Championship round-up: Toronto win shield, top four race tightens further

Toronto lifted the Betfred Championship League Leaders’ Shield after a 68-4 win over Sheffield in front of 6,329 fans at Lamport Stadium.

The Wolfpack have won 18 of their 20 games in the league this season to scoop the shield with three games to spare, ahead of The Qualifiers which could see them earn promotion to Super League at the first attempt.

It’s a third piece of silverware for the Canadians in only their second season of existence, and secures them four home ties in the final phase of the season.

Chase Stanley, Ryan Brierley, Bob Beswick, Richard Whiting, Adam Higson, Nick Rawsthorne, Blake Wallace, Gareth O’Brien, Liam Kay and Andrew Dixon all scored tries as they romped past the Eagles.

Toulouse hang on to second place in the table after fighting out a thrilling 20-all draw against London Broncos in Blagnac.

The Broncos fought back from an eight point deficit in the final quarter to level things up with a Kieran Dixon penalty, with both sides missing late drop goal attempts.

The draw leaves London just outside the top four, but certainly tightens the race.

The other two teams in the top four – Halifax and Featherstone – met at The Shay and once again it was Richard Marshall’s men who took the spoils, winning 34-20.

Leigh came from behind to beat Batley 30-12 at Mount Pleasant, and that means just three points separate the five teams chasing the remaining three places in the top four.

Elsewhere, Rochdale launched a fine comeback to edge nearest rivals Swinton 28-26, though they remain bottom of the table on points difference, two points adrift of safety.

Dewsbury picked up a welcome win, beating Barrow 22-20, as the Raiders and Batley start to look over their shoulder at the teams underneath them ahead of the Championship Shield series of games to determine which two clubs will be relegated to League One.

The top four run-in

Toronto (37 pts – guaranteed 1st)
Batley (H)
Rochdale (H)
Featherstone (H)

Toulouse (29 pts)
Barrow (A)
Halifax (A)
Dewsbury (H)

Halifax (29 pts)
London (A)
Toulouse (H)
Rochdale (H)

Featherstone (28 pts)
Swinton (A)
London (H)
Toronto (A)

London (27 pts)
Halifax (H)
Featherstone (A)
Barrow (A)

Leigh (26 pts)
Rochdale (A)
Swinton (H)
Sheffield (H)

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