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Round seven of the Betfred Championship was played over three days with a game at Rochdale on Friday night, Toulouse on Saturday tea-time and the remaining four fixtures on the traditional Sunday afternoon.

On paper there looked little intrigue, but the unpredictable nature of our great game threw up some thrillers as favourites struggled and underdogs gave it their all.

This underdog spirit was on show at Spotland on Friday night where the home side, Rochdale Hornets were 22/1 to cause an upset and beat the Toronto Wolfpack. Rochdale started the game well with an early Hurst try converted by Palfrey getting a Wolfpack response from Kay five minutes later for 6-6. Middlehurst gave the Hornets a 12-6 interval lead and on forty-nine that was extended thanks to a Massam try, although Palfrey missed the conversion. McCrone,  with a Brierley conversion, made it 16-12 before Maitua levelled the scores with a try which Brierley failed to convert. When Smith kicked a drop-goal with thirteen minutes remaining he must have thought he’d secured the points but a Brierley penalty on seventy-three snatched an 18-17 win for the Canadians.

Toulouse were lightning fast out of the blocks with a Maurel brace in the first five minutes and a Curran try establishing a 16-0 lead after just ten minutes. A Moore try, converted by Tyrer for Halifax narrowed the margin to 16-6 at the interval but ‘Fax were in for a harrowing second half. Unanswered tries from Kheirallah, Marguerite, Ader and Macron sealed an easy 38-6 win to lift the French side into top spot, at least until Sundays games.

London Broncos regained their top spot, and maintained their one hundred percent record, with a convincing win away at pointless Swinton, but only after an early scare. Caine had opened the scoring for the home side on ten, but tries before half time for Dixon, Walker (2) and Lovell made it 24-6 at the change of ends, Swinton’s Barlow being red-carded on the interval for a high tackle. Dixon grabbed his second early in the second half and Cunningham, Meadows, Bienek and Hellewell all scored before the hour mark for a lead of 48-6. Hansen got Swinton into double figures before Spencer scored,  Cunningham completed his brace and Walker his hat-trick. Harkinson grabbed the last try of the game but it was scant consolation in a 64-18 defeat.

Leigh Centurions registered their second win of the season and in great fashion with a nilling of fifth placed Dewsbury Rams. Mata’utia (2) and Hansen had made it 18-0 at the interval and second half tries from Lovett (2) and Crooks completed a very successful afternoon at the office as the centurions ran out as 36-0 victors.

It was a humdinger of a battle at Craven Park where Sheffield came close to registering their first two points of the season. Blackmore, Fozzard and Lo had raced the visitors into an 18-0 lead with Barrow having just an unconverted Litherland try to show for their first half efforts. A twenty minute period after the interval was where the Raiders did the damage with tries from Daniel Toal, Duffy and a Brace from Shane Toal. Bullock added another on sixty-five and Shane Toal completed his hat-trick eight minutes from time for 36-18 with Sheffield’s only try of the second half being a last minute Lo effort to complete his brace.

The afternoons remaining fixture saw Featherstone Rovers come from behind to secure a 40-14 win over the Batley Bulldogs. Scott scored twice in two minutes for the home side to give them a 12-0 lead after just seven minutes but tries from Lockwood and Briscoe, against a Walker penalty goal for Batley saw the Bulldogs take a 14-10 lead into the interval. The second half was one-way traffic  as Briscoe completed his hat-trick for Halifax with Newman, Holmes and Wildie all contributing with four pointers in a 40-14 win for Fev’.

London Broncos are back top of the division on points difference from Toulouse, but the Londoners do have a game in hand. Featherstone occupy the third place in the top four while Toronto are now sitting in fourth spot, five points clear of the next highest team. Just seven rounds in and there are already four clear runaway favourites for the middle eights competition.



Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 25th Mar 2018 5:42 PM | Views : 4867 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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