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Once again there were some big scores as the top six battled to squeeze into just four positions and make it into the middle eights by the split at the end of round twenty-three.

The game of the round was the visit of Halifax to London with both sides knowing that a loss could deal a fatal blow to their Middle Eights aspirations, and in the Broncos case make qualification a very big ask.

Elsewhere Batley were in Canada to take on the Bulldogs, Toulouse travelled to Barrow needing a win to ease their worries and Leigh were at bottom club Rochdale where a big win was required to help their points difference. Sheffield played Dewsbury and Featherstone visited Swinton in the remaining games.

Rochdale and Leigh were first up on Saturday afternoon  with the Cneturions getting off to a great start with tries from Larroyer, Hall and Crooks  for a 16-0 lead before Massam scored for Rochdale. Lepori, Moores and Taira also picked up tries for the Hornets  as they launched an incredible comeback to take a 22-16 lead just after the half hour. Bailey scored for Leigh before the interval but the visitors trailed to the bottom placed side at the interval. Tries from Mata’utia and Mortimer soon after the restart edged Leigh back ahead but Massam got a second for Rochdale.  Hall and Hansen took the visitors lead out to 40-26 after sixty-five, Lepori again pegging them back. Tries from Mortimer and Dawson in the last couple of minutes made it look like a convincing win at 54-32 but Leigh would have been hoping for a bigger improvement to their points difference.

Saturday evening saw the Toronto Wolfpack continue their march at the top of the table with a 64-18 win over the travelling Batley Bulldogs. Toronto were 32-0 ahead within the opening half hour as Wallace (2), Worthington, Stanley, Rawsthorne, and Beswick all grabbed four pointers.  A Brambini try on half hour for the visitors meant they weren’t pointless at the interval but a try from Paterson stretched the Wolfpack lead before the break. Higson added another for the home side just after the interval before Davey got the visitors into double figures. Ackers picked up two tries in three minutes and Brierley scored Toronto’s eleventh try of the game before Ward got Batley’s third. Wallace completed the home scoring seventy minutes after he started it to seal the big victory.

It was a humdinger of a game in London on Sunday as the Broncos and Halifax played their crucial game at the Trailfinders. London took the lead through Williams on thirteen with Walker adding a second on twenty-five, the latter converted for a 10-0 half time lead. Although Williams extended the lead soon after the break to 14-0, Halifax struck back with Moss followed over the line by Grady for 14-12. Evans added London’s fourth try eight minutes from time, converted by Dixon for 20-12 and despite Fairbank scoring two minutes from the hooter it was the Broncos who put themselves right back in the top four mix as they held on for a 20-18 win.

Toulouse Olympique XIII recorded a massive 70-6 away win in Barrow to edge them closer to the four. Marion, Ader (2), Centrone, Seguier and Kheirallah all scored first half tries for a 36-0 interval lead. Seguir added his second to make it 42-0 before Harrison got Barrow’s only points of the afternoon. The Toulouse procession then continued as Curran and Marcon bothe scored before Ader grabbed another two for a personal haul of four on the day. Sangare also got in on the act and Kheirallah converted ten of the thirteen tries.

Featherstone Rovers didn’t want to be left out of the points festival as they grabbed sixty in demolishing Swinton Lions by 60-4. Although Robinson opened the scoring after six minutes it took tries from Briscoe and Hardman in the dying moments of the half for the visitors to open up an 18-0 interval lead. Second half tries from Smith, Tualapapa (2), Thackeray, and seconds for both Briscoe and Hardman put Fev’ 60-0 ahead before they let their guard down and Butt scored a seventy-sixth minute consolation for Swinton.

There was a terrific game played out for the minor places as ninth and tenth swapped places when the Sheffield Eagles played Dewsbury Rams. Magrin and Morton, and then Igbinedion and Costello traded tries in the opening half hour for 12-12. Fozard scored the Eagles third just before the break to edge the home side into an 18-12 half time lead. Spedding extended Sheffield’s lead before Speakman and Rider levelled the scores at 24-24 with ten minutes remaining. Ashworth scored on seventy-five for the Eagles and Aston’s conversion edged them 30-24 ahead before Knowles scored for the visitors. But with Sykes unable to convert the Rams fell two points short and relinquished their ladder position to the Eagles.

With just two games remaining Toronto are confirmed in the middle eights but the other three placed could be filled by any of the chasing five clubs. It’s going to be a nervous couple of weeks for everyone involved. With Halifax and Toulouse, and Featherstone and London playing each other next weekend the picture is unlikely to become much clearer anytime soon.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Mon 16th Jul 2018 9:36 AM | Views : 10340 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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