Rugby League


8 Jun 2023

Betfred Championship Preview | Round 14

Betfred Championship Preview | Round 14

Round 14 of the Betfred Championship gets underway on Friday evening as York Knights travel to South Yorkshire to face Sheffield Eagles. 

Mark Aston’s Sheffield side have impressed throughout the 2023 season, with the Eagles sitting second in the table, however, they did suffer a home defeat last week to Whitehaven.

Before that defeat, Sheffield had won five of their previous six matches, with the only defeat coming against league leaders, Featherstone Rovers.

York gave a good account of themselves on the road at Batley, despite missing players due to injuries. The Knights lost 14-8 with Batley scoring a late try in the contest.

Andrew Henderson’s side sit ninth in the table with five mins from their previous 13 matches.

York have won the previous three meetings between the sides, including their Round Four Challenge Cup clash earlier in the season. The Knights raced into a lead before Danny Kirmond was sent off.

Featherstone Rovers face Toulouse on Saturday evening at the Millennium Stadium.

Rovers are the only side who have a 100% winning record, as Sean Long’s side have won all 13 of their league fixtures.

Featherstone have stood out as the leading side in the competition so far. They have scored 568 points, meanwhile only shipping 124 in defence.

Jack Bussey could make his 200th career appearance. Bussey has featured 135 times for Featherstone .

Saturday’s meeting will be the first since the 2021 Million Pound game, which saw Toulouse cinch promotion to the Super League.

Toulouse started the season well but have struggled as of late. The French sided ended a three-game losing streak with a home win over Halifax Panthers last week. 

The defeats have seen Toulouse slip to fourth position, which puts them 10 points behind their opponents on Saturday.

Toulouse will be searching for their first win away from France since 34-6 win at Keighley in the middle of April.

Barrow Raiders will be hoping to bounce back when Keighley Cougars make the trip to Cumbria.

Barrow suffered a big defeat last weekend at Featherstone, which followed an impressive success against Whitehaven at Summer Bash.

Paul Crarey’s side sit 13th in the table and will be looking to move away from the relegation places.

Barrow have won their last five home meetings with Keighley. Their last defeat in Cumbria to the Cougars was a League One match in 2015.

Keighley will be searching for their first win in four matches as they travel to face the Raiders.

Keighley occupy 10th place and could go up the table with a win.

The Cougars will be without Brenden Santi, who left the club earlier in the week.

Two in-form sides will meet at Odsal as Bradford Bulls and London Broncos both will be looking to achieve a fourth consecutive win.

Bradford have defeated Swinton, Keighley and Newcastle, meanwhile, London have beaten Barrow, Toulouse and Widnes.

In the Championship last season, both sides won one fixture each. With Bradford taking the spoils in the capital, before London went to Odsal to get the two league points.

Dean Whare has made a good impact since joining the Broncos. The centre has scored in both his appearances for the club.

Kieran Gill was named as Player of the Match last week in the Viaplay fixture for Bradford. Gill is just two tries away from 100 in his career.

Newcastle Thunder will be looking for a victory as Craig Lingard’s Batley Bulldogs make the trip up to the North East.

Thunder have shown resilience in the past few weeks, despite falling behind they have shown character to fight back and make a game competitive.

Denive Balmforth has scored three tries in his last two matches and the on-loan hooker will be hoping this run can continue.

With just one defeat in their last eight league matches, Batley have asserted themselves up the table in recent weeks.

The Bulldogs sit third in the table, just sitting behind Sheffield on points difference.

Batley are unbeaten in 13 matches against Thunder. The Bulldogs have won 11 matches during that period.

Batley defeated Newcastle 32-14 at Kingston Park in their meeting last season.

Swinton Lions will welcome Halifax Panthers on Sunday.

Swinton held off a fightback from Keighley last weekend, which saw Allan Coleman’s side move up to 12th and above Barrow Raiders. The victory was a fourth for Swinton since returning to the Betfred Championship.

The Lions have produced some good performances at Heywood Road this season. Their victory over Barrow, was followed a few weeks later with a very impressive success against Toulouse.

Halifax nearly became the first side to beat Toulouse in France last weekend. The Panthers were denied late in the contest, which would have been a huge scalp for Simon Grix’s side.

The West Yorkshire side are sat fifth in the table with seven wins in their thirteen league matches.

The Panthers completed the Championship double over Swinton when the sides met in 2021.

The final match of the weekend will see Whitehaven welcome Widnes to Cumbria.

Whitehaven produced a huge performance on the road last weekend, to be second place Sheffield Eagles.

Haven have proved to be a dangerous side this season and have five wins in the campaign.

Their last home victory was a dominant 31-6 success against Newcastle.

Widnes are pushing towards the play-offs and two points on Sunday would help in that quest.

The Vikings suffered a defeat last weekend which they will be looking to quickly forget about.

Widnes won both matches against Whitehaven in 2022. Their 56-16 win at home in Round 11, was followed with a 26-12 away victory in Round 23.

Captain Jack Owens could make his 150th Widnes appearance.




  • Sheffield Eagles v York Knights – 7:30PM


  • Featherstone Rovers v Toulouse – 6PM


  • Barrow Raiders v Keighley Cougars – 3PM
  • Bradford Bulls v London Broncos – 3PM
  • Newcastle Thunder v Batley Bulldogs – 3PM
  • Swinton Lions v Halifax Panthers – 3PM
  • Whitehaven v Widnes Vikings – 3PM