It was a Championship round where the weather played its part, Rochdale recorded their first victory over Bradford at Osdal in 46 years. Victories for Featherstone, London, Swinton, Batley & Sheffield also followed in tight games up and down the division.
Batley Bulldogs 24 – 6 Halifax
The Bulldogs grabbed their first win of 2017 and left Halifax searching for theirs in a mudbath at Mount Pleasant. The home side went into the break 18-0 up with tries from Sam Smeaton, Alex Bretherton & Dane Manning and that was the home side playing up the famous slope. The second half was a tighter affair with all points coming in the final quarter. Joe Chandler crossed to increase Batley’s lead and it was only a James Saltonstall try with five minutes left on the clock that saves the visitors blushes.
Bradford Bulls 14 – 22 Rochdale Hornets
The Hornets are top after two victories to open their championship campaign, this victory showing their credentials more than the rampant 46-0 victory against Dewsbury. Hornets turned round a small half time deficit to secure victory over the Bulls. Tries from Miles Greenwood, Samir Taharoui & Danny Bridge as well 5 goals out of 6 from Lewis Palfrey seen Rochdale grab their first victory at Osdal since 1971.
Dewsbury Rams 6 – 8 Swinton Lions
A try each for both of these sides but a first half penalty was the difference as the Lions secured the first victory of the season which leaves the Rams looking for theirs as they travel to the South of France next weekend. It was the Chris Atkin penalty goal which was the only score in the first half. The rams took the lead in the 56th minute through replacement James Glover, Sykes misses his conversion but on the hour mark kicked a penalty. It was almost the game winner but Liam Forsyth’s effort just four minutes time secured the win for the Lions.
Featherstone Rovers 8 – 6 Oldham Roughyeds
Chris Ulugia’s two tries saw him as the Rovers hero as Jon Sharp were pleased at the home side’s defensive performance although Oldham will have been disappointed not to grab a draw as Scott Leatherbarrow missed a relatively easy 30 yard penalty which will have earned the Roughyeds a point. The Yeds led at the break but it Ulugia’s second try just six minutes into the second half which secured the victory and seen Fev have a perfect record.
London Broncos 22 – 28 Hull Kingston Rovers
A tight game down in Ealing despite head coach Tim Sheens calling Rovers performance “Sloppy” they grabbed the victory to stay second in the table and be only one of three sides that are 100% so far. Tries from Jordan Abdull, Jamie Ellis, Kieran Moss & Andrew Hefferman secured victory down in the capital. Nerves were jangling as Broncos scored two tries in two minutes to reduce Rovers gap to four points with ten minutes left. Jamie Ellis kicked a penalty with two minutes to go to secure victory.
Sheffield Eagles 32 – 14 Toulouse Olympique
The Eagles showed Toulouse they won’t have the championship as easy as they did League 1 last season grabbing a victory in their new home at Wakefield’s Beaumont Legal Stadium. The damage was done in the first half as the Eagles took a 20-4 lead into half time. Tries from Lachlan Burr, Matt James & Matty Fozard hit back as Toulouse got the first try of the afternoon through Rhys Curran. The French side will be in no hurry to return to “Belle Vue” as it’s been the scene of both of their defeats on English soil since returning to League 1 last season. Second half tries from PNG pairing of Menzie Yere & Garry Lo secured victory for the Eagles.