The game between Newcastle Thunder and the London Broncos was this week’s victim of the dreaded Covid postponement but the remainder of the fixtures all took place on Sunday afternoon with a close game and several runaway wins.
League leaders Toulouse Olympique XIII were away at Oldham in what promised to be a game of one-way traffic as Featherstone took on the Dewsbury Rams with a similar likely outcome.
The Bradford Bulls had a seemingly easy home game against Swinton while the York City Knights took on Whitehaven while Batley hosted the Sheffield Eagles and Halifax Panthers had a tough trip to the Widnes Vikings.
It was a pretty even first half between the Bulls and struggling Swinton with Pickersgill and Oakes putting the home side 12-0 ahead before two tries in three minutes from Roberts and Heyes for Swinton narrowing the arrears to 12-10 at the interval. Flanagan grabbed two before Roberts responded. A Foggin-Johnston try for the Bulls put them 30-14 ahead but it was a nervous last few minutes after Lloyd and Ridyard both scored for the Lions to get them within four points at the final hooter, losing by 26-30.
Featherstone had the dream start against the Dewsbury Rams as they romped to a 36-6 interval lead. Springer, Blackmore, Field and Hall (2) all scored for a 36-0 lead before a try from Gabriel two minutes from the interval opened the Rams account. The second half was equally one-way traffic with five unanswered tries coming from Cooper, on fifty-nine and then four inside the last ten minutes from Blackmore, Field, Hall and Jones for a massive 64-6 win.
York got off to a terrific start against Whitehaven when Teanby scored three minutes after the first whistle. Jones-Bishop added a second for 12-0 before Walmsley got Whitehaven moving to reduce the arrears to six points at the interval. Stock drew first blood three minutes after the restart to put the City Knights twelve ahead. Whiteley and Scott added two more to pull the City Knights well clear before a late consolation from Bradley meant that Whitehaven were heading home to Cumbria having suffered a 30-12 loss.
Two tries from Johnson gave the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead inside fifteen minutes before Davey pulled one back for the Eagles. Tries from Morton and Walshaw extended the home advantage for 20-6 at the interval. The Bulldogs started the second half as they’d ended the first with Hooley scoring on fifty. The second half was one-way traffic. Hooley (2), Walshaw, Flynn and Campbell. Sheffield could only boast a solitary second half from Davies as they lost 12-56.
By the time Oldham grabbed their first try on the half time hooter, the visitors from Toulouse had already run in four of their own through Vaivai, Sangare, Pelissier and Peyroux. The French side looked like they meant business with Garbutt and Pelissier adding tries of their own within fifteen minutes of the restart for a 34-6 lead but that’s where the scoring ended, Oldham keeping the visitors at bay for the last twenty-five minutes.
Halifax were looking to maintain a good winning run as they went to Widnes to take on the Vikings but they went behind early to a Craven try. Barber equalised and the conversion from Woodburn-Hall put the Panthers ahead but a try form Brookes on the stroke of half-time gave the Vikings a 10-6 interval lead. Tyrer scored against his previous employers on fifty-one, and a minute after a Craven drop goal, Baker scored the last try of the afternoon to make no mistake in Widnes securing a great win by 25-6.