Batley Bulldogs 20-28 Toulouse Olympique – Batley Bulldogs battled hard but were defeated 28-20 against Toulouse Olympique at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. After a poor display against Dewsbury Rams at the Summer Bash, the Bulldogs responded well but came up short against a Toulouse side who have bolstered their chances of a top four finish.
The visitors opened the scoring through half-back Stan Robin who dotted down underneath the sticks. Mark Kheirallah added the extras but it didn’t take long for Batley to answer back. Wayne Reittie picked up a Dom Brambani kick to cross the whitewash, with the latter converting to level the scores after 22 minutes. Batley went ahead for the first time in the match after Alex Rowe won a penalty for a dangerous tackle. Brambani opted to take the two and he was successful. Shaun Ainscough made a great break for the Bulldogs but was stopped short, however minutes later saw Reittie double his tally for the game. The winger scored on the last tackle of the half to give the hosts a boost heading into the sheds. Brambani’s third goal, this time from the touchline, extended the lead to two scores.
Shortly after the restart, Toulouse regained their lead with two quick-fire tries. Paul Marcon was the beneficiary of a long pass and the winger capitalised. Kheirallah couldn’t convert but he added the extras to the next try which came courtesy of Anthony Marion. Their two point advantage was relinquished in the final quarter when Shaun Ainscough powered over to put Batley ahead. Brambani converted but his side’s celebrations were abruptly cut short as Toulouse hit back. Con Mika finished off a move which levelled the game before Robin converted. With six minutes remaining, Sylvain Houles’ men sealed the win when Kane Bentley notched for the French club. The conversion from Kheirallah was successful.
Dewsbury 38-12 Bradford – Dewsbury Rams won their second league game on the spin as they defeated Bradford Bulls 38-12 at the Tetley’s Stadium. James Glover and Shaun Squires both registered braces for the Rams, who are slowly but surely improving ahead of their Championship Shield campaign.
Glover opened the scoring in the first five minutes as debutant Gareth Moore kicked forward. The try-scorer added the extras. Iliess Macani and James Bentley both responded with a try apiece for the Bulls, who came into the game after an impressive performance against Hull Kingston Rovers at the Summer Bash. Oscar Thomas converted both scores to make it 12-6 to Bradford. The Rams were in the lead by half-time following four pointers from Sam Day and Shaun Squires, both relatively new signings made by Neil Kelly. Glover converted on one occasion, with Dewsbury 16-12 up after the first period.
It took three minutes of the second half for the hosts to extend their lead. Lucas Walshaw touched down as the Rams went two scores ahead but Glover couldn’t convert. The centre made amends with a penalty goal after sin-binnings to Dewsbury’s Dale Morton and Bradford’s Thomas. In the final quarter, the Rams scored three more tries to add gloss to the scoreline. Squires and Glover completed their doubles, either side of a try from debutant Macauley Hallett.
Featherstone Rovers 20-20 Hull Kingston Rovers – Hull Kingston Rovers were denied victory in the league for the second time this season as Featherstone Rovers battled to a 20-20 draw at the LD Nutrition Stadium. Kieren Moss’ second half brace wasn’t enough for the Robins, who came into the contest after squeezing past Bradford Bulls at the Summer Bash. Kyle Briggs’ late penalty goal levelled matters before Jamie Ellis had a chance to win the game with a one pointer but to no avail.
The hosts led 16-0 at the break and the deadlock was broken after 11 minutes thanks to Misi Taulapapa. Ben Kavanagh had been sin-binned for a late tackle on Matty Wildie during the previous set. The conversion was unsuccessful but Michael Knowles made amends with a penalty goal soon after. Jason Walton was next over the whitewash thanks to a smooth pass from Anthony Thackeray. Knowles was off target with the conversion but he made amends yet again with another penalty. Before the break, the referee’s cards were called into action for a second and third time as Featherstone’s Darrell Griffin and Hull KR’s Robbie Mulhern were sin-binned for a brawl. In the final minute of the first period, James Duckworth touched down for the West Yorkshire club who looked in fine fettle heading into the sheds.
