Round Seven of the Betfred Championship would continue to see the league table split into two halves as the top and bottom sides jostled for league positions as the season headed towards its quarter season point.
Toulouse looked to move into top position on Saturday with a home game against struggling Barrow while Toronto would have to wait until the late kick-off to regain their top spot, should they beat Batley. Fellow front runners York had a difficult home game with Halifax while Sheffield were away at Dewsbury against the Rams.
Bottom side, through points deduction, Widnes were at home to the Bulls while Featherstone were at pointless Swinton and Leigh Centurions were at home to Rochdale.
It was the proverbial walk in the park for Toulouse as they put Barrow to the sword with a 50-0 win on Saturday evening. Marguerite and Ader (2) scored tries, two of which were converted, for a 16-0 half time lead but in the second half it was all one-way traffic. Maurel added two more just after the interval alongside tries from Marion (2), Jussaume, Bretherton and the third for Ader. Despite Kheirallah only converting five of the ten tries, it was all too easy and sent the French side to the top of the pile, at least for the next twenty-four hours.
It was equally easy for the Leigh Centurions who recorded a 46-6 win over the Rochdale Hornets. Thornley, Adamson, Bentley, Pownall and McNally all scored first half tries, all converted by Richardson, for a 30-0 interval lead to demonstrate their total dominance. Rochdale managed to defend their line for the first twenty-eight minutes of the second half but then Bentley, Hood and McNally added three more tries in seven minutes for 46-0. A last minute consolation try for Millington, which he converted himself, avoided the nilling but not the heavy defeat.
Despite an eighth minute Sykes penalty, game between the Dewsbury Rams and Sheffield Eagles was tryless until the forty-sixth minute when Sykes broke the deadlock. Worrincy added a second for the home side six minutes later for a 12-0 lead. As the game looked to be slipping from Sheffield Thackeray got them on the board just before the hour but when Sykes kicked a drop goal for the Rams it was 13-6 to the home side and Sheffield were on the ropes. Farrell scored a converted try with three minutes remaining for 13-12 and a minute later Blackmore went over to snatch a win in a game which the Eagles hadn’t led until two minutes from the end.
York City Knights maintained their great start to the season, and their top four spot, with a fantastic 38-16 win over Halifax. Mazive, Scott and Cockayne opened up an 18-0 lead but Fleming pinched one for the visitors on eighteen and Robinson another on twenty six for a 20-10 half time lead. A Cockayne try and three Robinson goals put the Knights 34-10 up before Tyrer got Halifax’s third and last of the afternoon. Marsh added a converted try and Robinson kicked a last minute penalty to seal a comprehensive win.
Widnes Vikings are still trying to make up their points deduction and are now just one win away from zero points thanks to a 25-20 win over the Bradford Bulls. Craven and Brand put Widnes 12-0 ahead but tries from Foggin-Johnstone and Farrell levelled things after twenty-six. Ince re-established the Vikings lead at the break as the sides went in 18-14. Owens kicked a penalty for the Vikings on fifty-four and Craven kicked a drop goal for 21-14. When Ince scored Widnes’s fourth try of the afternoon for 25-14 it looked all over but a try from Green just four minutes from time made it a nervous end to the game for the home side but they held on for the win.
Swinton took a shock lead at home to Featherstone when Bennion scored after nine minutes. It took until the eighteenth minute for Bussey to score for the visitors but they still trailed at 8-6 after a Thomas penalty. But a try from Golding, and a second from Bussey, made it 18-8 at the interval. Ashton scored on fifty to reduce the arrears to 18-14 but an Ormondroyd try ten from the end put the game to bed and secured a 24-12 win for the visitors to keep them in touch with the leaders.
It was a simple victory for Toronto in the late kick off which they won by 34-12. Read the report here.