Championship Round 18 Predictions

Round 18 of the Championship is upon us, and boy was round 17 a corker!

We saw some massive score lines last week. Bradford ran riot against local rivals Keighley, London Broncos put Newcastle to the sword, Featherstone again showed their class as they stormed past Whitehaven and Toulouse romped to victory over Widnes in 38°C heat.

Whilst these four matches dominated the headlines, there were also some tighter affairs. Batley sneaked past Barrow, Swinton beat Sheffield and York got one over Halifax.

But what does round 18 hold in store? Here are our predictions ahead of the weekends action:

Saturday 8th July

London Broncos vs Toulouse: 13:00

Prediction: 18-36

This game will be high scoring, but ultimately Toulouse will return to France with the win. The French side have been in scintillating form recently. They’ve won their last six matches and have scored 204 points in the process. However their last defeat was at the hands of their opposition this week, the London Broncos, who will be wanting to get some consistency ahead of the business end of the season. It promises to be an entertaining game.

Sunday 9th July 

Batley Bulldogs vs Halifax Panthers: 15:00

Prediction: 18-12

Sunday sees a massive clash in the race for the Championship playoffs between Batley and Halifax. This game could go either way, but home field advantage should help Batley secure the two points. The Panthers will pose a threat in attack, and if they score points early Batley could struggle to catch them; however Batley boast the third best defence in the competition, so it promises to be an enthralling game at the Fox’s Biscuit Stadium.

Featherstone Rovers vs Swinton Lions: 15:00

Prediction: 50-12

This could be a long day for the traveling Swinton fans. The Rovers have been in imperious form this season, and Sunday could be another example of their quality. They have been nothing short of brilliant apart from the blip against Toulouse, and could put a large score on Swinton. The Lions come into this weekend having won their last two, but have struggled to find consistency this season. They have a shock result in them, after all they beat Toulouse earlier on this season, but they won’t be enough to beat Featherstone.

Keighley Cougars vs York City Knights: 15:00

Prediction: 28-18

A battle of the maybe men in the Championship at Cougar Park this week as Keighley take on York. Both teams come into the game with the same record, having both won six and lost 11 so far this campaign. However a win for both sides could propel them into the race for the playoffs. Both teams have also struggled in recent weeks, as both have only picked up one win in their last five games, so it promises to be a close game; but home advantage could be crucial and Keighley could utilise that to secure the points. The Cougars will also be boiling over this week after a heavy loss to their local rivals, and will want to put that to bed with a big result this weekend.

Newcastle Thunder vs Whitehaven: 15:00

Prediction: 12-24

Newcastle have really struggled this season, and Sunday could be another tough day for them. The Thunder have only recorded two wins all season, and I can’t see them getting the third this weekend. Whitehaven are settled in the middle of the table, but last week’s hammering by Featherstone would have fuelled a fire and they will be licking their lips at the chance to come roaring back against the struggling Thunder. A win for Whitehaven could also push them into the race for the top six, which would be massive for them.

Sheffield Eagles vs Barrow Raiders: 15:00

Prediction: 30-6

The Eagles are soaring high this season, and should add another two points to their tally against Barrow. They have been inconsistent in the last month, however they still find themselves in the top six, and a win on Sunday could move them up to second in the table. This could be a huge dangling carrot for Sheffield, and could help swing the result in their favour against struggling Barrow.

Monday 10th July

Widnes Vikings vs Bradford Bulls: 19:45

Prediction: 4-30

It’s all doom and gloom at Widnes at the moment. The club are still without a head coach following John Kear’s departure and they are without a win since the end of May. On the flip side, Bradford come into the game off the back of a hug win in the BD derby. Furthermore, they have the chance to put some daylight between themselves and Halifax in the playoff hunt. This is a great chance for Bradford, and they should take it comfortably.