It took just two minutes into the second half for the Robins to finally get on the board. Moss crossed the whitewash minutes before Jordan Abdull did the same as the deficit was cut to six points in quick time. Briggs kicked his first goal of the afternoon to make it a two score game but in the final quarter, Moss added his second try of the afternoon. The conversion from Jamie Ellis went astray but with nine minutes remaining, the visitors took the lead for the first time in the contest through Zach Dockar-Clay. However, Featherstone rescued a point courtesy of a Briggs penalty goal as the half-back atoned for an earlier miss when his side were 18-14 to the good.
London Broncos 34-6 Halifax – London Broncos beat Halifax 34-6 at Trailfinders Sports Ground as the capital club tightened their grip on a place in the top four. In what turned out to be the Broncos’ seventh consecutive league win, Kieran Dixon scored twice while William Barthau continued his good form with another try.
The hosts led 22-0 at the break and got off the mark in the 12th minute through Dixon, who couldn’t convert his own try. Barthau soon followed the winger to a four pointer, with the Frenchman currently playing some great rugby which was on show at the Summer Bash last week. Andy Ackers, Rhys Williams and Jay Pitts all touched down before the break to give London a comfortable advantage ahead of the second period.
After the restart, Ben Johnston notched Halifax’s only try of the contest as the West Yorkshire club tried to get back in the match. However, their effort was in vain as Dixon and Mark Ioane both registered scores either side of the hour mark to seal the win.
Sheffield 38-14 Rochdale – Sheffield Eagles backed up their Summer Bash victory over Swinton Lions with a 38-14 win against Rochdale Hornets at the Beaumont Legal Stadium. Garry Lo was the star of the show for the Eagles with a five-try performance, equalling a club record.
Lo opened the scoring after six minutes when he finished off a move which involved a great break from Ben Blackmore. Simon Brown, who needed just two points to reach 1000 for his career, was off target with his conversion attempt. Lo doubled his tally for the match as a grubber from Brown caused trouble for Miles Greenwood and the PNG winger capitalised. Brown’s wait for his 1000th career point continued as his conversion went wide. The rest of the first half was scrappy as both sides were guilty of ball handling errors, frustrating the two sets of fans. Jono Smith cut the deficit to a couple of points with a converted try moments before half-time after the Hornets gained another set of six thanks to Greg Burns’ failed one-on-one ball steal. Lewis Palfrey added the extras.
Three tries in the space of seven minutes gave Sheffield an unassailable advantage. Lo completed his hat-trick by barrelling over Chris Riley on his way to the whitewash before Menzie Yere and Jack Owens both finished impressive moves. Brown converted two of the three tries as Sheffield moved 24-6 up. The hour mark saw Ben Blackmore hobble off the field injured, leaving Mark Aston to mix the team up as Elliot Minchella moved to centre and Paddy Flynn to the wing. Minchella had to wait two minutes in his centre slot to get on the scoresheet as he dotted down a Brown grubber. The half-back converted. From the kickoff, Rochdale gained the ball and scored through Rob Massam. Palfrey missed the conversion, as he did following Massam’s second try of the contest after the former North Wales winger ran a great line. Sheffield finished the game in style courtesy of two more tries from Lo. Burns made a superb break down the middle of the field to set up field position for Lo to dive over from dummy-half. The last set of the game brought Lo’s fifth try, with the winger showing immense speed that Rochdale had no answer for.
Swinton Lions 26-4 Oldham – Swinton Lions bounced back from their Summer Bash defeat to Sheffield Eagles by comfortably beating Oldham at Heywood Road. John Duffy’s men were in control of proceedings and got their reward with a victory which steers them ten points clear of 12th-placed Bradford Bulls. The hosts were 12-0 up at the break after tries scored from centres Rhodri Lloyd and Chris Hankinson, with Chris Atkin converting on both occasions.
Atkin extended Swinton’s lead after the break with a penalty goal before two tries in as many minutes during the final quarter calmed any nerves. Jack Murphy touched down on 67 minutes before Hankinson completed his brace to seal the win for the Lions. However, Swinton did finish the game with 11 men after Josh Barlow and Murphy were sin-binned for dangerous contact and a professional foul respectively in the final eight minutes. In-between those yellow cards came Oldham’s only try of the game courtesy of Richard Lepori.