Championship round-up: Toronto suffer first home defeat, Halifax, London & Toulouse make the top four

It was a dramatic final round of the Championship season.

After a dramatic final weekend of the regular season in the Betfred Championship, we now know that the four sides who will compete in the Super 8s Qualifiers are the Toronto Wolfpack, Toulouse Olympique, London Broncos and Halifax.

Toronto were 10 points clear at the top before play began, but they suffered a remarkable 30-12 defeat on home soil at the hands of Featherstone Rovers.

Despite having only 16 players available for the game, Rovers produced a commanding four-try performance in front of over 8000 fans at Lamport Stadium, with Ian Hardman adding 14 points from the boot to inflict a first ever loss on Canadian soil for Paul Rowley’s side.

However, the result was not enough for Featherstone, who missed out on the top four after Toulouse, London and Halifax all secured wins on the final weekend to finish a point above them.

Toulouse made hard work of their clash with the Dewsbury Rams on Saturday, before ultimately running out 44-18 winners. The score was 20-18 with 25 minutes to play, but the French side added four late tries through Maxime Puech, Chris Centrone, Anthony Marion and Paul Marcon to seal the victory and wrap up second spot.

London Broncos finished third as they produced a 13-try demolition of the Barrow Raiders at Craven Park. There were hat-tricks for full-back Alex Walker and winger Rhys Williams, while James Cunningham and Jarrod Sammut also notched braces in what turned out to be a big win.

The final top four spot went to Halifax, who showed little sign of nerves as they overcame bottom side Rochdale Hornets 38-6 at the MBi Shay. The Yorkshiremen crossed six times, with Steve Tyrer adding seven goals with the boot, to overcome a Rochdale side who boasted Warrington Wolves trio Morgan Smith, Pat Moran and George King.

Despite their midweek player exodus, Leigh Centurions ensured that they finished the regular season in positive fashion as Ilias Bergal’s hat-trick helped them to a 34-10 victory over the Sheffield Eagles.

There were also scores for Ricky Bailey, loanee Will Dagger and a double for Matty Dawson, with Sheffield initially finding themselves 10-0 in front at Leigh Sports Village courtesy of tries from James Bentley and Cory Aston.

In the only other game of the round, Batley Bulldogs made sure of seventh spot after a 40-18 win over second-bottom Swinton Lions at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. James Harrison scored twice as the Bulldogs halted a run of nine straight league defeats.

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