Toulouse clinch Championship League Leaders’ Shield

Mark Kheirallah in action for Toulouse
Toulouse have a 100% record from the 13 fixtures they have played so far this season, all of which have been in England due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on part-time teams travelling to and from France.

The cancellation of Saturday’s scheduled home fixture against York means that they cannot be overtaken on win points percentage and also guarantees them a week off in the first round of the play-offs as well as a home semi-final.

The Rugby Football League has confirmed Toulouse’s semi-final will be played at the Stade Ernest Wallon on Saturday, October 2, with a 3:15pm kick-off UK time.

Featherstone, who are guaranteed to finish second, will host the second semi-final at their Millennium Stadium later that afternoon and both ties will be broadcast live by Sky Sports.

Television coverage will begin on Saturday, September 25, with two elimination play-offs and culminate in the Million Pound Game to decide promotion to Super League on Sunday, October 10.

TABLE TOPPERS: Catalans are seventh different side to top Super League table in last nine years

Meanwhile, Catalans made history at the weekend by securing their first ever Super League League Leaders’ Shield – but does it mean anything towards becoming champions?

The Dragons are the seventh different side to finish top of the regular season table in the last nine years, though only St Helens and Leeds have managed to then go on and win at Old Trafford in that time.

In the first 15 years of Super League, only four different clubs finished top of the table – so you could say it reflects the much more competitive nature of the competition now; although some might argue that clubs prioritise form going in to the play-offs than finishing top of the tree.

So far, only Wigan, St Helens and Leeds have managed to win the Grand Final after finishing top of the table for the first time – can Catalans add their name to the list, and become only the fifth different champion since Super League started in 1996?

Time will tell.

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