Batley Bulldogs 6-21 Dewsbury Rams – The Heavy Woollen spoils went the way of the Rams in this one at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Friday. The Bulldogs had a lot of ball but could only muster one converted try during the 80 minutes of play. Dewsbury went into the sheds at half-time with an 11-0 lead under their belts, after tries from Shane Grady and Joel Farrell along with a drop goal for Anthony Thackeray. Grady and Wayne Reittie exchanged scores for the Rams and Bulldogs respectively in the second half. Tom Hemingway popped over a penalty goal before Matty Wildie finished the scoring as he took full advantage of some shoddy defence. Dewsbury were clinical with ball in hand but Batley were very poor and will need to improve tenfold and more to threaten London on Easter Monday.
Prediction – Draw
Result – Dewsbury by 15
Bradford Bulls 32-19 Halifax – An upset looked to be on the cards after the first 40 minutes had been played at the Provident Stadium, with Richard Marshall’s Halifax being 13-2 to the good. But Bradford recorded a flurry of tries in the opening minutes of the second period to gain the advantage over their West Yorkshire counterparts in the process. Mitch Cahalane and Ross Divorty both went over the try line for Halifax in the first half, and Scott Murrell even added a drop goal for good measure. A Ryan Shaw penalty goal was all that Bradford brought to the scoreboard in the first half, but they soon came to the fore. Danny Williams, Jay Pitts, Lee Gaskell and Adam Henry all scored tries before Halifax could reply in the second half. At 26-13 up after 62 minutes, the game looked to be over. However, Halifax weren’t going away without a fight as Ben Heaton crossed on the 69th minute. Bradford made sure they’d be no comeback, though, with a Shaw try in the last few minutes of the match.
Prediction – Bradford by 14
Result – Bradford by 13
Doncaster 4-26 Sheffield Eagles – Sheffield Eagles made the more than usual trip to the Keepmoat Stadium, but they were being hosted by Doncaster last Wednesday. The Eagles were triumphant in the South Yorkshire derby by 26-4, showcasing some solid defence and good attack on occasions. It took 22 minutes for the first score as Jamie Langley ran a nice line to barge over the whitewash for his first score in Eagles colours. Briggs converted for 6-0. Misi Taulapapa extended the Eagles’ lead soon after, the try was unconverted but Sheffield were in control. Mitch Stringer scored the final try of the half in the dying embers, Pat Walker added the extras and the visitors were 16-0 to the good. Only three tries were scored in the second period, and the first came courtesy of Sam Doherty of Doncaster after 51 minutes. Stewart Sanderson failed with the conversion. Rob Worrincy and Cory Aston both added four pointers for the Sheffield club before the game was out, a lone Walker goal after the hooter had sounded made the final score 26-4. The Eagles went up to 2nd, temporarily, before being moved back down to 3rd after Bradford’s triumph over Halifax on Friday night.
Prediction – Sheffield by 16
Result – Sheffield by 22
Featherstone Rovers 8-24 London Broncos – Featherstone welcomed London Broncos to the Big Fellas Stadium yesterday (Friday). The hosts went into the contest occupying fourth position in the Kingstone Press Championship while London, after beating Halifax in round six, were in 8th. By the end of the night, though, Andrew Henderson’s Broncos had overtaken Featherstone on the league table by virtue of points difference. The Rovers went down 24-8 on home turf in front of 1,654 people. Andy Hay’s side were 6-4 down at the break, Jack Ormondroyd crossed for the hosts whilst Brad Dwyer went over from dummy half for the Londoners, a try which was converted by centre Wes Naiqama. After the restart, the Broncos dominated the scoreboard as they took full advantage of poor ball retention from Featherstone. Oscar Thomas, and a Rhys Williams brace wrapped the two points up for London, before Nathan Chappell scored a consolation score for the West Yorkshire side.
Prediction – Featherstone by 6
Result – London by 16
Hunslet Hawks 6-42 Leigh Centurions – After 57 minutes, this match was deadlocked at 6-6 and Hunslet were well in the contest. But, as the old saying goes, cream rises to the top and Leigh Centurions stayed top of the Championship with a comprehensive 42-6 scoreline going their way. Oliver Wilkes scored the only try of the first half on 36 minutes, the score was converted by Martyn Ridyard. Minutes after the restart, Luke Briscoe replied for the Hawks as they tied the game up. Three tries in ten minutes swung the match towards Leigh, with Martin Aspinwall, Liam Kay and Sam Barlow all going over the whitewash. Jonathan Pownall, Sean Penkywicz, Andrew Dixon and Kay, for a second time, added four pointers before the conclusion. Hunslet will do well if they can replicate those sort of performances on a weekly basis.
Prediction – Leigh by 36
Result – Leigh by 36
Workington Town 40-0 Whitehaven – A mauling in the Cumbrian derby at the Zebra Claims Stadium on Good Friday. Phil Veivers’ Workington side were just too strong for their neighbours, who have now conceded over 100 points since they last scored. Workington were three scores up at half-time, Liam McAvoy, Jamie Doran and Carl Forber all notching for Town. Jarrad Stack and Brett Carter both scored within four minutes of themselves during the second half, giving their side a 28 point lead and one that was impossible to relinquish. Jack Murphy and Perry Whiteley both swooped for a try apiece to end proceedings in this Cumbrian derby.
Prediction – Whitehaven by 10
Result – Workington by 40
Unfortunately they’ll be no previews for the Easter Monday fixtures but a review of the round eight action will be uploaded in the following days. These are the fixtures in the Kingstone Press Championship on Monday..
Leigh Centurions v Workington Town at Leigh Sports Village
Dewsbury Rams v Bradford Bulls at Tetley’s Stadium
Halifax v Hunslet Hawks at The Shay
London Broncos v Batley Bulldogs at The Hive
Whitehaven v Doncaster at The Recreation Ground
Featherstone Rovers v Sheffield Eagles at Big Fellas Stadium