowd record.

Ahead of the Magic Weekend at Anfield, Super League announced its biggest ever commercial deal with Betfred.

An underwhelming crowd and event at Anfield saw wins for Catalans, Huddersfield, Warrington, Hull KR, Leeds and St Helens.

Struggling Championship and League 1 clubs Rochdale and Workington appointed Matt Calland and Chris Thorman as their respective new coaches, while Barrow released former Great Britain international Gareth Hock without playing a game.

Must read May 2019

Barcelona’s Nou Camp will be 69th ground to host a Super League match – full list

In pictures: Rugby league’s historic day at the Nou Camp

Whitehaven reveal £6m stadium development plans

Leigh-united: Who would you like to see return to your club?

St Helens, Warrington, Hull and Halifax won through to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup.

London moved off the bottom of the Super League table with a win over Hull KR

Jansin Turgut continued his recovery, while Kallum Watkins’ wife hit out at hateful social media critics ahead of his move to the NRL with Gold Coast.

The first murmurings of the doomed Manchester re-brand for Swinton started in this month and Toronto owner David Argyle was caught in a racism storm, forced to apologise to Lions forward Jose Kenga

Hull KR parted company with Tim Sheens and replaced him with Tony Smith.

Sean Long and Martin Gleeson left their roles at St Helens and Salford respectively for rugby union, and Toulouse confirmed groundshare talks with their rugby union neighbours.

Must read June 2019

St Helens-Wigan derby will not be shown on TV for first time in 24 years

Rugby league has made Luther Burrell fitter than ever before

Super League chief Robert Elstone hits out at GB coach Wayne Bennett

List of rugby league champions

About James Gordon 7043 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

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