Kingstone Press Championship Round Eight Review

Dewsbury Rams 16-30 Bradford Bulls – The Rams gave Bradford a run for their money but the full-time outfit just came out on top in this one. Jay Pitts opened the scoring for the Bulls after 12 minutes, it then took the visitors 25 minutes to register their next score courtesy of Etu Uaisele. Dale Morton scored an interception try with the half-time hooter inbound. After the restart, Lee Gaskell and Byron Smith exchanged tries between the two sides, Glenn Morrison’s Rams were well in the game at 16-12 down after an hour. Unfortunately for the Championship stalwarts, a single from Ryan Shaw and a brace from Danny Addy made sure that James Lowes’ side went back to the Provident Stadium with a hard earned two points. Jason Crookes notched a consolation for Dewsbury in the dying embers of the tie. 

Prediction – Bradford by 14

Result – Bradford by 14

Featherstone Rovers 4-33 Sheffield Eagles – Another disaster at the Big Fellas Stadium for Featherstone. Three home losses on the bounce going into the clash, four losses on the bounce by the end of Easter Monday. The Eagles took the lead after three minutes via a barnstorming Menzie Yere run. The try was converted by Pat Walker. A penalty from Walker then followed in the minutes after the first score of the game, extending Sheffield’s lead in the process. Scott Turner and Quentin Laulu-Togagae finished off the half’s scoring with two converted tries, making the Eagles’ lead a lengthy one at 20 points to zip. However, before the half-time hooter, both teams were down to 12 men as Jack Bussey and John Davies were sent to the sin-bin for Featherstone and Sheffield respectively. Misi Taulapapa notched the first try of the second half for the third placed Eagles, before Will Sharp scored the Rovers’ only four pointer of the match. Davies returned to the sin-bin for a second time while Ian Hardman and Andy Ellis (Featherstone) plus Tony Tonks (Sheffield) joined the former Batley man too. A drop goal from Michael Knowles and a last minute score for Pat Walker rounded off the day’s proceedings. 14-14 on the penalty count, surely the highest of all the matches this week? 

Prediction – Sheffield by 1

Result – Sheffield by 29

Halifax 32-24 Hunslet Hawks – A bit of a try-fest at The Shay on Easter Monday. Richard Marshall’s Halifax came out on top by the skin of their teeth, after a fright was served to them by Barry Eaton’s Hunslet. Alex Brown opened the scoring for Halifax before Rob Mulhern and Jimmy Watson both crossed for the Hawks to give their side the advantage. Three tries in six minutes for Fax’ swung the game their way as Ben Heaton, Chris Taylor and Steve Tyrer all touched down. Two conversions from Tyrer made the score 22-12 to the hosts. A Luke Briscoe try before half-time got Hunslet back within four points of their opponents. The South Leeds Stadium outfit took the lead for the second time in the match on the 58th minute thanks to a well-taken score from former Sheffield winger Vinny Finigan. A seven minute scoring spurt for Halifax won the game outright. Starting in the 73rd minute, Scott Murrell buried his way over the line which caused another lead change in the match. A penalty goal from Murrell came before James Saltonstall put in a marvellous individual effort to score from 70 metres out. 

Prediction – Halifax by 18

Result – Halifax by 8

Leigh Centurions 54-6 Workington Town – The Centurions made sure their 100% record in the Championship stayed intact as they swept Workington aside. Ten minutes into the match and the score was 6-6 after tries came from Sean Penkywicz and Carl Forber for Leigh and Workington respectively. Penkywicz and Adam Higson crossed for further scores before half-time, an 18-6 lead is rather slender for Leigh’s repertoire but they soon put on the burners after the restart. Ryan Brierley and Liam Kay welcomed the half in with four points apiece on the 43rd and 46th minute. Gareth Hock managed to score a brace on debut for Leigh while Michael Platt and Gregg McNally added tries for the hosts and made sure the victory was a rather comfortable one. 

Prediction – Leigh by 38

Result – Leigh by 48

London Broncos 25-18 Batley Bulldogs – The Broncos recorded their fourth home win in as many matches, but Batley ran them close which was in no small part to prop forward Sean Hesketh bagging a brace. Andrew Henderson’s side were 18-0 up at half-time courtesy of tries from Matt Garside, Daniel Harrison and Ben Hellewell. Hesketh scored his first just after half-time but Elliot Minchella notched a single on his home debut to hand the impetus back to the hosts. Wayne Reittie and Hesketh both crossed for Batley in the late stages which set up a nervy ending before Oscar Thomas cooly slotted over a drop goal to seal the win for the capital outfit. 

Prediction – London by 20

Result – London by 7

Whitehaven 41-16 Doncaster – When it rains, it pours for the Dons. In a match where a win was the only target, Whitehaven were too good and it looks rather bleak for Doncaster at this moment in time. Haven’ went 12-0 to the good with Craig Calvert and Ed Chamberlain both scoring singles while John-Paul Brocklebank added the conversions. Danny Nicklas replied with a converted score for the visitors before Whitehaven took control in the final quarter of the half. Tries from Tyla Hepi and Scott McAvoy put the Cumbrians 24-6 up at the break with Paul Cooke’s side staring down the barrel. James Newton carried on the good work of his teammates with a try to kickstart the second half. New signings in the week leading up to the game, Ben Reynolds and Peter Fox, both notched for Doncaster as a comeback looked to be on at 30-16 down. However, the hopes of a wondrous comeback were dashed when Chamberlain went over for his second before Brocklebank nailed a drop-goal. Calvert ended the tie with a second score on a good day for James Coyle’s Whitehaven.

Prediction – Doncaster by 10

Result – Whitehaven by 25

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