Batley Bulldogs 50-10 Oldham – Batley Bulldogs comprehensively beat Oldham 50-10 at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium as Matt Diskin’s men showed off their attacking prowess in a dominant performance. The hosts were 24-0 up at the interval after playing the first half up the slope at ‘Mount Pleasant’. Dave Scott and Alistair Leak registered the opening two tries before winger Mikey Hayward scored a brace during the final ten minutes.
Pat Walker converted all four tries and he also notched the first try of the second period after 46 minutes. Oldham were still on a blank but two consecutive tries put paid to that as Michael Ward and Richard Lepori both touched down. Any potential comeback was extinguished by tries from Joel Farrell and Sam Smeaton in the space of three minutes. Leak and Adam Gledhill ended the scoring for the match with a try each for the Bulldogs, who will be pleased to have racked up a half century in front of their fans.
Bradford Bulls 56-18 Dewsbury Rams – This match was billed as a relegation four-pointer and for a while, there wasn’t much to separate the two sides. However, an eight try barrage in the second half set Bradford apart from their fellow West Yorkshire opponents who are still stuck on zero points and struggling to get off the mark. The Rams were 14-12 up at the interval thanks to tries from Jason Crookes and James Glover as well as a penalty courtesy of Paul Sykes. Brandon Wilkinson and Daniel Murray were the try-scorers for Bradford, who had to bide their time before hitting Dewsbury with several sucker punches.
Alex Brown crossed the whitewash for Dewsbury to further their lead in the 46th minute but something sparked the Bulls into life and there was no stopping them. Omari Caro started the fightback before Iliess Macani bagged a brace before the hour mark. Lee Smith, Jon Magrin and Colton Roche all touched down as the Bulls ran wild in the sunshine while Dewsbury were left shellshocked and unable to do anything productive. Magrin and Ross Oakes finished off the scoring with a try apiece in the final few minutes as the Bulls passed the 50 point mark and almost hit 60. Positive signs for Leigh Beattie’s men while Dewsbury will have a lot of soul searching to do in the week as their wait for a league win continues.
Featherstone Rovers 26-34 Toulouse Olympique – Toulouse Olympique leapfrogged round seven opponents Featherstone Rovers in the league with a 34-26 victory at the Big Fellas Stadium. Olympique may have some critics who think their away form still leaves a lot to be desired but this victory, which has put the French side second in the table, will have quietened those folk. Toulouse were 22-12 up at the break following a first half brace from Mark Kheirallah as well as four pointers thanks to Rhys Curran and Tyla Hepi. Featherstone’s four pointers came courtesy of back-row pair Frankie Mariano and John Davies.
Stan Robin and Ian Hardman exchanged tries in the second half before Featherstone cut the deficit to just two points as Chris Ulugia bagged a brace. Toulouse forward Bastien Canet was sin-binned a minute before Ulugia’s second try and Featherstone will have been optimistic of taking the lead during the latter stages of the tie but the visitors held firm. Despite having a numerical disadvantage, Sylvain Houles’ side increased their lead as Kheirallah completed his hat-trick with eight minutes remaining. As Canet came back on the field, Richard Moore was going off after he was shown yellow for punching. Kheirallah wrapped up the win with a last minute penalty goal. A big victory for Toulouse, who have certainly shown their worth in the early stages of the season.
Hull Kingston Rovers 28-14 Halifax – Championship table-toppers Hull Kingston Rovers were made to work for their 28-14 win over Halifax at KCOM Craven Park. Tim Sheens’ men went into the sheds at half-time 14-8 down but 20 points without reply in the second half made sure their 100% record stayed intact for another week at least. Jamie Ellis and Steve Tyrer exchanged penalty goals to start the scoring for the afternoon before Shane Grady notched the first try. Maurice Blair responded on 35 minutes but the final say in the half went to Halifax’s James Saltonstall who touched down for a converted score to give his side a six point lead.
The second half proved a different contest altogether on the scoresheet as Hull KR managed to navigate around their first real banana skin home fixture. James Greenwood and Jordan Abdull scored tries either side of the hour mark before Jamie Ellis kicked a penalty goal and also converted Kieren Moss’ 76th minute try. Moss’ try was scored while Halifax were down to 12 men after Jacob Fairbank was sin-binned for a late tackle.
London Broncos 28-8 Rochdale Hornets – Despite a slow start, London Broncos beat Rochdale Hornets 28-8 at Trailfinders Sports Ground. Rob Massam scored the opening two tries of the contest for the visitors, who were well up for the challenge from the off. Api Pewhairangi replied for London with a try seven minutes before the break but there was to be more action, not try-scoring though, as the half wore on. London’s Elliot Kear and Rochdale’s Gary Middlehurst were both sent to the sin-bin for fighting, with tempers fraying slightly in the moments before the half-time hooter. With the score at 8-6, Hornets coach Alan Kilshaw will have been happy with his side but unfortunately for the part-time side, they were unable to hold on to their lead after a final quarter rampage from London.
Daniel Harrison, Jarrod Sammut, Adrian Purtell and Jay Pitts all touched down after the hour mark had passed as the Broncos sealed victory. Purtell and Pitts’ tries were scored while the Hornets had a man in the sin-bin. Jo Taira was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on 73 minutes while the scores were at 16-8 to the hosts.
Swinton Lions 24-28 Sheffield Eagles – Sheffield Eagles stopped the rot of five consecutive defeats in all competitions by beating Swinton Lions 28-24 at Heywood Road. The Eagles were 28-6 up in the final quarter but Swinton then notched three tries on the spin to set up a nervy finish, however the visitors came out victorious.
Swinton got the first try of the game after 11 minutes through winger Mike Butt but Chris Atkin was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt. After that, the Eagles called upon their two Papua New Guinea outside backs to get them up and running on the scoreboard. Menzie Yere and Garry Lo bagged a try apiece as the Eagles hit the front and they would not fall behind for the rest of the contest. Simon Brown also kicked a penalty for Sheffield. Jack Murphy cut the deficit to just two points before the break as he crossed the whitewash. Atkin was off target once again.
In the second half, a quick double-salvo courtesy of Matt James and Elliot Minchella gave Sheffield a rather comfortable cushion which was furthered thanks to conversions from Brown. Sam Scott also got on the scoresheet for the South Yorkshire side, who looked to have wrapped up the game in fine fashion until Swinton hit back and made sure that the final moments of the match were going to be tense. Sean Kenny, Anthony Bate – who had been sin-binned earlier on in the contest – and Chris Hankinson all touched down but the Lions couldn’t find the equalising score as Sheffield returned home with two competition points.