Another week of Championship action is upon us, and it promises to be yet another belter.
Last weeks action didn’t disappoint. Keighley Cougars stunned Batley Bulldogs, York Knights overcame an in-form Widnes Vikings and Featherstone Rovers and Toulouse again showed their class as they notched important wins. But what does this week have in store? Here are our predictions:
Friday 25th August
Batley Bulldogs 18-30 Sheffield Eagles
It’s 4th vs 5th as the Bulldogs take on the Eagles, but the Eagles will walk away with the two points. Both teams have been on a mini slump in recent weeks, and both find themselves on 26 points; however their performances last time out indicate the Eagles should win. Batley were second best against Keighley Cougars, and whilst Sheffield were outclassed by Featherstone, the performance showed they should have enough to get one over the Bulldogs this weekend.
Newcastle Thunder 6-42 York Knights
York’s win against Widnes last weekend has given them a shot at the playoffs, and a win against Newcastle would be a real boost to their chances. Newcastle have struggled all season; and even though York haven’t hit their usual standards, they should record a big win against the bottom side.
Saturday 26th August
Toulouse 30-12 Barrow Raiders
The South of France is always a tough place to go, and it could be a long day for Barrow. Toulouse are still eight points behind leaders Featherstone Rovers, but a win this weekend would keep the pressure on the table toppers, and the French outfit will be eyeing up a big result against Barrow. The Raiders are capable of pulling off a shock result, but this week won’t be one of them.
Sunday 27th August
Featherstone Rovers 48-18 Keighley Cougars
Featherstone are back to their brilliant best. They find themselves eight points ahead of second placed Toulouse, and will looking to maintain that gap as we enter the latter stages of the season. Keighley pulled off a shock win last time out against Batley; but it will be a tough ask to make it two on the spin against the table toppers.
Halifax Panthers 24-18 Widnes
This game could go either way, but the 1895 Cup champions should just edge it. The sides both sit just outside the top six, and are only separated by a point; but Halifax will be looking to prove their Wembley triumph was no flash in the pan as well as avenging last weeks defeat. Widnes will also be on the hunt for a win after defeat last time out, but ultimately the Panthers will just edge the contest.
London Broncos 30-24 Whitehaven
Another game that could either way; but the Broncos will get the two points. London have been inconsistent so far this season; but still sit in the playoff places. A win against Whitehaven will put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack, and this should spur them on to a victory.
Swinton Lions 12-24 Bradford Bulls
Bradford have silently crept up the table in recent weeks, and now find themselves in third place. They are back playing some good rugby, and have a fantastic squad on paper. Swinton are capable of a shock result though and will definitely give the Bulls a scare, but Bradford will carry on their good form. A win will also help them cement their place in the top six, which is too good an opportunity for them to let go amiss.