The Championship is fresh off the back of it’s Summer Bash event at York but rolls on towards another key week of action.
It’s action that gets underway a day earlier this week with a Friday night fixture at Newcastle with the Thunder capitalising on bodies in the city and hosting their game against Bradford ahead of Super League’s Magic Weekend.
Last week saw upsets such as Toulouse falling to defeat again but the French side are back home this week, whilst unbeaten Featherstone face another tough test.
Friday 2nd June
Newcastle Thunder vs Bradford Bulls: 19:45pm on Viaplay Sports
Prediction: Newcastle 16-22 Bradford
Thunder are still without a win in the league since the opening round but three of their last four defeats have seen them get within one score, and that’s come against strong opposition too. Bradford are on a run of two wins but have yet to go three in a row this season, and despite the expected large home crowd this could be the week they get that consistency together.
Saturday 3rd June
Toulouse Olympique vs Halifax Panthers: 17:00pm
Prediction: Toulouse 36-16 Halifax
Toulouse have fallen to three defeats in a row of late but they’ve all been on the road. The Olympians have played just four times at home this year but they’ve conceded just 10 points and scored a mammoth 218. In their other eight games they’ve scored and conceded 132 points a piece. That home form can’t be ignored and they should bounce back this week and hand Halifax a second league defeat in a row.
Sunday 4th June
Batley Bulldogs vs York Knights: 15:00pm
Prediction: Batley 26-16 York
Batley head into this game on a nice run of form with five straight wins in the league including victory over the teams placed 4th, 5th and 6th. That’s placed the Bulldogs in third place whilst their opposition, York, sit in 9th. A loss to Featherstone at the Summer Bash ended York’s own run of form however facing such tough opposition this looks to be another loss for the Knights.
Featherstone Rovers vs Barrow Raiders: 15:00pm
Prediction: Featherstone 50-12 Barrow
Featherstone sit top of the table and remain unbeaten in the league and their demolition of York last week reminded everyone of their attacking prowess. Back at home they can show their scoring power once again when facing a Barrow side that have yet to win on the road this season.
Keighley Cougars vs Swinton Lions: 15:00pm
Prediction: Keighley 14-22 Swinton
Swinton had been improving of late but their blowout loss to Widnes at the Summer Bash put a dent in their resurgence. Nevertheless they play a Keighley side that seem to be in disarray having sacked their head coach and lost four of their last five. They also took a big beating at the Summer Bash, shipping 40 points for the second week in a row, and the Lions can capitalise on this if they recreate their form of late.
Sheffield Eagles vs Whitehaven: 15:00pm
Prediction: Sheffield 42-10 Whitehaven
The Eagles have established themselves as the standout team to chase Featherstone down as they sit outright in second place with a solid run of form too. Their loss to Featherstone as well saw them reduced to 10 men at one point. Meanwhile Whitehaven have lost their last three and have only won twice on the road this year anyway. Expect the Eagles to put on a show.
Widnes Vikings vs London Broncos: 15:00pm
Prediction: Widnes 28-24 London
Arguably the hardest game to predict of the round with 6th hosting 8th and both teams coming off impressive wins. The Vikings impressed against Swinton last week whereas London beat Toulouse. The addition of Dean Whare and now Corey Norman could be a huge boost for the Broncos, but the return of Tom Gilmore for Widnes could be the edge as exemplified last week.