11th July 2019, 15:54 | championship
Toronto Wolfpack could edge another step closer to sealing the Betfred Championship League Leaders’ shield with a victory over play-off hopefuls Featherstone Rovers this weekend.
The Wolfpack have been a step above the rest of the Championship field so far in 2019 and their 34-12 victory over Halifax last weekend stretched their winning run to 14 consecutive games. Featherstone have only lost one of their last nine outings in the Championship and will take confidence knowing they remain just one of three sides to ever come away from Toronto with a victory.
Toulouse Olympique slipped from 2nd place for the first time since March following their narrow defeat at the hands of Bradford Bulls last weekend. Sylvain Houles’ side – after having a six-point advantage over the chasing pack – are very much in a fight to earn a play-off spot. However, they travel to strugglers Rochdale on Saturday with the Hornets still only having one win to their name and now in the midst of a 15-game losing run.
The French side were leapfrogged by York City Knights who face a tough trip to Batley Bulldogs in a repeat of the recent AB Sundecks 1895 Cup quarter-final which the Bulldogs edged in Golden Point Extra-Time. James Ford’s men will be looking to avenge their cup disappointment and maintain a grasp on 2nd spot. As for the Bulldogs, they may have one eye on the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-finals but will know they only remain three points above the relegation zone.
Bradford Bulls look to have re-found their form at a pivotal point of the season having now won each of their last three Championship fixtures. They welcome a Swinton Lions side who are enjoying their most fruitful spell of 2019 earning ten points from a potential 14 in their last five outings. The Lions are now five points clear of the drop-zone while Bradford know a victory could see them climb into the top five.
JOHN Kear's side are closing in on a Betfred Championship play-off place having won three on the spin - but an in-form @Swinton_Lions outfit visits Odsal on Sunday...— Bradford Bulls (@OfficialBullsRL) July 10, 2019
🎟️ https://t.co/AYmP7LBlKw#TheBullsAreComing pic.twitter.com/61F5vbhaqD
John Duffy’s Leigh Centurions side could stand in Bradford’s way, but they face a difficult trip to Cumbria to face relegation-battling Barrow Raiders. Last weekend’s loss to Featherstone brought an end to Leigh’s four-game winning run while the Raiders have now lost their last two fixtures. Barrow sit on nine points - trailing Dewsbury by two - and will know the importance of staying in touching distance of the four sides above them.
Widnes Vikings earned a crucial victory over Rochdale last weekend opening up a three-point buffer from the relegation places. Their opponents this weekend Halifax find themselves in mid-table but potentially could get dragged into the battle at the bottom should they pick up a few consecutive losses. The Vikings will travel to The Mbi Shay – in a game which will be featured on Our League – with the hopes of climbing into 9th.
The Betfred Championship weekend opens with Sheffield Eagles hosting Dewsbury Rams with Mark Aston’s side in need of a win to remain in chase of the sides above them. The Eagles will be looking for an upturn in fortunes at the Olympic Legacy Park having lost their last five home games. Dewsbury – who had sat mid-table for large periods of the season – now find themselves languishing in 12th with the threat of relegation very real.
Sheffield Eagles v Dewsbury Rams (19:45)
Rochdale Hornets v Toulouse Olympique (15:00)
Toronto Wolfpack v Featherstone Rovers (18:00)
Barrow Raiders v Leigh Centurions (15:00)
Batley Bulldogs v York City Knights (15:00)
Bradford Bulls v Swinton Lions (15:00)
Halifax RLFC v Widnes Vikings (15:00)