How It Stands: Championship Playoff Schedule
The final round of the 2019 Betfred Championship regular season has now been completed and the five teams remaining in the race for promotion to the top-flight Super League ahead of the 2020 Season have locked away their final positions in the standings.
As a reward for holding top spot entering the postseason, the Wolfpack will receive a bye in the first week of the Playoffs, a fantastic opportunity to rest up before the campaign for promotion begins in earnest.
The Playoffs will commence next weekend when Toulouse, who have ended the regular season in second spot, will welcome the Knights to France for a Qualifying Final on Saturday September 14, with the winner going through to the 2nd Semi-Final against the Wolfpack at Lamport Stadium on Sunday September 22.
The opening weekend of Playoffs will also see fourth-placed Leigh Centurions hosting fifth-placed finishers Featherstone Rovers in an Elimination Final with the loser eliminated from contention and the winner marching on to face the loser of the Qualifying Final in the 1st Semi-Final.
From there, the winner of the 2nd Semi-Final will go straight through to the all-or-nothing Grand Final on Saturday October 5 while the loser will do battle with the winner of the 1st Semi-Final for the right to play for the ultimate prize of Super League promotion.
All of this means that the Wolfpack’s first opponent in the Playoffs will be either Toulouse or York City, with the fixture guaranteed to take place at Lamport Stadium. Toulouse are the only side to defeat the transatlantic Toronto in 2019 but it came all the way back in early March and since then the Wolfpack have defeated the French outfit twice. The transatlantic Toronto and York City have met twice in 2019 and both contests have ended in Wolfpack victories.
There are many permutations possible when it comes to potential match-ups for the Wolfpack following the 2nd Semi-Final but their best scenario is to win that first game and enjoy a second bye week while preparing to welcome the winner of the Preliminary Final to Lamport Stadium for the do-or-die Grand Final.
Whatever happens, the Wolfpack have set themselves up perfectly for a tilt at the upcoming Playoff Series and enter the postseason with momentum built on the back of consecutive strong performances. After falling one step short in 2018, they will be desperate to get out on the field and make amends, with the only acceptable result a Grand Final win on October 5 at Lamport Stadium.