Swinton win ‘£100k game’ + Championship Shield reports

Saturday..

Toulouse Olympique 56-14 Batley Bulldogs – Toulouse Olympique showed just why they came so close to a top four finish in the Kingstone Press Championship as they hammered Batley Bulldogs 56-14 at Stade Ernest Argeles. Olympique take on Swinton Lions next weekend before playing host to Dewsbury Rams in the Shield semi-final, while Batley face Sheffield Eagles.

The hosts led 28-0 at the break and broke the deadlock in the 18th minute through Johnathon Ford. Mark Kheirallah added the extras. Ford’s half-back partner Stan Robin was next over the whitewash as Toulouse aimed to build up a healthy advantage. Kheirallah was on target with the conversion. Mourad Kriouache and Paul Marcon added to Toulouse’s try tally, but Kheirallah could only convert once. Robin completed his brace before the half was up.

To start the scoring for the second half, scrum-half Robin crossed for his third score of the evening. Tony Maurel soon followed with a try of his own. Kheirallah added one conversion as Toulouse led 38-0. Kriouache and Wayne Reittie exchanged tries as Batley got on the scoresheet in the final quarter. Brad Hill’s converted try got the Bulldogs up to double figures before Kheirallah bagged himself a quick-fire brace. Toulouse had hit the half century but Batley weren’t finished. James Harrison struck a late consolation for the Bulldogs.

Sunday..

Dewsbury Rams 12-16 Bradford Bulls – Bradford Bulls are finishing their Championship stay in style as they secured their second consecutive victory with a 16-12 triumph against Dewsbury Rams at the Tetley’s Stadium.

The Bulls opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Cory Aston, who also starred in Bradford’s victory against Sheffield in round five. The current Leeds half-back converted. Dom Speakman replied in quick time as Dewsbury drew level following Paul Sykes’ conversion. The Rams took the lead on 16 minutes when Aaron Brown crossed, and Sykes was on target from the tee once again. However, Bradford levelled matters before the break through Ross Peltier’s try which was converted by Aston.

Just four points were scored in the second period and that came courtesy of Lee Smith in the 57th minute. Dewsbury pushed for an equalising score but couldn’t get it as Geoff Toovey’s men headed back to Odsal with two more competition points despite their fate being sealed long ago.

Sheffield Eagles 26-22 Rochdale Hornets – Menzie Yere came to Sheffield Eagles’ rescue as the PNG International centre scored a 78th minute try to win the game against Rochdale Hornets. The Hornets had put Sheffield’s defence under intense pressure in the second period but it was the South Yorkshire side who ended the game on top. The victory also booked their trip to Batley Bulldogs in two weeks time for the Shield semi-final.

There was nothing to separate the sides at half-time as the teams went to the sheds all square at 10-10. The Hornets got the scoreboard ticking in the fourth minute as Kevin Penny showed some superb acrobatics to get the ball down in the corner following a 40/20 in the previous set. Danny Yates converted. Yates got the kicking tee back out soon after as he slotted over a penalty goal to give Rochdale a two score lead, albeit a short-lived one. Matty Fozard got Sheffield off the mark as they got to within a couple of points of Rochdale after Jack Owens’ conversion. The Eagles took the lead for the first time in the match when Garry Lo supported a Ryan Millar break to score. Owens couldn’t convert. Yates levelled matters with his second penalty of the game.

After the restart, Rochdale looked to be running away with the contest as they scored two quick-fire tries. Matty Hadden scored the opening try of the second half before Jack Holmes touched down in the corner. Yates converted both scores and the visitors were in a great position at 22-10 up. However, Owens soon responded with a piece of individual brilliance. He placed a grubber into the in-goal and chased it himself to get Sheffield back into the game. He added the extras. Just before the final quarter, Scott Wheeldon crashed over from short range and with Owens’ conversion Sheffield were level again. Rochdale had two great chances to take the lead thanks to a easy-looking penalty goal and a drop goal but Yates and Lewis Palfrey couldn’t hit the intended target. Rochdale deserved a share of the spoils but that was taken away from them when Yere’s sheer strength was too much to handle for the defence. Owens couldn’t convert but that didn’t matter as Sheffield picked up a victory.

Swinton Lions 29-6 Oldham – In the self-proclaimed £100k game, Swinton Lions beat Oldham 29-6 to take a massive step towards safety. Oldham can still finish on the same points as Swinton but there needs to be a massive swing in points differential for the Lions to be relegated.

Swinton took the lead through Caine Barnes and Chris Hankinson converted successfully. George Tyson responded with Oldham’s only try of the contest, which was converted. Ilias Bergal put the Lions back in front, with Hankinson converting again. The half-time score was 12-6 to the Lions but things soon got better and less nervy for Stuart Littler’s side.

They extended their lead to two scores with a drop goal before Ben Austin and Oliver Davies both touched down to make the score 23-6 to the Lions. Rhodri Lloyd put the icing on the cake with the final try of the game, Hankinson converting again.

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