15th August 2019, 13:17 | championship

Betfred Championship Preview

Betfred Championship Preview

York and Featherstone push for play-offs

As we head into the final few weeks of the Betfred Championship season there is still everything to play for in the play-off race and two hopefuls – York City Knights and Featherstone Rovers – will clash live on Our League on Sunday afternoon.

The Knights fell from 2nd spot last weekend but still have a five-point buffer between themselves and 6th placed Sheffield Eagles. Featherstone trail York by one point and know a victory would see them jump above James Ford’s side in the table. York’s heavy defeat in Toronto last weekend marked their first loss in eight games while the Rovers come into this weekend on the back of three consecutive victories, scoring 141 points in the process. 

Toulouse Olympique occupy 2nd spot heading into the final three games and know a victory this weekend against Batley Bulldogs would mathematically confirm their spot in the play-offs. The French side have earned four consecutive victories including a controlled win over Widnes last week on Our League. As for Batley, they returned to winning ways in the Heavy Woollen Derby last weekend after a run of eight straight losses.

John Duffy’s Leigh Centurions side are level on points with Toulouse but sit below them due to an inferior points difference and they face Widnes Vikings in a repeat of their dramatic AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-final last month. The Vikings came out on top at the Leigh Sports Village in July but come into the game on the back of four consecutive Championship losses. This loss alongside a narrow defeat against Featherstone are the only blots on Leigh’s record since the start of June with the Centurions winning seven of their last nine in all competitions. 

Sheffield Eagles are still pushing for a play-off spot but know they cannot afford to slip up again this season as they welcome Barrow Raiders who are still fighting relegation. The Eagles have won back-to-back games against Widnes and Halifax while the Raiders haven’t won since late June. A win is crucial for both sides in their respective battles and the Eagles have offered no ticket prices for this game simply accepting donations upon entry. 

Bradford Bulls still have an outside shot at making the top five but trail Featherstone by five points. John Kear’s side travel to the Tetley’s Stadium to face a Dewsbury Rams side who have lost just one of their last four outings. The Bulls will need to make it back-to-back victories and hope results go their way to keep their play-off ambitions alive. 

Toronto Wolfpack and Rochdale Hornets begin the weekend’s Championship action at Lamport Stadium on Saturday evening. The Wolfpack have already sewn up top spot and are looking to extend their winning run to 19 games. On the other hand, the Hornets’ relegation was confirmed two weeks ago, and they are looking to cause a huge upset and end their 20-game losing run. 

Saturday 17th August

Toronto Wolfpack v Rochdale Hornets (6pm)

Toulouse Olympique v Batley Bulldogs (7pm)

Sunday 18th August

Dewsbury Rams v Bradford Bulls (3pm)

Sheffield Eagles v Barrow Raiders (3pm)

Leigh Centurions v Widnes Vikings (3pm)

Swinton Lions v Halifax RLFC (3pm)

York City Knights v Featherstone Rovers (3pm)