After last weekends excitement in Blackpool, the Kingstone Press Championship returned to regular weekly rounds for games in round sixteen as the jostling for the all-important top four continued.
All games kicked-off simultaneously on Sunday afternoon with the most mouthwatering prospect being a clash between the league leaders Hull KR at fourth placed Featherstone Rovers. Toulouse had a trip to Batley to take on the Bulldogs while fifth placed Halifax were at third placed London Broncos in another intriguing fixture.
Elsewhere the Bulls were at Dewsbury, the Eagles hosted the Hornets and Swinton welcomed Oldham.
The top billed game lived up to all expectations as Featherstone and Hull KR fought out a 20-20 draw in an exciting encounter at the LD Nutrition Stadium. Featherstone dominated the first half and led 16-0 at the interval thanks to tries by Taulapapa, Walton and Duckworth along with two penalties from the boot of Knowles. The KR fightback saw Shaw, Abdull and Moss all score within twenty minutes of the restart and with just the first try being converted by Ellis it was still 16-14 to the home side. Ellis scored, and converted, on seventy-one after a Briggs penalty had previously edged Featherstone into a 18-14 lead and with eight minutes remaining Hull hit the front for the first time in the game. The scores were levelled on seventy-seven thanks to a Briggs penalty and neither side could find the position for a credible shot at a drop goal before the final hooter.
Halifax's hopes of a top four finish were dashed at the Trailfinders as London Broncos strolled to an easy win. Dixon, Barthau, Ackers, Williams, and Pitts all scored first half tries but Dixon only managed a single conversion for a 22-0 half-time lead. A Johnston try and Tyrer goal just after the break were the only points for Halifax and Dixon added a second before Ioane score ten from the end to seal the 34-6 win.
It was much closer at Batley where the Bulldogs were unlucky not to get something out of their encounter with second placed Toulouse in an exciting encounter. Robin opened the Toulouse account but two tries from Reittie gave Batley a 14-6 interval lead. Macron and Marion gave Toulouse the lead soon after the interval before a converted try from Ainscough put the Bulldogs 20-16 ahead just after the hour mark. Converted tries by Mika, on sixty-three and Bentley on seventy-four clinched the away win for Olympique XIII to maintain second spot.
The Bulls will have to wait for another week to return to zero points as Dewsbury scored a crucial and impressive win. Glover gave the home side a 6-0 lead early but by the twenty minute mark Macani and Bentley had put the Bulls 12-6 up. But then it was all one-way traffic as Day and Squires score before the interval to give the Rams a 16-12 lead. The second half was all Dewsbury with further tries from Walshaw, Squires, Hallett and Glover for a comprehensive 38-12 win.
The Sheffield Eagles kept their feint hopes of a top four finish alive with a 38-14 win over the Hornets thanks to a five try haul from Lo. He scored his first two in the first half to which Rochdale responded just before the break through Yates for 8-6 at the break. Lo, Yere, Minchella and Owens all scored for Sheffield extending the lead to 30-6 before Massam picked up a brace for the visitors reducing the arrears to 30-14. Lo scored two more in the dying minutes, neither converted, for a final score of 38-14 leaving Sheffield seven points adrift of the top four.
The final game of the day was one-way traffic as the Swinton Lions secured an easy win over Oldham. Lloyd and Hankinson gave Swinton a 12-0 interval lead and Murphy and Hankinson both scored in the second half for 26-0 before a last minute Lepori try saved the blushes of a nilling and a 26-4 final scoreline.