Round Six of the Betfred Championship gets underway this weekend, with all 14 of the division’s teams in action.
Second placed Toulouse Olympique travel to Widnes Vikings on Saturday afternoon. An Olympique victory would put some pressure on league leaders Featherstone Rovers, who do not play until Sunday.
However, standing in their way is a rejuvenated Widnes side, who have won three of their opening five league games under head coach John Kear.
Also competing on Saturday will be Newcastle Thunder and London Broncos. Both sides have won once in the Championship so far this season and will be hoping to pick up their second victory in as many weeks after both sides progressed into Round Four of the Betfred Challenge Cup last weekend.
Table toppers Featherstone can record their sixth straight Championship win with a victory at Swinton Lions, with Sean Long’s side looking to immediately bounce back from last week’s Challenge Cup defeat against Halifax.
Swinton, however, will take confidence from the Panthers’ triumph at the Millennium Stadium, and after picking up impressive victories against both the Batley Bulldogs and Barrow Raiders, they may fancy their chances again this coming weekend.
The tie of the round takes place at Odsal where third placed Sheffield Eagles travel to the Bradford Bulls.
Both sides have enjoyed impressive starts in 2023; the Eagles have lost just once in five games, whilst the Bulls recently produced a shock win against Toulouse.
Halifax will have the opportunity to continue their good run of form when they host Keighley Cougars at the Shay. Top Championship try scorer Lachlan Walmsley has been in sensational form so far this season and will look to add to his eight league tries for 2023 against the Cougars.
Former Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel Luke Gale could make his 350th career appearance if he is selected to feature for the Cougars on Sunday.
Elsewhere, York Knights host Whitehaven at the LNER Community Stadium. York have won their last three fixtures in all competitions, whilst Haven have picked up one victory in the same period.
The final match of Round Six will take place at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Monday evening when Batley host Barrow in front of the Viaplay Sports cameras.
Batley, who reached the 2022 Championship Grand Final, have endured a mixed start in 2023. Craig Lingard’s side have two wins from five league games to their name, but they did defeat Wath Brow Hornets 60-0 in the Challenge Cup last time out.
Barrow, meanwhile, remain winless in the Championship, but did pick up their first victory of 2023 last weekend when they overcame Swinton in the Challenge Cup.
Round Six Fixtures:
Saturday 18 March
- Newcastle Thunder vs London Broncos – 15:00
- Widnes Vikings vs Toulouse Olympique – 15:00
Sunday 19 March
- Bradford Bulls vs Sheffield Eagles – 15:00
- Halifax Panthers vs Keighley Cougars – 15:00
- Swinton Lions vs Featherstone Rovers – 15:00
- York Knights vs Whitehaven – 15:00
Monday 20 March
- Batley Bulldogs vs Barrow Raiders – 19:45