Championship round-up: Toulouse overpower Leigh, Widnes suffer setback, ugly scenes at Swinton

There were some pivotal results at both ends of the table in Round 15 of the Betfred Championship.

In the biggest game of the weekend, Toulouse bounced back from their Summer Bash defeat to secure an emphatic 44-16 victory over Leigh at the Stade Ernest Argeles.

Olympique led 38-6 midway into the second half, before tries from Ryan Brierley and Greg McNally either side of Stan Robin’s effort made the scoreline look a little more respectable. Paul Marcon and Mathieu Jussaume braces added to James Bell, Con Mika and Paterika Vaivai’s efforts, with Josh Simm scoring the Centurions only other reply.

The gap at the top still stands at six though, with Toronto securing a 42-16 win away at Sheffield on Friday night.

Chase Stanley made it four tries in two games as he crossed, while Blake Wallace, Andrew Dixon (2), Liam Kay, Ricky Leutele, Nick Rawsthorne and Andy Ackers also scored for Brian McDermott’s side. The Eagles crossed through Ben Hellewell, Josh Guzdek and Brad Knowles.

READ: Six things we learned from the Championship Summer Bash

Widnes suffered yet another setback as York avenged their Challenge Cup exit with a 16-12 victory at the Select Security Stadium.

Despite leading 10-6 thanks to scores from Lloyd Roby and Joe Lyons, the scores were level at the break after Liam Harris crossed and Junior Vaivai bagged a try on debut. Sam Freeman’s penalty goal edged Keiron Purtill’s side back ahead, but Will Oakes crossed with little over 10 minutes remaining to move the Knights up to third.

Elsewhere, Swinton moved further clear of the drop zone after Gavin Bennion’s late double helped them to a 22-17 victory over Dewsbury.

Trailing 17-16 in the final seconds, Bennion scored by the posts to help the Lions leapfrog Dewsbury into 10th. However, there were unsavoury scenes following the final try, with Samy Kibula shown a red card for dissent after a melee involving both sets of teams and a Swinton ball-boy.

In the race for the top five, Featherstone picked up a dominant 42-4 victory over Bradford to move into fourth.

Dane Chisholm was the star once more, picking up a hat-trick, while there were also scores for Cameron King, John Davies, Luke Briscoe, Connor Carey and Josh Walters. Bradford’s consolation came early in the second half for Ethan Ryan.

Halifax lost ground on the sides above after falling to a shock 24-16 victory away at Batley. 

Despite Will Sharp (2) and Scott Grix crossing for Fax, Simon Grix still suffered his first loss since being appointed as coach. The Bulldogs tries came courtesy of Keenan Tomlinson (2), Lewis Galbraith and Adam Gledhill.

Finally, Rochdale remain rooted to the foot of the table after being blown away 54-10 by Barrow.

A treble from Star Amean was added to by Wartovo Puara Jr, Alex Susino, Deon Cross, Jake Spedding, Tee Ritson and Dan Toal, while Luis Johnson and Brandon Wood crossed for Matt Calland’s Hornets.

Championship Round 15 results:

Barrow Raiders 54-10 Rochdale Hornets (1,114)

Batley Bulldogs 24-16 Halifax RLFC (1,368)

Featherstone Rovers 42-4 Bradford Bulls (2,903)

Sheffield Eagles 16-42 Toronto Wolfpack (932)

Swinton Lions 22-17 Dewsbury Rams (795)

Toulouse Olympique 44-16 Leigh Centurions (2,235)

Widnes Vikings 12-16 York City Knights (3,408)

About James Messenger 216 Articles
20-year-old Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Chester. Freelance writer for Love Rugby League, Tribe Sports and others. Also part of the Marketing and Communications team at the Cheshire FA.Twitter: @J_M_Messenger