Play-offs kick-off with mouthwatering line-up

The most exciting play-off series in Engage Super League history will kick off with four mouthwatering fixtures involving the competition’s best players.

The schedule for a gripping opening round of the top-eight play-offs was confirmed at the weekend when St Helens, Crusaders RL, Huddersfield Giants and Leeds Rhinos all won their final matches in the regular Engage Super League season.

The 2010 Engage Super League play-offs will start on Friday evening (8.00pm) when second-placed St Helens, the competition’s most successful team, host third-placed Warrington Wolves, the current Carnegie Challenge Cup holders, at GPW Recruitment Stadium.

Saints secured second spot by defeating Castleford Tigers 40-30 in the last league match played at GPW Recruitment Stadium.

The action continues on Saturday with two matches, the first at Galpharm Stadium where fifth-placed Huddersfield Giants host eighth-placed Crusaders RL (3.45pm) in a fixture which sees the Welsh side make their play-off debut in only their second season as a Super League club.

Crusaders RL booked their play-off place with a 30-24 victory over Hull KR at the Racecourse Ground tonight, a result which dashed Castleford’s hopes of a top-eight finish.

At 6.00pm on Saturday sixth-placed Hull FC and seventh-placed Hull KR meet in an intriguing derby play-off at the KC Stadium where the visitors will be looking to avenge a Super League double defeat in 2010.

The derby was set up when Hull FC were beaten 18-14 at home to Leeds Rhinos, who ended the year in fourth place while the East Yorkshire club dropped to sixth.

On Sunday, two of the biggest rugby clubs in the world, first-placed Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos, the defending Engage Super League champions, meet at DW Stadium at 6.45pm in what is expected to be an epic encounter.

Bumper crowds are predicted at all four play-offs and fans are urged to move quickly to book their tickets to see their club take the first crucial step on the journey that climaxes with the Engage Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford, Manchester, on Saturday October 2.

The schedule for the opening weekend of the play-offs in full is:

Friday September 10

Qualifying Semi-final – St Helens v Warrington Wolves (8.00)
Winners through to Week 3, losers at home in Week 2

Saturday September 11

Elimination Play-off – Huddersfield Giants v Crusaders RL (3.45)
Winners are away in Week 2, losers are eliminated

Elimination Play-off – Hull FC v Hull KR (6.00)
Winners are away in Week 2, losers are eliminated

Sunday September 12

Qualifying semi-final – Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos (6.45)
Winners through to Week 3, losers at home in Week 2

Tickets for the 2010 Engage Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford Manchester, on Saturday October 2 cost from just £21 and are available by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 11 13 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk

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