Co-operative Championships review for March 28
Featherstone Rovers continued their flying start to the Co-operative Championship season and cemented their place at the top of the table with a thumping 54-18 victory over Whitehaven.
Rovers, who are now averaging close to 40 points per match, scored 10 tries in a one-sided win that brought a personal 26-point haul for Kyle Briggs.
The stand-off scored three tries and kicked seven goals to the delight of the home crowd at Bigfellas Stadium, where Papuan centre Jessie Joe Parker also grabbed a hat-trick.
Featherstone’s other try-scorers were Stu Dickens, Liam Finn and Liam Welham, who touched down twice. Whitehaven’s try-scorers were Reece Fox, Derry Eilbeck and Carl Sice.
Leigh Centurions piled on the misery for Halifax by completing a 48-10 victory at The Shay to leapfrog their rivals into second place in the table behind leaders Featherstone.
Halifax, who had been surprisingly dumped out of the Northern Rail Cup at the hands of Hunslet Hawks a week earlier, were never in the frame after falling 20-4 behind at the break and were totally outplayed following the resumption.
Lee Mitchell scored two tries for Leigh while further scores came from Stuart Donlan, Jacob Emmett, Matty Blythe, Robbie Paul, Martyn Ridyard and Mick Nanyn, who also kicked six goals.
A 77th-minute try by Anthony Thackeray, his third of a thrilling match, snatched maximum points for Widnes Vikings at Dewsbury Rams where the visitors won 36-30.
The result was tough on last year’s Co-operative Championship One winners, who looked to have done enough to share the spoils until Thackeray’s late steal.
Chris Spurr also bagged a hat-trick for the Rams but Widnes won through with the help of further tries by James Webster, Chris Gerard and Shane Grady, who also kicked six goals.
On Saturday in France, last year’s Grand Final winners Barrow Raiders completed the first win of their title defence in some style with a 48-16 victory over Toulouse Olympique.
Thirty unanswered points after the restart swept Barrow to a win which included a second half hat-trick for substitute Liam Campbell and six goals from the boot of Jamie Rooney.
In Co-operative Championship One, South Wales Scorpions went clear at the top with a 48-6 home victory over London Skolars on a day that saw previous leaders York City Knights fall at resurgent Doncaster.
Lloyd White led the scoring spree for the Scorpions with two tries and seven goals while the Welsh club also added tries through Steve Parry, Loz Wildbore, Ben Flower, Christiaan Roets, Barrie Phillips and Gil Dudson.
Skolars’ solitary try was a token late effort from Matthew Carter, converted by Paul Thorman.
“One of our aims is to improve as a team each week and that was a really complete performance both in attack and defence,” said Scorpions coach Anthony Seibold.
“We're now starting to look like a rugby league team. We've a whole host of new guys to the game from rugby union backgrounds and they're now becoming good rugby league players.”
Doncaster broke their duck at Keepmoat Stadium with an impressive 40-24 success against York that saw the home side turn on the style in the second half after trailing 18-14 at the break. Eight tries, five after the restart, swept Doncaster to a deserved win.
Hunslet Hawks defied the absence of David March and Darren Robinson, both of whom were suspended in midweek, to complete a resounding 44-8 victory over Rochdale Hornets at South Leeds Stadium.
Centre Dave Clayton scored four tries for the high-flying Hawks while Richard Knight also added two as well as six goals for a 20-point haul.
Swinton Lions were no match for Blackpool Panthers at Fylde where the home side were unstoppable as they maintained their 100 per cent start to the league season with a 54-6 victory.
Only a 76th-minute try by Dana Wilson, converted by Gavin Dodd, spared Swinton the ignominy of being nilled by opponents who scored 10 tries of their own, including two each for Casey Mayberry, Danny Halliwell and Damian Munro.
Gateshead Thunder travelled to Workington Town and returned without a point of any description after losing 44-0 to the Cumbrians, for whom Aaron Low scored two tries.
Town added further scores through Brett Carter, Kris Coward, Ryan Campbell, Mike Backhouse, Jarrad Stack and James