Kingstone Press Championship Review: Round Two

Sheffield Eagles produced the shock of the round in the Kingstone Press Championship this weekend as they demolished London Broncos 40-6 at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The Eagles were dominant throughout, scoring four tries in each half, while London saw co-captains Richie Mathers and Nick Slyney come off injured during the first period.

Sheffield, playing their first game at their adopted home in Doncaster, led 20-0 at half time following tries from Michael Knowles, Wakefield loanee Jon Molloy, Quentin Laulu-Togagae and Kyle Briggs.

The Broncos pulled a try back through Rhys Williams on 57 minutes but the damage was done and Sheffield secured a comfortable win with second half tries from Misi Taulapapa, Sam Smeaton, Dane Straugher and Scott Turner.

Also at the Keepmoat Stadium, Featherstone Rovers came back from 4-0 behind at half time to beat Doncaster 13-6 in the first game of the Keepmoat’s‘double-header’ this weekend.

Doncaster were bolstered by no less than four dual-reg players from Hull FC and took the lead through Danny Cowling on 10 minutes, but their only other score proved to be a second half penalty from Stewart Sanderson.

Nathan Chappell brought Rovers back into the game on 44 minutes before Paul Sykes added a penalty to make it 6-6 with 30 minutes to go.

A tense finale ensued but Matt Ryan, playing for Fev on loan from Wakefield, barged over from close range nine minutes from the end to give his side the lead for the first time. French half-back Remi Marginet secured the two points for the visitors with a late drop goal.

Meanwhile, Bradford Bulls bounced back from their opening round defeat at Leigh with a solid 34-4 win over Whitehaven at Odsal.

In front of the Championship’s biggest crowd of the weekend, 4,891, the Bulls suffered a scare in the first half with Haven holding the former Super League giants to a 10-4 scoreline at the break – Jessie-Joe Parker responding to tries from Adrian Purtell and Jay Pitts.

But a Lee Gaskell hat-trick laid the platform for an imperious second period from the hosts before Adam Sidlow scored late on to add extra gloss to the scoreline.

At Halifax, Liam Kay scored a crucial brace to help Leigh to their second win of the season with the Centurions eventually overcoming Fax 18-6 at the Shay.

Kay went over twice in the space of four minutes mid-way through the first half but Ryan Maneely’s converted try halved the deficit to make it 12-6 to the visitors on 47 minutes.

However, the champions made sure of their second win in as many games when Jonny Pownall went over for their third try of the game with seconds to go.

Staying in West Yorkshire, Batley Bulldogs continued their 100 per cent start to the campaign with a 26-14 win over Hunslet Hawks at the South Leeds Stadium.

Tries from Jimmy Watson and Brad Brennan, plus three goals from Simon Brown, helped put the Hawks ahead at the break.

For Batley, Shaun Squires scored his fifth try in two games and James Craven also touched down in the first half to keep the visitors within touching distance, leaving the score at 14-8 to the home side after 40 minutes.

But the Bulldogs went on to score three unanswered tries in the second period. Anthony Nicholson, Shaun Ainscough and Wayne Reittie going over to see their side through.

Meanwhile in Cumbria, Dewsbury’s travelling fans were left disappointed as their clash with Workington Town at Derwent Park was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

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