National League 1 Weekly
All National League 1 teams were treated with a week off while the Saints were crowned Challenge Cup kings at Twickenham.
As it being the penultimate round, the teams preparing for the play-offs were desperate to find some form to take with them in to the knock out stages of the competition.
Hull Kingston Rovers managed to beat a very well drilled Batley side with a late try by Jon Steel, to secure his side the Minor Premier trophy. It was a great game for the neutrals, as the divisions form side came mighty close to being victorious against the league leaders. Batley looked to be heading for victory at once stage, but poor discipline by Stokes meant that their side went down to 12 players.
Else where Mark Smith led Widnes to a comfortable victory against Doncaster Lakers; Smith scored a hat-rick to ensure the Chemics continued a fine run of form going edging onto the play-offs.
Oliver Wilkes, Mick Nanyn, Dennis Moran and Damian Blanch all touched down in a one-sided first half, with David Allen and Darryl Cardiss adding further tries with Nanyn kicking eight goals in total.
The men from Leigh also racked up a big total beating relegated Oldham at Boundary Park, by 52-12. Chris Hill was the Man of the match scoring a well deserved hat-trick of tries for the visitors. Oldham will be hoping to get a result next week away to Haven in their last National League 1 game.
Halifax could not cope with the off the field pressure and fell victim to in-form Whitehaven at the shay. Fax took an early lead thanks to a Ball try, but Haven had to much in the tank and ran out 26-18 winners.
In gusty conditions, York proved to much for Rochdale. The precise of Paul Thorman helped the knights in a tight afair winning the game 24-18. All the York tries came in the first 30 minutes Scott Rhodes, Adam Sullivan and Dan Potter, before Rochdale hit back with tries for Paul Norman, Matt Sturm and Ian Gordon.
Last Tackle's game of the round: Batley 24 – 28 Hull KR
Last Tackle's try of the Round: James Webster (Hull KR) v Batley
Last Tackle's player of the Round: Mark Smith (Widnes) – Produced a perfect display scoring a hat-rick of tries against Doncaster
Next weeks games include:
Hull K R v Doncaster (KO 15.00)
Hull KR will be looking to improve their performance against a Doncaster side low on confidence. Gareth Morton is expected to be back after a lengthy injury for the Home side. The Robins plan to be presented the Minor Premiership trophy after the game. It seems Doncaster are already looking to next season in there new home, but no doubt they'll be desperate to get the result at Craven Park to try and sneak the 6th play-off spot.
Score Prediction: Hull KR 42 – 12 Doncaster
Leigh v York (KO 15.00)
Leigh will be wanting to secure a Home tie in the play-offs against a York side destined for NL2 next season. Tony Benson will be wanting to side to go in the play-offs all guns blazing with a confidence boosting victory. The Knights will be hungry to bow out of NL1 with a good performance and possibly a victory.
Score Prediction: Leigh 28 – 12 York
Rochdale v Batley (KO 15.00)
This promises to be a great game, with both sides having fantastic seasons. Rochdale are very hard to beat at Spotland, and will be setting their sites on a victory, as will Batley.
Score Prediction: Rochdale 22 – 18 Batley – LT's Tie of the round
Whitehaven v Oldham (KO 15.00)
Unfortunately this game looks to be a walkover for Haven, but Oldham will be certainly going out to put in a good display. Not many teams win a the Recre, and Haven will be welcoming back 4 players to bolster their squad ahead of the finals.
Score Prediction: Whitehaven 62 – 6 Oldham
Widnes v Halifax (KO 15.00)
Off the field problems at Fax could well be a big distraction once again, and with Widnes in fine form, it will a massive test for the boys from West Yorkshire. Widnes are playing some fantastic stuff and key players playing well, it may be too much for Fax
Score Prediction: Widnes 52 – 12 Fax