Written by Rugby Football League
The new Betfred Championship season continues this weekend with six fixtures coming up from 3pm on Sunday, followed by a blockbuster clash between a pair of promotion hopefuls in the form of Featherstone Rovers and Leigh Centurions on Monday night, live on Premier Sports, 7.45pm kick off.
Rovers, who have top tier ambitions but have never played in Super League, produced an eye-catching 30-12 win at York in last Monday’s live instalment.
They led 12-6 at half time and pressed home their advantage in the second period. The impressive Craig Hall was chosen as Player of the Match, chipping in with five goals and a try.
Featherstone boss Brian McDermott could hand a debut to former NRL star Joey Leilua on Monday night. The two-time Dally M Centre of the Year was named in McDermott’s squad last time out, but wasn’t selected after his recent arrival from Australia.
🗣️ Hear from @WidnesRL star Ryan Ince as he reflects on a four-try second debut for the club.
🔥 His stellar efforts on Sunday helped the Vikings to an impressive 34-12 win at London Broncos…
📺 Watch in full here: https://t.co/3AFZDf6wcd pic.twitter.com/5TAlcnB7X7
— Rugby Football League (@TheRFL) February 3, 2022
In the opposite camp, Leigh showed their promotion credentials in round one with an impressive 50-4 demolition of Whitehaven on home turf.
Leigh always looked likely to win as they racked up a 28-0 interval lead, while Papua New Guinea star Nene Macdonald marked his debut with a hat-trick.
Macdonald was one of nine debuts for the Centurions in the big win, as Adrian Lam’s men seek an immediate return to Super League in 2022.
Elsewhere this weekend, Sunday’s action sees Bradford Bulls play host to Sheffield Eagles. Bradford will be hoping to make it two wins from two after their 46-16 away defeat of Dewsbury, while Sheffield are aiming to bounce back after losing 22-10 at Barrow in round one.
Halifax Panthers and London Broncos go head-to-head in a clash of two sides searching for their first win of the season. Halifax were trumped 30-18 by Batley away from home in round one, while London were on the end of a 34-12 defeat by Widnes at their new home.
Newcaslte Thunder also host Batley Bulldogs in what could well be an enthralling encounter.
Newcastle have moved full time in 2022 and recorded a hard-fought 20-6 win at Workington last weekend, but they could have their work cut out against Craig Lingard’s Bulldogs, who have an unusually settled squad from 2021 and caught plenty of attention with their win at Halifax last time.
A first Cumbrian derby of the season is next as newly-promoted Barrow Raiders make the trip to Whitehaven, who finished in the Championship play-offs last year.
Barrow will have high hopes after their win over Sheffield, but ‘Haven will be determined to bounce back after the dissappointment of their loss at Leigh a week ago.
Otherwise on Sunday, Widnes Vikings enjoy their first home game of the season against Workington Town, while Dewsbury Rams face a trip to face York City Knights.
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