Championship round-up: Gelling dream debut, Leigh stun Toulouse, Toronto win at York

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Round one of the 2019 Championship season didn’t disappoint.

Anthony Gelling made a perfect start to life at Widnes Vikings, scoring two tries in their 40-16 rout of Halifax.

Ryan Ince bagged a hat-trick for the Vikings, with Danny Craven and Jack Owens also scoring. Halifax duo Brandon Moore and Kevin Larroyer were sin-binned in the second half for a high tackle and repeated offences respectively.

Jake Spedding scored two tries on debut to help Barrow Raiders beat Batley Bulldogs 22-18 at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

Jono Smith and Lewis Charnock scored Barrow’s other tries, while Raiders’ half-back Jamie Dallimore was sin-binned in the first half for dissent.

Anthony Thackery’s debut for Sheffield Eagles couldn’t have gone any better. The half-back bagged four tries within the space of 20 second-half minutes to inspire the Eagles to a 64-10 romping over Swinton Lions.

Ryan Millar bagged a brace for Sheffield, while Joel Farrell and Rob Fairclough were yellow carded late on after a brawl broke out.

Toronto Wolfpack were made to work for the two points against York City Knights. The Canadian club ran-out 14-0 winners at Bootham Crescent in Sunday’s televised clash.

Gary Wheeler put Toronto 4-0 ahead in the first half and the scoreline stayed at 4-0 for the majority of the game due to York’s dogged defence on their own line. Matty Russell and Joe Mellor scored the Wolfpack’s other tries.

Leigh Centurions caused the shock of the first round of Championship fixtures as they defeated full-time outfit Toulouse Olympique 24-16 at home.

There were a number of debutants on show for the Centurions, while Joe Cator and Toby Adamson were the standouts. Jonny Pownall, Stefan Marsh, Matty Costello and Cator with Leigh’s tries.

Dane Chisholm landed a field goal 11 minutes from time as Bradford Bulls edged Featherstone Rovers 17-16 in their first game back in the Championship.

Jake Webster, George Flanagan and Chisholm all crossed for the Bulls, with the latter being named man of the match.

Championship round one results:

Batley Bulldogs 18-22 Barrow Raiders (755)

Bradford Bulls 17-16 Featherstone Rovers (6,024)

Leigh Centurions 24-16 Toulouse Olympique (2,987)

Sheffield Eagles 64-10 Swinton Lions (1,258)

Widnes Vikings 40-16 Halifax (4,238)

York City Knights 0-14 Toronto Wolfpack (2,518)

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