The Championship Chat: Round 14

Featherstone hammer Rams
Jon Sharp’s men are great value for money at this moment in time and they showed, once again, on Sunday why they’re in the top four. The Rovers beat Dewsbury 31-0 at the Tetley’s Stadium, but the visitors only had a 10-0 lead at the break after tries from Misi Taulapapa and John Davies. There were three sin-binnings in the first period, two of those went to Dewsbury players Jason Crookes and Luke Adamson while the other one was given to Taulapapa. In the second half, the Rovers turned on the style and ran away with the victory by the end. Taulapapa was part of the scoring once more as he doubled his tally for the day before Jamie Foster and Kyle Briggs added a penalty goal and a drop goal respectively. Four pointers from Jamie Cording and Ian Hardman rounded the day off in fine fashion for Featherstone while Dewsbury, who take on local rivals Batley at the Summer Bash, were left to lick their wounds ahead of a challenging week.

Halifax and Batley keep up top four chase
West Yorkshire clubs Halifax and Batley Bulldogs both picked up wins in round 14 as their respective assaults on the top four kept rolling. Halifax, who played on Friday against Oldham Roughyeds at The Shay, were 12-6 winners against Scott Naylor’s side. Matt Sarsfield bagged a brace for Fax while Jamel Chisholm scored Oldham’s only try of the contest. Even though they’re made a name for themselves in the Qualifiers for their expansive style of play, Halifax showed they can win through dogged determination. Batley were ran close by Workington at the Zebra Claims Stadium but John Kear’s men also came out on top 31-24. Brett Phillips broke the deadlock for Town but, after Dom Brambani got his side on the board through a penalty goal, the Bulldogs hit back with tries of their own courtesy of Greg Minikin and Luke Blake. Both sides scored three tries each in the second half and Town even levelled the game up at 24-24 before a Pat Walker drop goal and an Alistair Leak try ended the valiant effort of the Cumbrians.

London and Leigh register big wins
The top two in the Championship certainly don’t look like changing anytime soon if round 14’s results are anything to go by. London Broncos, with trialist Api Pewhairangi at the forefront, hammered Whitehaven 62-4 while Leigh Centurions got the better of Swinton Lions by 48 points to 6 at Heywood Road. Pewhairangi, Wes Naiqama, Rhys Williams and Ben Hellwell all notched braces for the Broncos on home turf while Mark Offerdahl, James Cunningham and Alex Foster scored a try each. Louis Jouffret bagged Haven’s lone try of the match in the last minute. For the Centurions, there was a bit more to talk about than just tries. A brawl on 45 minutes meant the ref had to show three red cards and two yellows as things got a bit out of hand. Swinton had two men sent off in the shape of Zach Johnson and Josh Barlow while the Centurions’ Gareth Hock was also dismissed. Swinton’s Mike Butt and Leigh’s Adam Higson were sin-binned. At the time, Leigh were 26-6 up after a strong first half despite the fact Swinton were 6-4 up at a time thanks to a converted try from Anthony Nicholson. Tom Armstrong scored Leigh’s first try before Lee Smith went over the whitewash on two occasions. Jonathan Pownall and Richard Whiting also scored a try each to end the half. Leigh’s man advantage certainly helped but they hardly need any help from the opposition, so it wasn’t a surprise to see them notch four tries without reply in the second period. Martyn Ridyard, Dayne Weston, Ben Reynolds and debutant Josh Drinkwater were the try-scorers for the Centurions on a successful, but at times feisty, day at the office.

Rohan makes winning start to life at Bulls
Bradford Bulls put on some fighting spirit for their visiting fans as they beat Sheffield Eagles 25-14 at SHU Sports Park in Rohan Smith’s first game in charge. It was the Eagles who had a four-point advantage after 40 minutes following tries from Rob Worrincy and Cory Aston. Oscar Thomas registered a converted try to give Bradford some confidence heading into the second period. However, a second try from Worrincy just after the restart threw a spanner in the works and Bradford had to claw their way back. They did just that. Tries from Danny Williams and Adam Sidlow put their side in front for the first time in the clash and they didn’t look back from then on. Thomas kicked a drop goal to extend the visitors’ lead to five points before Kris Welham sealed the win with a converted try.

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