The Championship Chat: Round 3, 2017

Olympique obliterate Rams

Toulouse returned to form following last weekend’s blip at Sheffield, scoring 11 tries in a 56-2 battering of Dewbsury in France. Papua New Guinean winger Kuni Minga scored a hat trick, showing that he is as dangerous in the Championship as he was in League 1 last season. Con Mika, Bastien Canet (two), Bastien Ader, Tony Maurel, Stan Robin, Mark Kheirallah and Kane Bentley also crossed the whitewash. Kheirallah added six conversions. A first half penalty from Paul Sykes was all the Rams had to show for their trip across the Channel, although their travelling support certainly made some friends.

Bulldogs bitten by Rovers

Batley were beaten by in-form Featherstone at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with Fev grabbing five tries to make it three league wins from three in 2017. Tries for Rovers came from Ian Hardman (two), Ash Handley, Luke Briscoe and Keal Carlile. Michael Knowles kicked six goals, after returning to the squad following an absence through injury.


Fax break duck against Eagles

Halifax managed to record their first win of the Championship campaign, beating Sheffield Eagles 42-16. Adam O’Brien opening the scoring for Fax, with a try on his debut for the club, after signing earlier this week on loan from Huddersfield. Fax were in an 18-0 lead after 25 minutes, and Sheffield were never able to recover. As well as O’Brien, Scott Murrell, Ben Johnston, James Saltonstall (three), Luke Ambler and Steve Tyrer scored Fax’s tries, with Tyrer adding five goals. Scott Wheeldon, Ben Blackmore and Duane Straughier scored the Eagles’ tries, two of which were converted by Simon Brown.

Broncos raid Roughyeds

London Broncos came away from their trip to face Oldham at Bower Fold with a narrow 20-18 win. Oldham’s players looked dejected at the final whistle, after Dave Hewitt hit the post with a late penalty which would have evened things up. The hosts led 14-12 at the break, with tries from Adam Clay and Sam Wood, and three goals from Scott Leatherbarrow giving them a slight lead over London. London’s points had come via tries from Jarrod Sammut and Andy Ackers, and two goals from Sammut. Two second half penalties for the Roughyeds from Dave Hewitt were not enough, with late unconverted tries from Daniel Harrison and Rhys Williams enough for London to win.


KR’s streak carries on

Hull KR made it three wins from three in the Championship in 2017, and ended Rochdale’s own unbeaten start to the season. Although not a classic, Robins coach Tim Sheens will be happy that his team managed to grind out a win from looked like being a testing game on paper. So it proved, with an early Gary Middlehurst try putting the hosts into the lead. Lewis Palfrey’s conversion was the last points of the half for the Hornets, though, who trailed 18-6 at the break, thanks to KR tries from Thomas Minns (two), and Andrew Hefernan. Danny Yates and Ben Moores would add tries in the second half for Hornets, but the visitors hung on with Shaun Lunt’s try adding to Ellis’s four goals in total. Once again, Rovers were backed by a big travelling support.


Bradford battle to first win

Bradford picked up their first win of the 2017 campaign with a 35-28 win at Swinton. The Bulls finished strongly, but Swinton were never entirely out of the game, showing heart to keep the scoreline narrow. Bradford’s tries came via a hat trick from Ethan Ryan, plus scores from Oscar Thomas, Ross Oakes and James Mendeika. Scotland international Thomas was also in form with the boot, slotting a drop goal and five conversions. Swinton’s tries came from Andy Thornley, who also scored a hat trick, Shaun Robinson and Jack Murphy, with Chris Atkin slotting four goals.


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