Batley and Leigh put on a fine show for Premier Sports’ opening Championship broadcast, with the Bulldogs running out 24-18 winners at the Leigh Sports Village.
With the scores deadlocked at half time, it was Preece again who got the ball rolling for the Bulldogs. Their large amount of possession took its toll on the Leigh defence, succumbing to Black’s chip kick which found Preece who went the distance to touch down.
But Leigh didn’t give up on a achieving a bonus point. Shaw grabbed his second before Adam Clay narrowed the deficit further with a set play from the scrum.
Featherstone began their title defence with a 22-12 victory over Keighley.
The win was far from convincing for Rovers, who trailed at the break 8-6.
However Rovers came out firing on all cylinders and a strong Cougar resistance kept them out of the home side’s goal area until the 54th minute.
Sam Smeaton grabbed his first try of the game before doubling his try tally four minutes later, taking the game away from Keighley.
Semi Tadulala brought the scores back to within a bonus point deficit to end the game 10 points behind.
Dewsbury were eventually comfortable winners at the Tetley’s Stadium, defeating York City Knights 30-10.
Austin Buchanan got the home side on the board within two minutes, before Ayden Faal doubled his side’s lead.
York began to show some resistance, but it wasn’t until the 49th minute when they were able to post a score. Tom Bush scored in the corner but Dwayne Barker extended the Rams’ lead seven minutes later.
Faal grabbed his second before York replied quickly with Dave Sutton.
Josh Tonks rounded off the day’s proceedings with a late try for his effort with five minutes remaining.
Halifax taught Hunslet how to play rugby league with a 44-18 win at The Shay.
It took Halifax nine minutes to break down Hunslet’s defence when Sean Penkywicz ran across the face of the posts before stepping inside to score.
Callum Casey grabbed a double before replacement Neil Lowe finally got Hunslet on the score board.
However Anthony Thackeray and Steve Tyrer both touched down inside the final four minutes of the half to send Fax into the break 28-6 ahead.
The second half didn’t get much better for the Hawks early on when Joe Chandler powered over the Hunslet try line.
Whether Halifax took their foot off the gas or if Hunslet started to play well, Barry Eaton’s side scored two tries 15 minutes apart without reply. Scott Watson made Ryan Fieldhouse pay for his error before Ryan Benjafield confused the home side and powered over the line.
Fieldhouse made up for his earlier mistake rounding off the game with two final tries to send his side joint top of the league with a substantial points difference.
Swinton were welcomed to life in the Championship with a thrashing at the mercy of Sheffield.
Sheffield extended their lead again before going into the half time break 24-6. Ryan Hepworth collected Brambani’s pass to score on his 100th appearance.
Swinton got off to a fantastic start in the second half. Higson scored twice in the space of four minutes after the restart bringing the score to 24-16.
However Sheffield went onto dominate the rest of the game. Joe Hirst scored a double inside five minutes in addition to tries from Vinny Finigan, Nev Morrison, Duane Straugheir and Quentin Laulu-Togagae.
Darren Hawkyard added the final consolation try of the game for Swinton with three minutes remaining.