Once again the Toulouse Olympique XIII home fixture was a victim to a COVID postponement, this time the opposition was to have been the Bradford Bulls, so we were left with six games in round ten, all played with three o’clock kick-offs on Sunday afternoon.
There were some interesting looking ties, most notably the Sheffield Eagles trip to the Widnes Vikings and, on paper, Whitehaven travelling to the Trailfinders to take on the London Broncos. Dewsbury had a daunting home game against Featherstone Rovers while Batley had to go to the York City Knights. The final two games were Newcastle Thunder at home to Oldham and the Swinton Lions playing hosts to the Halifax Panthers, both of which looked likely to be one-sided.
It was a game of two halves in London where the Broncos took on Whitehaven, the visitors having a terrific first half after converted tries from Wilkinson and Cooper put the visitors 12-0 ahead. London edged their way back into it thanks to a Hankinson try by still trailed by 12-4 at the interval. The second half was all one-way traffic as the Broncos side were transformed. Tries from Meadows, Hodson, Gwaze, Curran and Aston took London out to a 34-12 lead after sixty-two, thirty points in just over twenty minutes. Sammut was next in the London progression before Hankinson got his second for a final score of 46-12.
The traffic was all one way for almost the entire game as Newcastle Thunder took on Oldham. Two tries from Johnson, both converted by Woods gave Thunder a 12-0 interval lead. Four tries in a ten-minute spell from Ta’ai, Halsall, Beswick and Shorrocks quickly extended the lead to 36-0 after fifty-seven minutes before Oldham avoided the whitewash when Kirk went in on seventy. Woods scored the final try of the game for Thunder as the took a 40-6 win.
It was a humdinger of a game between the City Knights and the Bulldogs with Batley taking a half-time lead at 10-0 with Hooley and Broughton both crossing the whitewash. Jones-Bishop and Dixon (2) ran in three tries for York in a seven-minute period leading up to the hour before Broughton responded with a second for Batley with Jones-Buchanan in the sin-bin. A Dixon penalty goal meant that York in the lead by 20-16 with ten minutes left but Walshaw scored for the Bulldogs with six minutes remaining, Hooley adding the extras to put his side two up to snatch the win.
There was little to choose between the Widnes Vikings and Sheffield Eagles going into this afternoons game and it was a competitive match. Grady opened things for Widnes with Millar replying, the sides tied at 6-6 until the thirty-sixth minute when Lyons broke the deadlock and gave Widnes a 12-6 interval lead. Glover got the Eagles back within two before a try from Craven and two from Lawton took the Vikings into a 30-10 lead. Tries from Glover on seventy and Corion in the dying seconds weren’t enough for the visitors as they lost 20-30.
Bottom club Swinton are still without a win after Halifax Panthers put them to the sword at Heywood Road. Grix and McGrath, with two tries each, established a 22-0 half time lead and the Panthers never looked back. Kavanagh added another twelve into the second half before a Roberts consolation try avoided the nilling. Bourouh went in for the sixth Panthers try of the afternoon for a 34-6 win.
In the biggest scoring game of the day, Dewsbury and Featherstone shared ninety-two points between them, although most went to Rovers. The first half hour was competitive with Liu responding to a Kopczak try for 6-6. On twenty-nine Parata scored the first of four tries he’d grab in the afternoon and Hall went in for the first of his hat-trick for a 20-6 half time lead.Galse score two, Cooper one and Hall added his second before any response from the Rams until Garratt scored on fifty-seven. Parata added two more and Hall completed his hat-trick before Butterworth went in for the Rams third. Parata made it four of the best with two minutes left, Carr completing the scoring with a fourth Dewsbury try for a final scoreline of 68-24 in Rovers favour. With eleven tries and twelve Hall conversions it was a devastating afternoon for Featherstone as they keep the pressure on a Toulouse side who are now two games behind on the schedule.