Widnes soaring, Bradford in-form: rugby league winners and losers from the weekend

Aaron Bower

Another weekend in the books – and another huge set of results all across the sport.

While Super League took a break for the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup, the start to the season continued at pace in Championship and League 1, with some in-form teams notching up more impressive performances. Here, Love Rugby League breaks down the big winners and losers from the last few days..

Winners: Widnes Vikings

Who saw this coming in pre-season?

Four games in and while Wakefield Trinity are riding high with maximum points thus far, so too are Sheffield Eagles and, perhaps most surprising of all, Widnes Vikings.

Expectations were low for Allan Coleman’s side, not least among Vikings supporters themselves. But they have started superbly and were brilliant in the second half on Sunday to comfortably defeat Halifax and and maintain their 100 per cent record. How far can they go in 2024?

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Losers: York Knights

Nobody would have predicted that after the opening four matches of the season, York Knights would be the Championship’s only winless team.

Their worrying start to 2024 continued on Sunday with a heavy defeat against Wakefield Trinity, but all is not lost yet for Andrew Henderson’s side, clearly. They are in the semi-finals of the 1895 Cup and by no means out of the play-off picture – but it’s clearly apparent they will have to pick up their league form sooner, rather than later, to avoid being cut adrift.

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Winners: Bradford Bulls

A quick glance at Bradford’s first four fixtures this year would have made even the most optimistic Bulls fans wince. Away trips to Wakefield and Featherstone, coupled with home ties against Halifax and Toulouse: certainly not what you would describe as easy.

And after a disappointing opening night at Wakefield, the Bulls have bounced back in some style with three straight league wins: the latest of which was a hard-earned triumph against Toulouse on Saturday afternoon. Eamon O’Carroll’s side look in pretty impressive health as the season begins to get into a groove.

Losers: St Helens

It was an underwhelming day for Paul Wellens’ side on Sunday afternoon: just when they needed a big performance most.

The Saints were ultimately well-beaten in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals, being blown away in the final half-hour to lose against Warrington Wolves and see their Wembley hopes end for another year.

Defensively sound in the opening two months of the season up to this point, you could argue questions are now being levied against the sharpness of their attack..

Winners: Warrington Wolves

Speaking of that magnificent result from the Wire on Sunday, it would be remiss not to include Sam Burgess’ side.

His start to life as a head coach has been fairly impressive. Five wins from seven in Super League, and now in the final four of the Challenge Cup. His side are playing with impressive freedom in attack but more importantly than that, they are playing with a real collective desire that has arguably been missing from Warrington sides of recent years.

Is it finally their ye.. actually, never mind.

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