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Spring streaming bonanza to kick-off the 2021 season

The 2021 Rugby League season will begin with a feast of Betfred Challenge Cup action next month as all eight First Round ties will be streamed across three platforms.

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It will be a similar story when the Betfred Championship kicks off over the Easter weekend two weeks later, with all seven fixtures in the opening round available to watch through Our League, on both web & app - and now with the option to cast to TV to enjoy all the action on the big screen.

That means a Super Saturday on March 20, with four Challenge Cup fixtures streamed back to back on Our League – followed by another three live-streamed ties on Sunday March 21, with the BBC expanding their First Round coverage to show West Wales Raiders versus Widnes Vikings as well as the heavyweight West Yorkshire battle between Featherstone Rovers and Bradford Bulls.

There will be another triple header on Easter Sunday, as Our League streams three consecutive Championship fixtures from 1245pm to 7pm: Sheffield Eagles versus Bradford Bulls, Halifax Panthers v London Broncos, and Newcastle Thunder’s return to the competition against Widnes Vikings.

With early-season fixtures expected to be played behind closed doors, all Our League matches will be free to season ticket holders of the home club, with special Early Bird offers for all other supporters meaning fans can watch games for only £4.95 – as well as Day and Weekend Passes offering some great value for money deals (full details below).

Sheffield Eagles and York City Knights will have the honour of kicking off the 2021 Rugby League season with their Betfred Challenge Cup First Round tie on Friday March 19.

The clash between Mark Aston’s Eagles – who famously won the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 1998, and returned to win the inaugural AB Sundecks 1895 Cup in 2019 – and James Ford’s highly-fancied York team has been selected by the new tournament sponsors, Betfred, for live online coverage which will be free across their channels – with further details to follow next week.

Super Saturday (March 20) begins at 1245pm with Oldham versus Barrow Raiders, followed by London Broncos v Keighley Cougars (3pm), Whitehaven v Dewsbury Rams (515m) and finally Halifax’s first game as the Panthers, against Batley Bulldogs at The Shay (730pm).

On Sunday lunchtime the focus switches to West Wales, with the former rugby union international Gavin Henson and the former England rugby league international Rangi Chase hoping to make their debuts for the Raiders against Widnes at Stebonheath Park (1245pm).

That will be followed by the Featherstone-Bradford tie, also streamed by the BBC, with the First Round completed by Newcastle’s trip to Heywood Road to face Swinton Lions (515pm) on Our League.

The Betfred Championship campaign will begin on Good Friday with Oldham and Swinton Lions renewing their traditional Easter rivalry (515pm), followed by a West Yorkshire battle between Featherstone Rovers and Batley Bulldogs (730pm).

There are two more games on Easter Saturday, as York City Knights play their first game at the new LNER Stadium against Toulouse Olympique (515pm) before Dewsbury face Whitehaven for the second time in a fortnight, this time at the Tetley’s Stadium (730pm).

With the remaining three games on Easter Sunday, there will be no clashes with the Betfred Super League programme that weekend – meaning fans can watch more matches over Easter than ever.

Details of the Second Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup, which will be played on the weekend of March 27-28, will be confirmed after the First Round ties, while detailed arrangements for further rounds of the Betfred Championship in April will be delayed until there is further clarity on the timetable for the return of fans to grounds.

Betfred Challenge Cup, First Round:

  • Friday March 19 – Sheffield Eagles v York City Knights (7:45pm live from Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster – coverage tbc).
  • Saturday March 20 – Oldham v Barrow Raiders (1245pm), London Broncos v Keighley Cougars (3pm), Whitehaven v Dewsbury Rams (515pm), Halifax Panthers v Batley Bulldogs (730pm) – all matches live on Our League, free to home season ticket holders, otherwise Pay Per View (see link and details below).
  • Sunday March 21 – West Wales Raiders v Widnes Vikings (1245pm), Featherstone Rovers v Bradford Bulls (3pm) – both streamed live on BBC. Swinton Lions v Newcastle Thunder (515pm, live on Our League, free to home season ticket holders, otherwise Pay Per View – see link and details below .

Betfred Championship, Round One:

  • Good Friday, April 2: Oldham v Swinton Lions (515pm), Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs (730pm).
  • Easter Saturday, April 3: York City Knights v Toulouse Olympique (515pm), Dewsbury Rams v Whitehaven (730pm).
  • Easter Sunday, April 4: Sheffield Eagles v Bradford Bulls (1245pm, Keepmoat Stadium), Halifax Panthers v London Broncos (3pm), Newcastle Thunder v Widnes Vikings (515pm)

All 7 matches live on Our League, free to home season ticket holders, otherwise Pay Per View.

Our League 2021

Matches played behind closed doors in both the First Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup and Round One of the Betfred Championship will be available to watch either through Betfred or the BBC, or through the RFL’s Our League Web & App.

Our League fixtures will be free to season ticket holders of the home club.

Season Ticket Holders will receive their access codes ahead of the first fixture directly from their club.

Other Rugby League fans – including supporters of the away club – will be able to secure the live coverage for an Early Bird price of £4.95, which increases to £10 on the day of the match.

A Day Pass will cost £15 and secure live coverage of all fixtures on a given day (for example four Betfred Challenge Cup ties on Saturday March 20).

A Weekend Pass will cost £20 and secure live coverage of all the matches being shown on Our League in a full round (for example five of the eight Betfred Challenge Cup ties on March 20-21, and all seven matches in Round One of the Betfred Championship from April 2-4).

For full details and to buy your tickets, click here: https://www.rugby-league.com/livestream

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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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