As the extended previews have now been published, which are Leigh Centurions v Halifax and London Broncos v Featherstone Rovers, we take a look at the other games taking place in round 12 of the Kingstone Press Championship.
Dewsbury Rams v Hunslet Hawks – The hosts will be wanting to close the gap between 6th, the place they’re currently in, and 4th where Featherstone currently reside. Hunslet have had a great first half of the season, they’re in 8th place and are gunning for the double over Dewsbury.
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Dewsbury welcomed table-toppers Leigh Centurions to the Tetley’s Stadium, and Glenn Morrison’s men didn’t half give the visitors a fright. The Centurions came out on top by 32-28, and were helped with a hat-trick from winger Liam Kay. Kieran Hyde and Rob Spicer got Dewsbury off the mark via a penalty goal and try respectively. Kay grabbed a first half brace due to four pointers in the 22nd and 32nd minute, Gregg McNally and Martyn Ridyard both crossed the whitewash also before Karl Pryce replied for Dewsbury with the final score of the half. Dalton Grant and Greg Worthington exchanged tries for the hosts and visitors in the opening quarter of the second half, then Luke Adamson added to the Rams revival with a try of his own on the 58th minute. Kay completed his hat-trick with 18 minutes remaining but a grandstand finish was on the horizon when Dewsbury winger Grant notched his brace but the comeback wasn’t fully complete as Leigh took the spoils.
Hunslet, similarly to Dewsbury, played host to a full-time team in round 11 of the Championship when London made their way to the South Leeds Stadium. The Broncos went back to Edgware in the evening with a 32-12 win under their belts, top scorer Rhys Williams was the most frequent scorer as he crossed the try line on two occasions. Elliot Minchella got London off to a good start with a try before a minute had even passed but Luke Briscoe got Hunslet level in the try stakes with a score on the 13th minute. Tom Gilmore and Wes Naiqama scored a try each within two minutes of each other as London built a lengthy lead for themselves. Matt Garside made his way over the whitewash for the last try of the half, and that four pointer gave the Broncos a 22-6 half-time lead. Rhys Williams and Simon Brown swapped scores before the final quarter began, and that’s where Williams recorded his brace. The final score of the match, from Williams, came three minutes before time.
The wingers of both sides have a good amount of quality in their locker. Dalton Grant, a potent scorer at Barrow Raiders in 2014, made the switch to Dewsbury in the off-season and he showed his try scoring quality with a brace against Leigh. Grant will be coming up against Richie Barnett of Hunslet this week, who is a great player on his day. Hunslet had a bad day at the office last Sunday, but they’ll be wanting to bounce back this weekend against Dewsbury and getting the ball out to the flanks of James Duckworth and Barnett may provide some success.
Dewsbury put up a spirited fight in round 11 against Leigh, on home turf, and they’ll be wanting to put a similar performance in this weekend. Hunslet won’t have had any complaints about their first half of the season. A target of staying up was set at the start of the season, they are in 8th and a win at Dewsbury this Sunday will give them a lot of hope going into the latter end of the campaign. Rams need a win to keep tabs on the top four, and they’ll go into the tie as favourites – Dewsbury by 16
Sheffield Eagles v Doncaster – Both South Yorkshire clubs suffered defeat in the last round of Kingstone Press Championship matches, but which side will get back on track this Friday evening?
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The Eagles travelled to Bradford with the wind in their wings as they had defeated Halifax in the week prior. Unfortunately, things started to go wrong from the start as Dom Brambani was forced off the field with concussion and the influential half-back didn’t return. The exit of Brambani really showed as there was a clear lack of nous and guile when good field position came about for Sheffield. Bradford were victorious over the Eagles by 46 points to 12, and James Lowes’ side went into the sheds at half-time with a 22-0 advantage. Dale Ferguson, Tom Olbison, former Eagles loanee Etu Uaisele and Danny Williams gave the hosts a comfy advantage which was extended after the break. Ferguson grabbed his brace with the first try of the second half before Adam Sidlow and Adam Henry both got on the scoresheet to bring 40 points up for the West Yorkshire outfit. Scott Turner and Cory Aston replied with a consolation try apiece but it was Adrian Purtell who put the icing on a fine looking Bradford cake with a four pointer in the last minute of play.
Doncaster, similarly to Sheffield, made the trip to West Yorkshire last Sunday as Paul Cook’s went to The Shay to take on Halifax. The hosts were easy winners on the day with a 40-6 scoreline going their way. Richard Marshall’s men were 28-0 up at the half, with tries coming courtesy of James Saltonstall, Ryan Maneely, Ben Heaton, Ross Divorty, Gareth Potts and Scott Murrell. Only three tries were scored in the second half, and one of those went to Doncaster with Pasqualle Dunn crossing the white line. The other two Fax tries were scored by Tommy Saxton and Divorty.
