It was a full round of Championship fixtures as we entered round thirteen with the majority of games being scheduled as three o’clock kick offs on Sunday afternoon, the one exception being an early encounter between the Halifax Panthers and Whitehaven.
The other six games saw; Toulouse at Batley, London take on York, Newcastle at home to Dewsbury, Oldham face Bradford, Swinton against Sheffield and Widnes play Featherstone. It would be a round which was not short of tries or points.
The closest game of the day was the early kick off where Whitehaven took the early lead through a couple of Walmsley penalties to be 4-0 up on the half hour. Davies got a converted try for the Panthers on half-time to take the lead and when Harris kicked a penalty on fifty0seven it was 8-4. The game was won with ten minutes remaining when Garside went in for a final scoreline of 14-4.
Batley made the early running against Toulouse after initially going behind to a Hansen try in the third minute. By the twenty-fifth they were 12-6 up thanks to Johnson and Gledhill tries but then it would all be the French side as they maintained their one hundred percent record. Schaumkel and Sangare scored before the interval for 16-12 and in the second half a brace from Vauvai and one from Jussaume eased them to a 32-12 win.
After last week’s horror story at Featherstone which heralded the departure of coach Ward, London Broncos struck back with a big 50-20 win over the York City Knights. Lovell, Hodson and Hankinson put London 18-0 ahead before two tries in two minutes for Whitley and Dixon got York back into the game. Lovell and Hankinson both grabbed second tries in the second half and when Leyland and Miski also scored it was all over as a contest. Jubb got one back for York before Jones ended the London scoring. A late Atkins try didn’t serve as any consolation.
Newcastle Thunder and Dewsbury had quite a scrap. Johnson and Carr traded early scores before a Bailey try for the home side gave them a 10-6 interval lead. Ta’ai, Clegg and Gill all scored tries inside the opening twenty-two minutes of the second half for 24-6 before a late try from Dixon brought up double points for the Rams as they lost 12-24.
The Bradford Bulls had a party at Oldham. Foggin-Johnson opened the scoring on three minutes and the Bulls never looked back. Keyes got two tries and Pickersgill added another for a 26-0 interval lead. There was a tit-for-tat in the second half, Oldham scoring through Holcroft, Reilly, Abram and Dupree while the Bulls ran in tries from Keyes, Brown, Evans, Pickersgill and England for a massive 54-22 win.
Switon looked like they might grab their first win of the season against Sheffield but it wasn’t to be. Lloyd had put Swinton ahead before a Millar response and when Buckley added a second for Swinton they were still in the driving seat but a Davies brace before the interval sent the Eagles in with an 18-10 lead. Millar grabbed two more tries early in the second half to complete his hat-trick and bring up thirty points before later tries from Heyes and Hansen took off some of the shine, Sheffield winning by 30-22.
In the final game Featherstone marched on after taking the scalp of the Widnes Vikings by 32-10. Brown and Jones scored the only tries of a first half which Rovers ended with a 14-0 lead. Baker and Cross got Widnes right back in the game at 14-10 before Fev’ found another gear and scored tries through Brown (2) and Gale to seal the win.