How 10 points might not be enough to avoid the Million Pound Game

For the first time, 10 points in The Qualifiers might not be enough to avoid the Million Pound Game.

It’s the most wide open competition for Super League in the four stay of execution that the format has been allowed and it is set to finish with a bang over the next 10 days.

Only Leeds, barring a reasonably unlikely points difference swing, can be confident of a Super League place in 2019, with any two from the other five in position to claim an automatic place and avoid the drama of the Million Pound Game.

What is for sure, is that for the third year in a row, a Championship club will be promoted no matter what.

Leading that pack at the moment is Toronto, though they have the toughest ending to the campaign – a trip to Leeds.

Should Toronto win there, Salford beat Toulouse and Hull KR beat already relegated Widnes, we are faced with the prospect of the top four teams being tied on 10 points.

If Salford, Toronto and Hull KR win
Leeds – 10 (currently +80)
Salford – 10 (+109)
Toronto – 10 (+17)
Hull KR – 10 (+5)

That would mean one playing in the Million Pound Game. Last season, both Leigh and Catalans earned eight points before facing off in the MPG, and the previous season Salford beat Hull KR thanks to Gareth O’Brien’s golden point drop goal, having finished on six points behind the Robins’ eight.

In the first season of the Super 8s, Wakefield and Bradford earned six points each before Trinity beat the Bulls in the first ever MPG.

The more likely scenario is that wins for Leeds, Hull KR and Salford would ensure their survival, leaving a straight fight between Toronto, Toulouse and London for the MPG spots.

London have, on paper, the easiest game against winless Halifax.

A lot rests on tonight’s match at Salford, where if Toulouse can win, then Toronto face the prospect of not even making the Million Pound Game unless they can get a result at Leeds.

Despite the Wolfpack’s dominance in the regular season, they have only managed to beat one Super League outfit in this series – Widnes – while both London (Widnes and Salford) and Toulouse (Widnes and Hull KR) have managed two, with the French side needing to add the scalp of Salford to their list if they are to stay in with a shout of promotion.

Neither Wolfpack or Toulouse are fancied to pick up the vital away wins they need, both priced at 3/1 to win their games at Leeds and Salford respectively, with the hosts both 1/4 with sponsors Betfred.

Toronto do at least have the advantage of knowing what they need to do – if Toulouse lose at Salford, then Toronto are guaranteed at least a place in the MPG, regardless of how they do at Headingley.

If Toulouse do win in front of the Sky Sports cameras tonight, then we’ve got three incredibly intriguing games to follow.

Just nobody start the debate about how everyone should be kicking off at the same time…

About James Gordon 7067 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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