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The 2018 Rugby Football League Championship is a rugby league football competition played primarily in the United Kingdom, one tier below the first tier Super League. The 2018 season is the fourth to consist of the Super 8s structure combining the Championship and Super League three-quarters of the way through the season.

Betfred Championship 2018
Betfred Championship logo.jpg
LeagueChampionship
Duration23 rounds (followed by a league split into Super 8s for 7 more fixtures)
Teams12
Highest attendance38,881 New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg Toronto Wolfpack vs
ToulouseRLcolours.PNG Toulouse Olympique (19 May)
Lowest attendance312 Rochdale colours.svg Rochdale Hornets vs
Broncoscolours.png London Broncos (13 April)
Broadcast partnersSky Sports and Premier Sports for Toronto Games
2018 season
Biggest home winFevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 80–4 Rochdale colours.svg Rochdale Hornets (1 July)
Biggest away winBarrowcolours.svg Barrow Raiders 6–72 ToulouseRLcolours.PNG Toulouse Olympique (15 July)
Barrowcolours.svg Barrow Raiders 6–72 Broncoscolours.png London Broncos (29 July)
Seasons

The 2018 Championship features 12 teams, which all play one another twice in the regular season, once at home, and once away, totalling 22 games. The 2018 season also features the "Summer Bash Weekend" for a fourth time. This is a 23rd round of fixtures which replicates Super League's Magic Weekend concept for the Championship sides. After these 23 rounds in both the Championship and the Super League, the two divisions of twelve are split into three divisions of eight, the "Super 8s".

New sponsors for the league were announced in January 2018, and the league will be known as the Betfred Championship until the end of 2019. The bookmakers, Betfred, extended their sponsorship of rugby league to include the Championship and League 1 as well as Super League.[1]

Contents

TeamsEdit

This year's competition features 12 teams. The teams consist of nine of the 12 teams from 2017, the champions of the 2017 League One season, the Toronto Wolfpack, and the champion of the League One playoffs, Barrow Raiders. Bradford Bulls and Oldham, the two bottom placed teams in the 2017 season, were relegated to League One, while Hull Kingston Rovers were promoted back to Super League after just one season in the Championship.

Locations of the 2018 RFL Championship teams
Locations of the 2018 RFL Championship teams in West Yorkshire
Legend
  Championship Shield holders
  Promoted from League 1
  Relegated from Super League
Team and current season Stadium Capacity Location
  Barrow Raiders The JF Hornby Stadium 7,600 Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
  Batley Bulldogs Fox's Biscuits Stadium 7,500 Batley, West Yorkshire
  Dewsbury Rams Tetley's Stadium 5,800 Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
  Featherstone Rovers LD Nutrition Stadium 8,000 Featherstone, West Yorkshire
  Halifax The MBi Shay 14,000 Halifax, West Yorkshire
  Leigh Centurions Leigh Sports Village 12,000 Leigh, Greater Manchester
  London Broncos Trailfinders Sports Ground 3,020 Ealing, London
  Rochdale Hornets Crown Oil Arena 10,249 Rochdale, Greater Manchester
  Sheffield Eagles Sheffield Olympic Legacy Stadium 2,500 Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  Swinton Lions Heywood Road 3,387 Sale, Greater Manchester
  Toronto Wolfpack Lamport Stadium 9,600 Toronto, Canada
  Toulouse Olympique Stade Ernest-Argelès 4,000 Toulouse, France

Regular season resultsEdit

Final standingsEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts Qualification
1   Toronto Wolfpack 23 20 1 2 866 374 +492 41 The Qualifiers
2   London Broncos 23 16 1 6 907 423 +484 33
3   Toulouse Olympique 23 16 1 6 900 438 +462 33
4   Halifax 23 16 1 6 643 416 +227 33
5   Featherstone Rovers 23 16 0 7 819 420 +399 32 Championship Shield
6   Leigh Centurions 23 16 0 7 849 508 +341 32
7   Batley Bulldogs 23 8 0 15 523 703 −180 16
8   Sheffield Eagles 23 7 0 16 437 843 −406 14
9   Dewsbury Rams 23 6 1 16 424 746 −322 13
10   Barrow Raiders 23 5 3 15 382 816 −434 13
11   Swinton Lions 23 3 2 18 402 866 −464 8
12   Rochdale Hornets 23 4 0 19 327 926 −599 8
Source: [1]


The QualifiersEdit

Toronto, London, Toulouse and Halifax will play in the 2018 Qualifiers together with Super League sides Leeds, Hull Kingston Rovers, Salford and Widnes. With points reset to zero, after each side has played each other once the top three teams will qualify for Super League XXIV in 2019. The teams finishing fourth and fifth will play each other in the Million Pound Game with the winner also qualifying for Super League XXIV. The losers of the Million Pound Game together with the teams finishing sixth, seventh and eighth in the Qualifiers will play in the 2019 Rugby League Championship.

Championship ShieldEdit

The clubs finishing fifth and below in the regular season play for the Championship Shield. Points earned during the regular season are carried forward and after seven more games the top two clubs play in the shield final. Prior to the start of the season it was announced that the two clubs at the bottom of the table will be relegated to the League 1 for 2019, however following an emergency general meeting of the RFL on 13 September 2018 the Championship and League 1 clubs agreed that for 2019 the number of clubs in the Championship would be increased from 12 to 14. To achieve this the team finishing 11th will not be relegated and the team finishing bottom will play-off against the League 1 team that loses the League 1 promotion final[a] to decide which team will play in the Championship for 2019.[2]

ResultsEdit

StandingsEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts Qualification
1   Featherstone Rovers (Q) 30 23 0 7 1040 524 +516 46 Shield final
2   Leigh Centurions (Q) 30 20 0 10 1059 644 +415 40
3   Batley Bulldogs 30 14 0 16 753 805 −52 28
4   Dewsbury Rams 30 10 1 19 650 899 −249 21
5   Barrow Raiders 30 8 3 19 491 1006 −515 19
6   Sheffield Eagles 30 8 0 22 549 1091 −542 16
7   Rochdale Hornets 30 6 0 24 465 1093 −628 12
8   Swinton Lions 30 4 2 24 502 1112 −610 10 Relegation play-off[b]
Updated to match(es) played on 14 September 2018. Source: [2]
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated.
  1. ^ The winning team in the League 1 promotion final will automatically be promoted to the Championship
  2. ^ The relegation play-off is a single-leg play-off between the team finishing last in the Championship Shield and the team that loses the League 1 Promotional Final


NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Betfred become title partner of Championship and League 1". Total RL. League Publications. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Betfred Championship and League 1 Structure 2019". Rugby Football League. 14 September 2018. Archived from the original on 16 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.