Round eight of the Kingstone Press Championship was played out on a try-rich Sunday afternoon.
Batley Bulldogs travelled to the east coast to try and halt the Hull KR express while the chasing pack were all on the road. Toulouse were at Rochdale Hornets, Featherstone Rovers at Dewsbury Rams and London Broncos at Sheffield Eagles.
Elsewhere Bradford Bulls continued their quest for positive points at Oldham Roughyeds, and Halifax hosted Swinton Lions.
It was a straightforward eighth consecutive win for Hull KR as they swept aside the challenge of Matt Diskin's Batley Bulldogs. Shaw, Moss and Hefernan had all scored converted tries for the Robins before Brown grabbed one for the Bulldogs. Minns added another on the half-hour for a 24-6 half-time lead. Shaw, Clarkson and Slater extended the KR lead to 44-6 after sixty-five before Reitte and Manning saved some embarrassment for the visitors. The final try of the afternoon went to Donaldson to seal a very impressive 50-16 win.
If it was easy going for KR it was even easier for Toulouse Olympique XIII. A seven try first half haul was unanswered by the home side as Maurel (2), Marion, Marcon, Leah and Ader (2) all scored and with four of those converted by Kheirallah the visitors led by 36-0 at the interval. Marguerite extended the Toulouse lead on fifty three before Moores got Rochdale's first of the afternoon. Two further tries from Maurel, to add to his first half brace completed the Toulouse scoring and late tries from Middlehurst and Massam only slightly softened the blow of a 52-14 win for the Championships second placed side.
Despite going behind to to a fifth minute Teanby try the first half was all Featherstone Rovers and a trio of tries from Briscoe (2) and Hardman, along with five Aston goals gave Rovers a 22-6 lead at the break. Willie and Aston, along with four second half Aston goals gave Rovers a 38-6 win in a bad-tempered affair which saw two Featherstone red-cards (Moore and Briscoe) and three Dewsbury sin-binnings (Igbeindion, Potts and Sykes). The disciplinary committee will be busy during the week.
London Broncos slipped up at a determined Sheffield Eagles who picked up an important two points. Harrison had given the visitors the lead but Minchella (2) and Lo, along with four Brown goals saw the Eagles 20-6 up at the interval. Yere added another Eagles try just after the interval before a London fightback through Evans, Dixon and Kear saw the Broncos pick up sixteen points in a four minute blitz. The Eagles then steadied the ship and sealed the win with a Straughier try twelve from the final hooter. The 32-20 victory will do Sheffield a power of good but it pulls London back towards the chasing pack.
It was a humdinger of a game in Stalybridge as Oldham pinched the points from the Bradford Bulls. Neal was first over the whitewash for Oldham but within four minutes the Bulls had picked up two tries through Smith and Bentley for an 8-6 lead. Ryan extended that lead on thirty eight but on the hooter Langtree scored for Oldham for a 12-14 margin at the break. Keyes pushed the Bulls further ahead on sixty-eight with a converted try after an earlier Lilley penalty and at 22-12 the Bulls must have been confident of their fifth win. But tries from Egodo on sixty-six and Leatherbarrow with just seconds remaining stole the points and a 26-22 win.
Halifax and Swinton served up a sixty-six point thriller as the home side secured a 38-28 victory. After an early Hankinson penalty, Tyrer and Tangata had given 'Fax a 10-2 lead before White responded for the visitors. A Saltonstall try for the home side was responded by Butt before Morris got Halifax's fourth. At the break it was 24-10. Grady scored on forty-six to increase the lead but Atkin grabbed one back before Fairbank concluded the scoring for the home side giving them a 38-18 lead. Late tries from Hankinson and Butt reduced the winning margin to 38-28 but it was Halifax who took the two points, lifting them to fifth spot in the league table.