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St Helens, Wigan and Warrington into Super League Play-off semi finals but who will play who?

Super League Trophy Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Warrington are warming up nicely for a tilt at reigning Super League champions Wigan.

The Wolves, Grand Final runners-up for the last two years, remain on course for a third successive trip to Old Trafford after gaining a hard-fought 30-14 win at Castleford in the first preliminary semi-final.

The line-up for the last four will be completed on Friday night when Huddersfield host Catalan Dragons, after which table-toppers St Helens will select their semi-final opponents under the controversial ClubCall system so despised by Warrington boss Tony Smith.

Saints look certain to avoid Warrington, who finished fifth this year but have beaten their derby rivals on all their previous trips to Langtree Park, and instead pick the winners of the second preliminary semi-final at the John Smith's Stadium.

Smith, who was fined for snubbing ClubCall last year when his club opted to play Huddersfield in the last four, is relieved not to be placed in the same position this time.

"Everybody knows I love ClubCall," he said, tongue in cheek.

"Whether we're picked or whether we're pushed, we don't really care. Obviously we're just happy to be through to the next round, understanding that both teams that are options for us are going to be tough.

"We've had to do it from sudden-death in week one but after week one it's the same for everybody.

"We've had a pretty good five or six weeks. We've been building it up. Our intensity has increased as the season has gone on and hopefully we can keep building it. Who knows how far it can take us?"

Warrington, who lost to Wigan in last year's Grand Final, were in control of their clash with the Tigers from the moment centre Ryan Atkins followed up a charge-down to open the scoring with a fourth-minute try.

Winger Joel Monaghan scored twice, taking his try tally for the season to a remarkable 37, and impressive full-back Stefan Ratchford created second-half scores for Gareth O'Brien and Rhys Evans as the Wolves cruised to victory over a tired-looking Castleford.

Father's search for truth about son's death

Luke Rhoden, who was 25, suffered a heart attack after being restrained by officers in the resort of San Antonio. Luke's dad Norman, who's from Wigan, went to Ibiza to carry out his own investigation - there he spoke to a doctor who said the actions of the police had contributed to Luke's death. But now the story has taken another twist. This report by our correspondent Amy Welch:


Super League champions Wigan Warriors kick off the play-offs against Huddersfield

The end-of-season play-offs get underway in Super League tonight with the reigning champions Wigan Warriors kicking things off at home to Huddersfield Giants.

It's a qualifying play-off which means the winners go straight through to the semi-finals while the losers get a second bite of the cherry next week.

But Wigan Head Coach Shaun Wane doesn't want to take that chance.

Father of rugby star who died in Ibiza travels to island

The father of a former rugby league player who died after a fall on holiday in Ibiza has travelled to the island after footage emerged of him appearing to be beaten.

Luke Rhoden Credit: MEN Syndication

Luke Rhoden died of a heart attack after being restrained by police.

Officers say they acted for his own safety, but a doctor claims police brutality may have contributed to his death.

Full report: Appeal for those who filmed Luke Rhoden to come forward

Mobile phone footage has emerged appearing to show a holidaymaker from Wigan being restrained by police shortly before he died on the Spanish island of Ibiza.

Former Wigan Warriors player Luke Rhoden, who was 25, was on a stag party with friends.

Luke's dad says he believes other video footage exists of the incident - he wants those who filmed it to come forward.

A warning there are images in this report from our correspondent Amy Welch which you may find distressing:


Wane wary of Wigan slip-ups

Wigan Warriors Head Coach Shaun Wane has warned his players against complacency in the Super League run-in.

The Warriors face Hull KR who sit ninth in the league tonight.

The Wigan boss says his team cannot afford a repeat of their surprise defeats to Bradford and Wakefield this season.

Wigan currently sit second in Super League, and they've been training with Mixed Martial arts fighter Martin Stapleton as they look to catch leaders St Helens.

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