Championship round-up: Sheffield stun Toulouse, Widnes off the bottom

Sheffield pulled off the result of Good Friday as they beat Toulouse 44-16 to go third in the Championship.

Anthony Thackeray scored a hat-trick and there were two tries for Matt James as Mark Aston’s men continued their fine start to the season that has brought seven wins from nine games.

They led 20-0 on the stroke of half time, until Mathieu Jussaume’s converted try finally got the Frenchmen on the board.

That proved a mere blip for the Eagles though, and they recorded a fine win.

Toronto Wolfpack pulled four points clear at the top thanks to Toulouse’s defeat with a 52-26 win at Barrow.

The Wolfpack had been held to a draw on their last visit to Craven Park, and the Raiders started brilliantly in this one, racing in to a 12-0 lead inside as many first half minutes.

But Blake Wallace’s hat-trick before half-time, and then a hat-trick for Gareth O’Brien that was completed two minutes in to the second half gave Toronto control and though Barrow rallied late with a couple of tries, the game was long gone.

Widnes are off the bottom of the table and in to a positive points tally after a 30-12 home win over Leigh.

The Vikings suffered defeat on their last league outing, away at Batley, but are now back on two points for the second time this season following their points deduction.

They started strongly in this one and led 16-0 after 18 minutes thanks to tries from Brad Walker, Joe Lyons and Anthony Gelling.

Leigh rallied and dragged themselves back in to the match, before an excellent Jordan Johnstone pass set up Lyons to restore Widnes’ two score advantage at 22-12 at half time.

The second half was a tight affair and it took until the 62nd minute for what would be the only try of it, another Widnes academy product Calum O’Neill marking his debut with a well taken try off a pass from Jack Owens, who would add the conversion and a later penalty to seal the win.

Swinton climbed up to 11th in the table with a 36-22 win at home to Rochdale.

Mike Butt scored four tries to help Swinton open up what would be an unassailable advantage, though they needed a late Gavin Bennion try to calm the nerves as Carl Forster’s men threatened a comeback.

Bradford recorded a remarkable comeback for the second successive week as they won 33-26 at Halifax.

The Bulls had trailed 26-12 on the hour, with the Bulls only having three penalties and a converted try to their name.

But Elliot Minchella and Steve Crossley scored tries to turn the game on its head, both converted either side of a Rowan Milnes penalty, and then Jordan Lilley’s drop goal nudged them in front at 27-26.

Jake Webster crossed four minutes from time for a converted score to the put the game beyond Halifax as the Bulls go up to fifth.

In the Heavy Woollen Derby, there was no confirmed winner of the egg and spoon race but Batley came away winners in the rugby, defeating Dewsbury 20-8.

In a tight first half, a Liam Finn penalty was the only score in the opening half an hour before Daniel Igbinedion’s converted try put the Rams 8-0 to the good.

Alistair Leak’s try got Batley within two at the break, and they levelled things up through a David Scott penalty four minutes in to the second half, and then won the game with tries from Joe Taira and James Brown.

Featherstone joined Halifax and Leigh with five wins from 10 as they impressively beat York 42-12 at the LD Nutrition Stadium.

New loan signing Dane Chisholm had an immediate impact, scoring a try and kicking seven goals.

They led 14-6 at half time but cut loose in the second half, with five tries in a 21 minute spell to put the game beyond the City Knights.

All 14 sides are back in action on Monday.

Batley v Swinton
Bradford v Barrow
Featherstone v Toronto
Leigh v Dewsbury
Rochdale v Sheffield
Toulouse v Halifax
York v Widnes