The Championship Chat: Round 2, 2017

Rovers battle past Roughyeds

Featherstone Rovers fought past Oldham in tough conditions, which were typical of the weekend’s games. Scott Turner put Oldham into a 6-0 lead with a try, converted by Scott Leatherbarrow. But Chris Ulugia hit back with a brace of tries to seal a hardworking win for the hosts. Fev forward Anthony Thackeray probably summed it up best with this tweet.

KR in the capital

Hull KR continued to look strong as they won a competitive game in Ealing 28-22 over London Broncos. Despite the win, however, coach Tim Sheens expressed some disappointment with the manner of his side’s display, challenging them to show better attitude, and more professionalism. He said: “We put 50 on the board last week and the expectation was there that we do that again. Our frame of mind wasn’t right and we gave up the first try too softly once again. We had to scramble a lot of times to save ourselves and we managed to do that but it wasn’t good enough from us.” Jamie Ellis bagged 12 points for the visitors, with a try and four conversions. Rovers’ other scorers were Jordan Abdull, Kieren Moss, Andrew Hefernan and Ryan Shaw. London looked potent at times, with their four tries coming from Jarrod Sammut(two), Kieran Dixon and Adrian Purtell. Sammut also added three conversions.

Lions maul Rams

Another close fought battle in the mud at Dewsbury, with the home side losing 8-6 to visitors Swinton Lions. This game featured some of the worst conditions of the weekend, and the scoreline refelcted the awful weather. Swinton led 2-0 at galf-time, thanks to a Chris Atkin penalty goal, but did not seal the win until the last four minutes, when a Liam Forsyth try, converted by Atkin, cancelled out James Glover’s try for Dewsbury (converted by Sykes). It was hard to tell what colours the players were wearing by the end of the game, with Swinton, in particular, sporting a muddy grey kit.

Hornets sting Bulls

Conditions were snowy at Odsal for the troubled Bulls’ opening home game of 2017, and visitors Rochdale adapted better to them than their hosts. The Hornets made it two wins from their opening two games of the campaign, after fighting back against a strong first half showing from the Bulls. Bradford led 12-8 at half time, but some second half errors cost them, with the game ending 22-14 in the visitors’ favour. Scotland international Oscar Thomas kicked three goals and scored a try for the Bulls, with James Bentley also crossing the line. Miles Greenwood, Samir Tahraoui and Danny Bridge scored tries for Rochdale, with Lewis Palfrey slotting five goals.

Batley bite Fax

Batley Bulldogs registered an impressive 24-6 win over visitors Halifax at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday, in yet more mud and rain. The Bulldogs used power and professionalism to master the conditions and score four tries, from Sam Smeaton, Alex Bretherton, Dane Manning and Joe Chandler, with Pat Walker converting all four, to move into a 24-0 lead. Fax could only manage one try in answer, with James Saltonstall crossing for a late try, which was converted by Steve Tyrer.

Eagles take French prey

Sheffield’s home game with Toulouse took place straight after the Wakefield v Hull Super League game at Belle Vue, and the late kick-off, muddy pitch and cold, wet weather gave the occasion a somewhat downbeat feel, especially as nearly all of the 7000 or so spectators at the Super League game seemed to have gone home, leaving the ground echoing and damp. The visitors started well, but the conditions seemed to hamper Toulouse, with their sparkling white kit soon a grey mess, which seemed something of a metaphor for their performance. Sheffield looked impressive and professional though, and showed a tough streak which will stand them in good stead. Tries from Burr, James, Fozard, Yere and Lo saw them to a 32-14 win, with Dane Chisholm kicking two goals and Simon Brown four. TO’s tries came from Curran, Ader and Leha, with Kheirallah kicking one goal.