Championship Round Eleven: Kick-off times, TV coverage and predictions

The ever-competitive Championship has another brilliant round of games in store this weekend after impressing last week.

That last week saw a feisty affair at Featherstone where they just managed to maintain their unbeaten record despite an impressive performance from Sheffield Eagles.

Bradford Bulls fell to a humiliating defeat against Barrow in which they shipped 42 second-half points, something that ultimately saw Mark Dunning sacked.

Meanwhile the shock of the round came on the Saturday when Toulouse travelled to Swinton and the former League One side won their first game in eight to upset the former Super League side.

Here’s the preview and predictions for round eleven which gets underway on Saturday.

London Broncos vs Barrow Raiders

Kick-off time: Saturday 14:00pm
Prediction: London 18-22 Barrow

London have been strong at home in the capital of late however three of their four wins there have come in the Challenge Cup, two of which came against League One opposition. With Barrow coming off their most impressive win of the season they’d be expected to travel well and they can take the win and the two points back to Cumbria.

Batley Bulldogs vs Toulouse Olympique

Kick-off time: Saturday 18:00pm
Prediction: Batley 12-20 Toulouse

Toulouse will be keen to bounce back from their shock loss to Swinton last week and against Batley they should manage it. Whilst the Bulldogs won their round 10 fixture, they played on Monday night compared to Toulouse’s Saturday game. That shorter turn-around combined with boss Craig Lingard beginning his shared role as Castleford Assistant could be enough for the French side to get the better in this game, and improve their dwindling away form.

Bradford Bulls vs Swinton Lions

Kick-off time: Sunday 15:00pm
Prediction: Bradford 20-16 Swinton

It’s hard to know how Bradford will perform this weekend given this is their first match without Mark Dunning, but one thing is for certain and that’s that they owe their fans a far better performances that last week’s second-half display. The Odsal fans will almost certainly get that with a huge boost in effort and those fans may just carry them over the line against a Swinton side flying high after victory over Toulouse.

Halifax Panthers vs Whitehaven

Kick-off time: Sunday 15:00pm
Prediction: Halifax 38-12 Whitehaven

The Panthers are starting to purr at the moment stringing three wins together on the bounce in all competitions and flying winger Lachlan Walmsley is one of the main beneficiaries of their rich form. Expect him to bag at least a brace here against a Haven side who struggled on the road until late. Haven have found some form edging out wins over Barrow and York on the road but against an in-form Panthers side they likely won’t have enough.

Keighley Cougars vs Sheffield Eagles

Kick-off time: Sunday 15:00pm
Prediction: Keighley 18-26 Sheffield

The Cougars have been strong at home this season winning four from six and losing to just Featherstone and Toulouse, the two pre-season favourites. Sheffield will have spent a lot of energy emotionally and physically last week in vain against Featherstone as they narrowly fell to defeat, at times playing with just 10 men on the field. Despite that huge expenditure of energy they should have enough for Keighley and be able to reaffirm their spot as the team to chase down Sean Long’s side.

Widnes Vikings vs Featherstone Rovers

Kick-off time: Sunday 15:00pm
Prediction: Widnes 10-16 Featherstone

John Kear will demand a reaction from his Widnes side after their disappointing loss to Batley on Monday night. The Vikings offered up little in response and also suffered injuries to the likes of Danny Craven and a season-ender in training for Liam Bent. Pair that with the turnaround time being shorter and facing unbeaten Featherstone then their task gets tougher, but they can push Rovers close especially given that they no longer seem invincible as exemplified by Sheffield last weekend who came close.

York Knights vs Newcastle Thunder

Kick-off time: Sunday 15:00pm
Prediction: York 34-6 Newcastle

Thunder travel to the LNER in very poor form having not won in the league since opening day against Swinton. The positive for Chris Thorman’s men is that York are also on a poor run of form themselves with last week being their first win in five league fixtures. Despite that the Knights had seen off Thunder at the LNER a fortnight earlier in the Challenge Cup and that will give Andrew Henderson’s men the confidence to win again and start rebuilding their season.

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