Championship round-up: Matty Ashton bags five in final game for Swinton, Bradford score 15 tries, Toulouse edge Featherstone

James Messenger

There was no shortage of drama in the final round of the regular Betfred Championship season.

Having already wrapped up the League Leaders’ Shield, Toronto warmed up for the play-offs with a comprehensive 46-12 win over Leigh at Lamport Stadium.

The Wolfpack were already 24-0 ahead thanks to Joe Mellor, Hakim Miloudi, Gareth O’Brien and Matty Russell, before Kevin Brown pulled one back. Nevertheless, further scores from Josh McCrone, Mellor, Liam Kay and Bob Beswick wrapped up a 26th win of the season for the Canadian side.

In Saturday’s other game, Dean Parata scored twice as Toulouse secured a tight 26-24 win away at fellow promotion contenders Featherstone. 

Despite Rovers leading 18-0 after Cameron King (2) and Dane Chisholm crossed in the opening 25 minutes, the French side came roaring back with 26 unanswered points. Mathieu Jussaume, Ben Evans and Stan Robin also got their name on the scoresheet, and not even Alex Sutcliffe’s late try could prevent defeat for Ryan Carr’s side.

York wrapped up third in the league table and booked an away meeting with Toulouse in the first week of the play-off’s with a hard-fought 14-8 win away at Halifax. 

Although both sides scored twice, Connor Robinson’s boot made all the difference. His three goals, as well as a try from himself and Matt Chilton, ensured the Knights ended the season with three straight wins.

In their final game in the second tier, Rochdale suffered a humiliating 82-0 defeat at home to Bradford.

The Bulls crossed 15 times in total, with Joe Keyes crossing twice and adding 10 goals for a 28-point haul. There were also tries for Matt Storton, Jake Webster, Ethan Ryan, James Green, Ross Oakes, Brandon Pickersgill, Jordan Lilley, Dalton Grant (3), Ross Peltier, Connor Farrell and Matthew Wildie.

The second already-relegated side, Barrow, ended the season on a positive after clinching a 24-16 win at home to Batley. 

The Papua New Guinea duo of Wartovo Puara Jnr and Star Amean both scored for the hosts as they led 18-16 at the break. Australian prop Alec Susino crashed over after 53 minutes, and that proved to be the only score of the second half as the Raiders recorded a fifth win of the season.

After a turbulent year both on and off the field, Widnes ended the season on a high, running out 22-8 victors away at Dewsbury. 

Winger Owen Buckley crossed twice, while the departing Chris Dean and Jack Owens – fresh from his one-year contract extension, also scored. All of the Rams points came courtesy of Rob Worrincy.

Warrington-bound Matty Ashton scored five times on his farewell appearance as Swinton ended the season with a 48-16 win at home to Sheffield. 

His tries were added to by Gavin Bennion, Jack Wells, Jack Hansen and Ben Morris as the Lions recorded their highest points total of the season. Ben Hellewell, Aaron Brown and Corey Makelim crossed in reply for the Eagles.

Championship Round 27 results:

Featherstone Rovers 24-26 Toulouse Olympique

Toronto Wolfpack 46-12 Leigh Centurions

Barrow Raiders 24-16 Batley Bulldogs

Dewsbury Rams 8-22 Widnes Vikings

Halifax 8-14 York City Knights

Rochdale Hornets 0-82 Bradford Bulls

Swinton Lions 48-16 Sheffield Eagles

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