Play-off run-in: Could Leeds, Cas or Salford pinch a top four spot from Catalans?

Can Leeds catch Catalans in the play-off run-in?
Picture by John Rushworth/SWpix.com

Out-of-form Catalans could be in danger of surrendering their top four spot and home advantage in the play-offs if resurgent Leeds and Salford continue their winning runs.

The Rhinos have won five on the bounce and now just three points behind the Dragons in the Super League table.

Even if Catalans take an expected win over Toulouse on Thursday, if Leeds win all their three remaining games – including one against the Dragons – they can still take fourth spot.

Leeds have two home games against Huddersfield and Castleford either side of their trip to France, where they have already won this season.

Salford will fancy their chances of three wins from three too. They host Hull and Warrington, with a trip to Castleford in between.

Castleford can’t be ruled out either – despite their defeat to Huddersfield on Thursday, they are still level on points with Salford and their play-off fate is in their own hands with those games against Leeds and Salford.

The Tigers go to Warrington this week, with the Wolves having nothing to play for having staved off the unlikely threat of relegation recently.

Decimated Hull KR and Hull FC can still mathematically reach the play-offs though would need to win all three of their games and hope results elsewhere go their way – and they play each other in the final game of the season.

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Catalans still in control

It’s an unexpected twist in the play-off tale, as it had looked like Catalans had long secured their top four spot.

With Steve McNamara having rotated his side in recent weeks, perhaps they’ll now look to kick on and try and find some form heading in to the play-offs.

Catalans have won only two of their last seven following the win over St Helens that at the time had seemed to keep alive their hopes of reaching top spot.

The top four remains in their hands – two wins out of three will guarantee their spot, regardless of results elsewhere.

Their final game of the season is away at Wigan, who might well have nothing to play for depending on how results go prior to then.

With St Helens all but confirmed as league leaders’, Wigan’s only threat to finishing second is Huddersfield, who sit three points behind.

Three games left in the play-off run-in

Here is the play-off run-in, with the points and points difference of each team and their last three games.

Catalans 28pts +46

  • Toulouse (A)
  • Leeds (H)
  • Wigan (A)

    Leeds 25pts +53

    • Huddersfield (H)
    • Catalans (A)
    • Castleford (H)

    Salford 24pts +66

    • Hull (H)
    • Castleford (A)
    • Warrington (H)

    Castleford 24pts -31

    • Warrington (A)
    • Salford (H)
    • Leeds (A)

    Hull KR 20pts -140

    • Wakefield (A)
    • Wigan (H)
    • Hull (A)

    Hull FC 20pts -151

    • Salford (A)
    • Toulouse (H)
    • Hull KR (H)
    About James Gordon 7243 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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