18th July 2019, 15:22 | championship

Betfred Championship Preview

Betfred Championship Preview

Toronto Wolfpack can lift the League Leaders' Shield this weekend

Runaway Betfred Championship leaders Toronto Wolfpack can seal the League Leaders’ Shield this weekend if they are victorious on Sunday evening against Widnes Vikings at the Select Security Stadium.  

No matter what happens elsewhere, if Brian McDermott’s side are victorious, they will lift the shield this weekend. However, if they do lose just their second game in the Championship this year, a York draw or win or victories for Leigh and Toulouse would prevent them being named champions. 

If the Wolfpack were to draw against Widnes, they would still win the shield should York City Knights lose or draw against Bradford Bulls. If Toronto were to draw and York beat Bradford the Wolfpack will need to wait another week to potentially be crowned champions. Toronto won the League Leaders’ Shield in 2018 but were beaten in the Million Pound Game by London Broncos. 

York sit 2nd in the Betfred Championship and welcome an in-form Bradford side to Bootham Crescent on Sunday. The Knights’ four-game winning run came to an end last weekend, but they did remain unbeaten with a 14-14 draw against Batley. Bradford are also unbeaten in their last four games and also drew last time out against Swinton. 

The Championship weekend kicks off with another clash with huge play-off permutations as Toulouse Olympique host Sheffield Eagles. Toulouse have won just two of their last five fixtures – a run which has seen them slip into 3rd– but do come into this weekend’s game on the back of a huge 0-68 win over Rochdale. Sheffield have fallen short against fellow play-off hopefuls Leigh and York before returning to winning ways last weekend against Dewsbury. 

Featherstone Rovers face Rochdale Hornets in Round 22 and will be looking to maintain their push for a play-off spot after a valiant defeat in Canada last weekend. The Rovers have lost just two of their last eight Championship fixtures and will go into this week’s game as favourites against a Hornets side who have lost 16 consecutive Championship matches. 

Two of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-finalists face off a week prior to their respective semi-finals as Leigh Centurions host Batley Bulldogs. John Duffy’s side have lost just one of their last six outings while Batley haven’t won since May 26 and now are just four points above the relegation places.  

At the bottom end of the Championship table, Swinton Lions have been the form team with just one defeat in their last five seeing them climb up to 9th. While the Lions have lessened their relegation worries, Barrow remain in the relegation spots after not winning in their last three fixtures. The Raiders will need to end the Lions’ impressive run if they are to climb out of the bottom two this weekend. The Lions are set to host a 'Family Fun Day' with tickets FREE for children and just £10 for adults.

Halifax earned their first Championship victory since Summer Bash last weekend to ease any worries of getting dragged into a relegation battle which this weekend’s opponents Dewsbury are in the thick of. The Rams have won just one of their last five games and sit just two points above the relegation places.

Saturday July 20

Toulouse Olympique v Sheffield Eagles (17:00)

Sunday July 21

York City Knights v Bradford Bulls (15:00)

Dewsbury Rams v Halifax RLFC (15:00)

Featherstone Rovers v Rochdale Hornets (15:00)

Leigh Centurions v Batley Bulldogs (15:00)

Swinton Lions v Barrow Raiders (15:00)

Widnes Vikings v Toronto Wolfpack (17:35)