Championship Round Fourteen: Kick-off times and predictions

The Championship is closing in on the halfway mark of the season but it still looks as open as ever with shock results coming weekly.

Featherstone are the one exception to the rule in that they remain unbeaten after 13 rounds but they face one of their toughest tests this week, could they finally lose?

Friday 9th June

Sheffield Eagles vs York Knights: 19:30pm
Prediction: Sheffield 32-18 York

Sheffield suffered a shock loss to Whitehaven last week but they remain second and look one of the standout teams, whereas York have struggled this season especially on the road. The Knights have won just once on the road this year whereas the Eagles were unbeaten at home prior to last week’s shock loss. Expect them to right that wrong and beat York handily.

Saturday 10th June

Featherstone Rovers vs Toulouse Olympique: 18:00pm
Predictions: Featherstone 28-20 Toulouse

Rovers remain unbeaten in the league, their one loss coming to Halifax in the cup, and Sean Long’s men haven’t looked like losing in recent weeks either. As for Toulouse they’ve struggled massively on the road of late with three straight losses against opposition below the level of Featherstone, and they’d have likely lost to Halifax last week had it not been for the support of their 4,000 strong crowd.

Sunday 11th June

Barrow Raiders vs Keighley Cougars: 15:00pm
Prediction: Barrow 23-16 Keighley

This match pits two teams in struggling form against each other but taking the home side who seemingly have less off-the-pitch problems looks the way to go. Keighley have lost five of their last six with the most recent loss coming against 12th placed Swinton. Whilst Barrow are sat in 13th and haven’t been on much form of their own, they’ve picked up most of their points at home and this game looks key to Paul Crarey’s men.

Bradford Bulls vs London Broncos: 15:00pm
Prediction: Bradford 20-24 London

This game is one of the most interesting matchups this weekend. Bradford have potentially turned a corner with three wins on the spin, the first time they’ve managed to put such a run together this season, and they return to Odsal after close to a month as well. As for London they’ve won three of their last four and the signing of Dean Whare has looked to work wonders. More importantly they’ve beaten quality opposition in Toulouse and Widnes, with the Widnes win coming on the road snapping their three game away losing streak.

Newcastle Thunder vs Batley Bulldogs: 15:00pm
Prediction: Newcastle 18-34 Batley

Newcastle are still without a win since opening day and whilst they’ve shown improvement, they haven’t looked like changing that of late. As for Batley they’re on an impressive run of form that’s launched them into third in the table with five wins on the spin in the league. Three of those wins have come against top half opposition and so a win over Thunder should be well within Craig Lingard’s team’s range.

Swinton Lions vs Halifax Panthers: 15:00pm
Predictions: Swinton 16-28 Halifax

Swinton have picked up wins over Toulouse and Keighley of late and now they return home for their first match in over a month. That’s sure to be a big boost and they catch a Halifax side who gave their all last week in France but just came up short. That said the Panthers should have enough in this match and desperately need the win to stop what could become a losing streak.

Whitehaven vs Widnes Vikings: 15:00pm
Prediction: Whitehaven 18-24 Widnes

Haven are another side who are returning to play in front of home fans for the first time in a month and those that watched them on the road against Sheffield could be expecting an uptick in form. Widnes could spoil that immediately though with John Kear’s men looking to snap some poor form that’s seen just one win in their last three. A win for the Vikings could put them back into the playoffs as well for extra incentive.