Scoring chances were few and far between for Sheffield Eagles at Bradford last week but their plays were heavily blighted by Dom Brambani not being able to come back on the field after a head knock. The half-backs of Sheffield have always been steady, and Cory Aston has been a regular in the side this season with Kyle Briggs also being part of the fold. It’ll be interesting to see whether Briggs comes back into the side after not featuring against Bradford. Doncaster had Dave Scott and Danny Nicklas in the halves for their match against Halifax at the weekend. After a very spirited performance against Bradford a fortnight ago, the Dons will be up for trying to upset the Eagles and condemn them to their second defeat in as many weeks. Scott is a very agile player and his speed can really put teams on the back foot so whenever he has the ball, concentration will need to be high to stop him.
Doncaster put up a spirited performance in their last match at the Keepmoat Stadium, against Bradford. They’ve had a knock to their confidence since as they lost against Halifax last week but the same can be said for Sheffield as they took a pummelling from Bradford. The hosts, in this case Sheffield, will be favourites for the spoils though – Sheffield by 10
Whitehaven v Bradford Bulls – Bradford make their first trip to the county of Cumbria this Sunday when they take on James Coyle’s Whitehaven. Both sides picked up wins in the last round of matches.
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Whitehaven started the day two points behind Batley Bulldogs in the league table, but by the end of their match they were level on points as they defeated the West Yorkshire side 24-22. It was the hosts who went into half-time with the lead, but it was only a tight four point lead at that. James Craven scored a brace and Scott Leatherbarrow also went over, while Whitehaven’s two scores came from Declan Hulme on both occasions. Lee Mitchell extended Batley’s lead four minutes after half-time but the last laugh went to the Cumbrians as James Newton and Grant Gore went over in the final quarter to snatch the win.
Bradford Bulls welcomed Sheffield Eagles to the Provident Stadium for what was predicted to be a tight encounter, the actual outcome couldn’t have been more different. The Bulls performed to a different class and beat the Eagles 46-12, after being 22-0 up at the break. Dale Ferguson, Tom Olbison, Etu Uaisele and Danny Williams were the four first-half scorers for Bradford, and Ferguson completed his brace with the first try of the second half. Adam Sidlow and Adam Henry extended the Bulls’ lead as the hour mark was surpassed but Sheffield replied with two consolation scores thanks to Scott Turner and Cory Aston. The last try of the match came from Adrian Purtell of Bradford, rounding off a successful day for the second placed side.
Bradford Bulls will be travelling to Cumbria with a lot of confidence, and in particular the forwards of the West Yorkshire club. Back-rowers Dale Ferguson and Tom Olbison both crossed the whitewash for the Bulls against Eagles, their dominance personified on the scoresheet. For Whitehaven, it wasn’t a case of being the better team against Batley, the perseverance of the side shone through and they got the win. Their second-rowers versus against the Bulldogs came in the shape of Scott McAvoy and Tyla Hepi. It will be a tough test for all of the Haven side, including the back-rowers as Dale Ferguson and Tom Olbison were, ironically, like rampaging Bulls last Sunday.
Bradford have their eyes firmly set on overtaking Leigh’s top spot in the Championship, should the Centurions slip on. A big win will be a target against Whitehaven, a team that are in the lower echelons of the league, – Bradford by 36
Workington Town v Batley Bulldogs – Batley travel up to the Zebra Claims Stadium to take on Phil Veivers’ Workington. Neither side recorded a win last weekend so it’ll be a vital two points for the side who come out victorious in this one.
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Workington had a horror performance against Featherstone in round 11, they were defeated 72-0 in front of 1,547 people at the Big Fellas Stadium. Town went into half-time 44-0 down after being completely mullered from minute 1 to 40. Ian Hardman, Jy Hitchcox and Andy Ellis all went over after ten minutes and the scoring continued when Jamie Cording, twice, Nathan Chappell, Gareth Moore and Alex Foster added four pointers. Remy Marginet and Jack Bussey both got the scoring underway in the second half, then Foster and Hitchcox completed their brace and hat-trick respectively.
Batley had a chance to create more distance between themselves and Whitehaven last week, but the two point gap was relinquished by the end of the match as Haven conquered over the Bulldogs by 24-22. It was Batley who had the advantage at the half, a James Craven double and Scott Leatherbarrow single meant the Bulldogs had 16 points on the board to Whitehaven’s 12. Declan Hulme scored a brace in the first half for Whitehaven. Lee Mitchell extended Batley’s lead with the first score of the second half but tries from James Newton and Sam Brooks won the game for the Cumbrians in the final minutes.
The battle of the back-row forwards will be a good one to watch at the Zebra Claims Stadium on Sunday. For Workington, Brett Phillips, Kurt Horton and Stevie Scholey were the back-rowers while Batley lined up with Sam Scott, Lee Mitchell and workhorse Joe Chandler. The back-row interchange for Town was Latu Fifita, brother of NRL regular Andrew, and he can also play in the front-row. Batley had James Brown on the interchange, an off-season signing from Swinton who has been a great performer for the Bulldogs.
Both teams are desperate for a win, and individual mistakes will need to be ironed out as one of those errors could prove costly in the match, and for the season as a whole. Batley weren’t a team tipped for relegation but a loss in this tie will certainly throw them into the equation, a win and they’ll be wanting to put a good run together. Workington have to get their home form in order if they’re to stop up, a win against a team around the same area of the league as them will certainly help the cause. A very tough match to call – Batley by 2
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