Another week has gone by and with that came a cluster of close results in the Kingstone Press Championship that had fans on edge right up until the final hooter. In this edition of Championship Chat, I take a look at the some of the key points from the weekend including Leigh getting back on track after a turbulent week off the field while the Broncos picked up another win at their new home in Ealing.
Hendo’s men keep charging
London Broncos have started their season in impressive fashion and they kept that same vein of form up with a 29-22 victory over Halifax at the Trailfinders Sports Ground. The Broncos will only get better once Papua New Guinea international halfback Isreal Eliab is brought into the team but the former PNG Hunters captain has yet to make his debut. Andrew Henderson’s troops played a storming final quarter to seal the victory against Halifax as they notched the final two tries of the game to overturn a 22-18 deficit. Nick Slyney and Rhys Williams both found their way over the whitewash before a drop goal by Scott Leatherbarrow in the final minute sealed the win. Halifax have failed to live up to expectations this year after they surprised everyone in the Qualifiers last season. It’s still early days so Fax have a lot of time to turn things around and under the guidance of coach Richard Marshall, they should be heading in the direction soon enough. However, they face Leigh Centurions in round six so they will need to buck up their ideas as soon as possible. London play host to Dewsbury Rams on Saturday.
Leigh do their talking on the field, just
Leigh Centurions have had an indifferent week to say the least with the Ryan Brierley saga unfolding as the days went on. The news was well publicised in rugby league circles so it was rather easy to forget Leigh had a tough game on the horizon against fellow full-time side Sheffield Eagles at the Leigh Sports Village. The Centurions managed to win 36-28 despite letting a rather lengthy lead go through their fingers once again, as Sheffield levelled the match 28-28 with five minutes remaining. Converted tries from Rob Worrincy and Quentin Laulu-Togagae had tied the game up, but the hosts showed good character to come out of the game unscathed thanks to a penalty goal by Martyn Ridyard and a try from Cory Paterson in the very latter stages of the game. Leigh visit Halifax this weekend while Sheffield head back to SHU Sports Park to play Whitehaven, who, ideally, are the main talking point of the next topic.
Whitehaven gain first win by taming Lions
Whitehaven played against fellow early strugglers Swinton at the Recreation Ground on Saturday evening and the hosts came out on top. An 18-12 victory will have pleased Haven coach James Coyle as his side held their nerve to win the game in the dying embers of the tie. No team was ever going to run away with the victory and it took until the 74th minute for the decisive score of the tie from Elliot Miller. Haven’s next challenge is to back up their win by travelling to Sheffield and matching the full-time side who will be fighting for a top four spot come the end of the regular season. Swinton take on Featherstone at their new home – Heywood Road – which is also plays host to Sale FC matches.
Other results in round five of the Kingstone Press Championship:
Oldham Roughyeds v Bradford Bulls Postponed
Top try-scorers in the Kingstone Press Championship:
6 – Josh Guzdek (Dewsbury)
5 – Lee Gaskell (Bradford)
5 – Rob Worrincy (Sheffield)