Wakefield Wildcats secured their Super League status for 2020 with a 19-10 win over London Broncos on Friday – a result that means the capital club are relegated to the second tier.
The final round of the regular season saw four teams in danger of the drop, with the Broncos knowing their inferior points difference meant only a win would do at fellow strugglers Wakefield.
However, the Wildcats maintained their top-flight status and sent London, who were promoted last year after winning the Million Pound Game against Toronto Wolfpack, back down to the Championship.
Ryan Hampshire crossed in either half while Reece Lyne also scored a try for Wakefield, who led 19-0 at one stage before holding off a late fightback from the Broncos. Alex Walker and Brock Lamb both went over in the closing minutes, but it was too little, too late for the visitors.
Hull Kingston Rovers – who finish the campaign on 20 points, the same as London – were indebted to Wakefield after they were beaten 17-16 away at Salford Red Devils.
FULL TIME: Trinity finish the season with a victory over @LondonBroncosRL.
— Wakefield Trinity (@WTrinityRL) September 13, 2019
Rovers were unable to give the retiring Danny McGuire a winning farewell, letting slip a 14-10 second-half advantage as they were downed in golden point extra time by a successful one-pointer from Krisnan Inu.
The dramatic victory for Salford means they finish in third place ahead of Warrington Wolves, 26-4 losers at a Leeds Rhinos side captained by Jamie Jones-Buchanan in his 421st – and final – appearance.
Huddersfield Giants were the other team in trouble but they took matters into their own hands at home to Catalans Dragons, Louis Senior scoring four tries in a 24-22 triumph.
As for the final play-off place, Hull FC knew they needed a win over minor premiers St Helens but were beaten 22-6 at home, a result that means Castleford Tigers – who faced a nervous wait following their defeat to Wigan Warriors 24 hours earlier – remain fifth in the table.