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Betfred Championship Round 2 Preview

An action packed Sunday awaits in the Betfred Championship, with all six fixtures taking place on the same day. Here is our full preview of round two including our ‘Game of the Week’:

NBL BETFRED CHAMPIONSHIP GAME OF THE WEEK

With Featherstone Rovers and Toulouse Olympique both aiming for a top four finish, we have chosen their clash as our first Betfred Championship game of the week.

The two sides started their campaigns with a victory last week, and contested two thrilling encounters in 2017. Toulouse completed a league double, and will be out to continue their winning run.

You can access our full Game of the Week preview below.

CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW | ROUND 2 | Featherstone Rovers vs Toulouse Olympique

Barrow Raiders vs Toronto Wolfpack

Date: Sunday 11th February

Kick-off: 3pm

Venue: Craven Park

Toronto Wolfpack were the talk of the division in round one after their stunning victory over Leigh Centurions. The Canadian outfit came up with an outstanding second half performance, running out 34-12 winners.

Barrow Raiders weren’t as successful in their opening fixture, as they were beaten 56-12 away to London Broncos. They were promoted alongside the Wolfpack from League 1, after winning their promotion final with Cumbrian rivals Whitehaven.

Toronto Wolfpack winger Liam Kay scored a hat-trick in round 1 of the Betfred Championship

Toronto Wolfpack winger Liam Kay scored a hat-trick in round 1 of the Betfred Championship

The last time these two sides went head-to-head in September, Toronto were made to work hard for a 26-2 victory. It was a different story earlier in the year, as they eased to a 70-2 win.

Wolfpack have made a number of changes to the 19 which were named against Leigh. New signing Jake Butler-Fleming comes in, as does James Laithwaithe and Richard Whiting. Cory Paterson, Blake Wallace and Sam Hopkins make way.

Dewsbury Rams vs London Broncos

Date: Sunday 11th February

Kick-off: 3pm

Venue: Tetley’s Stadium

Dewsbury Rams kicked-off the Betfred Championship season under the lights on Friday night, defeating Sheffield Eagles 20-18. They had led 14-0, before the away side mounted a fightback with Dale Morton’s try proving to be the match winner for the Rams.

London Broncos ran in ten tries against newly promoted Barrow Raiders, with a dominant second half helping them complete a 56-12 win. Youngster Jamie Meadows was the star of the show, becoming the latest product of the Broncos’ conveyor belt of local talent.

In their last meeting, London cruised to a comfortable 52-8 home victory as Api Pewhairangi ran in a hat-trick. They were also victorious earlier in the season, defeating Dewsbury 20-6 at the Tetley’s Stadium.

Broncos make just one change to their 19-man-squad, as Sam Davis misses out. He is replaced by hooker Jordan Johnstone, who has joined the club on a month loan from Widnes Vikings.

Halifax RLFC vs Sheffield Eagles

Date: Sunday 11th February

Kick-off: 3pm

Venue: MBI Shay

Sheffield Eagles will be hoping for an 80 minute performance in round two, after their opening day defeat to Dewsbury Rams. They went into the break 14-0 down, before a brilliant second half fight-back saw them lead 18-14. The Rams had the last laugh though, edging the contest 20-18.

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Halifax RLFC also had a scoreless half in their first round outing, as they were beaten 20-4 by Featherstone Rovers. They were well in the contest at half-time, as Ben Heaton’s try meant they trailed just 8-4. The visiting side failed to post another point though, as Rovers picked up the two points.

The Eagles won’t have fond memories of their last visit to the MBI Shay as they were humbled 60-22, with Gareth Moore and Matt Sarsfield helping themselves to a hat-trick each. They did win the earlier meeting of the two sides last season though, where a Rob Worrincy double helped them to a 26-6 triumph.

Halifax have made three changes to their 19-man squad as James Clare, Shane Grady and Dan Murray come in for Alex Foster, Jy Hitchcox and Sion Jones. The Eagles’ only change sees Garry Lo return in place of James Bentley.

Leigh Centurions vs Batley Bulldogs

Date: Sunday 11th February

Kick-off: 3pm

Venue: Leigh Sports Village

It was a disappointing opening weekend for both of these teams, for different reasons. Leigh Centurions flew out of the blocks against Toronto Wolfpack to lead 12-0 inside the opening eight minutes. That would be the only points they registered though, as they were blew away 34-12 by a Canadian side littered with former players and staff.

Batley Bulldogs didn’t have as bad of an afternoon, but they were left frustrated as their clash with Rochdale Hornets was postponed. A waterlogged pitch hampered their start to the season, as they were left with a free weekend.

It means they will start their season against Leigh, and the last time they did that they produced a shock 24-22 opening day win back in 2016. The Bulldogs were beaten 37-30 in the return fixture, before also losing 42-24 in the Qualifiers as Leigh gained promotion to Super League.

The Centurions could hand off-season signing Kurt Baptiste his debut, as he replaces Kyle Lovett in the squad. Batley are set to hand Lewis Galbraith his competitive debut, having joined from Rochdale Hornets late in pre-season.

Rochdale Hornets will be without a fixture for a second week running. Their trip to Swinton Lions was postponed on Saturday afternoon due to a waterlogged pitch.

My name is Sean Hayes. I am from Widnes, England. I am currently studying journalism at Salford University. Aspiring sports journalist and rugby league fanatic whether it is watching, playing or writing about the greatest game! Follow me on twitter @SHayesNBL

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