Round Eleven of the Betfred Championship saw wins for the top five sides as they continued their excellent Easters and pushed on relentlessly in their quest for play off places.
The game of the round saw Toronto Wolfpack travel to a Featherstone Rovers side who are just starting to fall off the pace, while Toulouse hosted Halifax in another important fixture. Leigh were at home to Dewsbury as they looked to move higher up the table and the Bradford Bulls were at home to Barrow.
Elsewhere York City Knights took on Widnes in another mouthwatering tie, while Batley entertained Swinton, and the Sheffield Eagles travelled to bottom spot club Rochdale.
The Wolfpack didn’t have it easy in their 23-14 away win at Featherstone Rovers, O’Brien and Russell had given the Canadians an 8-0 lead but a converted try from Makatoa reduced the arrears to just two. Russell grabbed a second on the half hour mark, and McCrone kicked a drop goal on the hooter for a 13-6 score line at the break. Fev’ scored the opening try of the second half, again converted for 12-13. A Chisolm penalty goal on sixty-six edged the home side into a 14-13 lead and with the clock running down it looked like it might be a famous victory for the home side. Tries from Dixon on seventy-five and a third from Russell on the final hooter snatched the win for the Wolfpack.
The York City Knights had to come from behind to take the win against the Widnes Vikings. Wilde opened the Widnes account and they led by 6-0 at the break. Ince added a second Vikings try for 10-0 just after the restart but a terrific York fightback with three tries in thirteen minutes from Bass, Rawsthorne and Robinson along with two Robinson goals and a drop goal sealed a 17-10 win.
Bradford Bulls maintained their great form with a 26-14 win over Barrow. Farrell and Grant established a 10-0 home lead before Toal scored Barrow’s first try on forty-five minutes. Bradford struck back straight away with tries from Minchella and Lilley for a 20-6 lead before Susino and Charnock both scored tries for Barrow to get the visitors within a converted try of Bradford. A seventy-second minute Webster try for Bradford sealed the win and took the crucial two points.
Toulouse Olympique made easy work of the travelling Halifax. First half tries from Marion (2), Bretherton, and Kheirallah (2) saw a solitary response from Robinson with the French side going in with a 28-4 half time lead. It was also second half traffic in the second half with Marion and Kheirallah both completing their hat-tricks along with singles from Jussuame, Ader and Bergal to seal a 56-4 victory to retain second place.
The Sheffield Eagles also had a try fiesta at Rochdale despite the home side taking the lead through Forster on thirteen minutes. Hellewell, Glover, Blackmore and Walker all scored Sheffield tries in the first half for a 22-6 lead. Hellewell, Blackmore and Glover all added second half tries to stretch the lead to 40-6. Wood, with a converted try, moved the home side into double figures but Moran and Esslemont crushed their spirit and took the Eagles out to a 52-12 lead. Moores got a late consolation for a final score of 16-52.
Leigh maintained their push for the top of the table with a 34-12 win over the Dewsbury Rams. Thornley and Bentley gave Leigh an 8-0 lead but Brown responded for the Rams for 8-6 at the interval. Thornely and Bentley added second tries after the break along with a four pointer from Costello for 24-6. Trout grabbed the Rams second and last of the afternoon on fifty-six but in the last two minutes Thornley and Bentley both completed their hat-tricks for a commanding win.
Batley and Swinton battled it out at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. Wood, Jouffret and Bretherton gave the home side a 16-0 lead by half time with Swinton unable to get over the whitewash. Smeaton scored Batleys fourth try just after the restart before Ashton opened Swinton’s account. Wood scored his second for 24-6 but another two tries from Ashton gave the home side a scare at 24-18. A converted Jouffret try and a seventy-sixth minute Scott penalty goal saw the home side take the two points.