Round twelve of the Betfred Championship was played out over two days as Toulouse and York had a top of the table clash on Saturday afternoon, the remaining fixtures taking place on Sunday.
Sunday afternoon had five games with Leigh at Batley, Featherstone at Barrow, Bradford entertaining Rochdale, Dewsbury at Widnes and the Eagles taking on Halifax.
The final game of the round was the Wolfpacks first game in Canada in 2019 as they hosted Swinton.
It was a cracker of a game in France as Toulouse Olympique XIII held off a strong challenge from York City Knights to take the crucial two points at the top of the table. Mazive’s opening York try was answered within a minute by Ader and when Stock put York 10-6 ahead it took Curran just five minutes to establish a two point lead for the home side. Brinning scored five from the interval to send the visitors in with a 16-12 lead. Kheirallah and Robin scored in the opening ten minutes of the second half to edge Toulouse into a 24-16 lead but two tries in three minutes from Whiteley and Scott regained the lead for the Knights at 26-24. The last scoring action of the game was a Marion try on seventy-two, self-converted to snatch the win by 30-26.
It was a nail biter at Widnes as the Vikings slipped to their fourth defeat of the season at the hands of the Dewsbury Rams. The Rams hit the front early through Hooley and Igbinedion tries before Owens pulled one back for the home side. Gabriel then extended the Rams lead but two more tries for Owens, to complete his hat-trick meant the home side led by 18-14 at the change of ends. Gabriel scored his second for Dewsbury after the interval to level the scores before a Craven converted try put the Vikings 24-18 up. Finn was the Rams hero as he scored a try on seventy-three, converted it himself, and added a drop goal three minutes from time to snatch a one point victory.
The Bradford Bulls maintained their superb start to the season with another big win, this time by 52-16 over the bottom club, the Rochdale Hornets. Rochdale had sprinted into a 12-0 lead within the opening ten minutes thanks to tries from Moores and Gillam but Crossley and Doyle, along with a Minchella penalty levelled the scores. Wood scored three minutes before the break to re-establish the Rochdale lead, sending them into the sheds with a 16-12 lead. The second half was one-way traffic as tries from Oakes, Ryan (3), Webster and one more each for Crossley and Doyle eased the Bulls to a comfortable win.
Batley couldn’t hold on to a 6-0 lead, established thanks to a Leak try as tries from Thornley, Marsh and Higginson put Leigh 18-6 ahead. Campbell scored just before the break to give the Bulldogs some hope at 18-12 and they held on until the hour mark before Leigh hit them with two tries in ten minutes through Brierley and Eaves for a 30-12 lead. Taira got a Batley consolation before Higginson rounded off a good afternoon for the Centurions and gave them a 36-16 win.
Featherstone were fast out of the blocks in Cumbria as Day, Sutcliffe, King, and Chisolm all scored first half tries for a 22-0 lead. Smith and Stack spearheaded a Barrow fightback in the second half for 22-12 but Chisolm added a fifth Rovers try just before the final hooter for a 26-12 win.
Sheffield Eagles play-off aspirations suffered a minor setback with a 32-24 defeat at the hands of Halifax, who had seen the departure of their coach earlier in the weekend. Full match report here.
Toronto made easy work of the Swinton Lions as they went 10-0 ahead in the opening ten minutes thanks to O’Brien and Wallace tries. Ashton got one back for Swinton but tries from Thompson and Ackers gave Toronto a 24-6 interval lead. Dixon and Leutele scored in the opening ten minutes of the second half for 34-6. Olbison, Wallace, Higson all pushed Toronto out to a 52-6 lead before a late consolation from Butt took Swinton into double figures but the Wolfpack ran out as 52-10 winners.