Championship round-up: Bergal scores six in Toulouse romp, Toronto sneak past Featherstone, Swinton hold Bradford in thriller

There was drama everywhere you looked in round 21 of the Betfred Championship!

In the biggest game of the round, Toronto were made to work hard before ultimately overcoming play-off rivals Featherstone 22-18 at Lamport Stadium.

The Wolfpack led 14-0 at the break after tries from Gareth O’Brien and Chase Stanley, before Rovers came fighting back in the second half as Jack Ormondroyd and Josh Walters crossed either side of Ricky Leutele’s effort. Josh McCrone’s second try of the season gave the Canadian side some breathing space, and although Corey Johnson scored with eight minutes to go, Ryan Carr’s side couldn’t find the all-important breakthrough.

York remain second in the table, despite being held to a 14-14 draw away at Batley.

The Bulldogs scored through once in each half through Jack Broadbent and Louis Jouffret, either side of Cameron Scott’s try. They led 14-6 with 18 minutes remaining, but a Josh Jordan-Roberts try and two goals from the boot of Connor Robinson earned the Knights what could prove to be a valuable point in the battle for the top five.

Toulouse bounced back from last week’s surprise home defeat to Bradford with a 12-try rout of Rochdale.

Winger Ilias Bergal scored six tries on his return from injury, having made just two appearances so far in 2019. There were also scores for Junior Vaivai, Con Mika, Anthony Marion and Paterika Vaivai, while Mark Kheirallah added two tries and ten conversions. Rochdale remain cut adrift at the bottom and their chances of survival are growing slimmer every week.

Elsewhere, Leigh were made to work extremely hard before going on to pick up a 24-8 victory over relegation-threatened Barrow.

The Raiders opened the scoring through Deon Cross, but tries either side of half-time for Gregg McNally, Iain Thornley and Martyn Ridyard gave the visitors the upper hand. Tee Ritson pulled a try back for the hosts, but Jordan Thompson’s score eight minutes from time earned Leigh a 14th win of the campaign.

They are now six points ahead of sixth-placed Bradford, who missed a kick after the hooter and drew 34-34 with Swinton.

Both sides scored six tries apiece, with Connor Farrell’s last-minute try giving Bradford the chance to snatch victory. However, Joe Keyes missed with his conversion, meaning the Lions extended their unbeaten run to three. Nevertheless, Stuart Littler’s side will still be disappointed, having led 16-0 early on. The Bulls try scorers were Matt Garside, Brandon Pickersgill, Jake Webster, Jordan Lilley and Matthew Storton, while Richard Lepori, Gavin Bennion, Harry Smith, Matty Ashton (2) and Samy Kibula crossed for the visitors.

Widnes’ troubles on the road continued as they were put to the sword in a 40-10 defeat away at Halifax.

Huddersfield-bound Chester Butler scored a treble for the hosts, while Brandon Moore and the former Widnes duo of Steve Tyrer (2) and Adam Tangata also crossed. The Vikings, now without a win away from home since the beginning of May, replied through Sam Wilde and Jayden Hatton.

In the final game of the round, Sheffield got back to winning ways at home to Dewsbury after the disappointment of a narrow defeat to York last weekend,

Ben Blackmore crossed twice for the Eagles, while there were further scores for Jacob Ogden, Joel Farrell and Sonny Esslemont. Dom Speakman, Owen Trout, Michael Knowles and Rob Worrincy all crossed for the Rams, but it didn’t stop them suffering a fifth defeat in their last six games in all competitions.

Championship Round 21 results:

Sheffield Eagles 28-22 Dewsbury Rams

Rochdale Hornets 0-68 Toulouse Olympique

Toronto Wolfpack 22-18 Featherstone Rovers

Barrow Raiders 8-24 Leigh Centurions

Batley Bulldogs 14-14 York City Knights

Bradford Bulls 34-34 Swinton Lions

Halifax 40-10 Widnes Vikings

About James Messenger 272 Articles
20-year-old Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Chester. Freelance writer for Love Rugby League, Tribe Sports and others. Also part of the Marketing and Communications team at the Cheshire FA.Twitter: @J_M_Messenger