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Championship round-up - week 17


Featherstone inched closer to securing top spot in the Co-operative Championship with a 48-0 victory over relegation-threatened Whitehaven.

Sam Smeaton and Zak Hardaker both scored two tries as Rovers cruised to their 16th win from 17 matches.

They are now 10 points clear of second-placed Leigh with only three matches left of the regular season.

Only Halifax, 11 points behind but with four matches left to play, can now catch the runaway leaders.

Leigh claimed an away win as they recorded a 38-18 victory over Widnes. The match was tied 18-18 at half-time, but Widnes struggled to compete in the second half. Stuart Donlan and Mick Nanyn scored two tries each for Leigh.

Halifax outplayed Barrow Raiders in Thursday's televised clash at Craven Park to remain just above them in the league table after a 42-34 victory for the Yorkshire side.

Barrow staged a remarkable fight-back from a 24-0 half-time deficit to get within two points of their opponents at 36-34, with tries from Jamie Rooney, Keal Carlile, Mike Knowles, Martin Ostler, Liam Harrison and Andreas Bauer.

However a late Rob Worrincy effort ended their hopes of a shock win, and the victory puts Halifax in a strong position to finish in the top two.

Whitehaven's 12th successive defeat leaves them seven points adrift of safety with just three matches left to play.

Keighley edged Toulouse 27-26 for a rare win in their miserable campaign.

Tom Burton got two tries and Gavin Duffy, Brendan Rawlins and James Hutchinson also went over as the Cougars recorded only their fourth win.

Nathan Wynn kicked five goals and added a try for Toulouse, who rallied well from an 18-12 half-time deficit.

Batley Bulldogs were brought down to earth by neighbours Dewsbury Rams, who virtually ended their relegation fears with a 36-16 victory.

Batley led 10-8 thanks to early tries from Josh Griffin and Mark Toohey but Dominic Brambani scored two first-half tries for the home side.

James Craven also touched down twice for the Rams, with Luke Stenchion and Bryn Powell their other try-scorers.

Rochdale consolidated their play-off spot in Co-operative Championship One with a 46-14 win over South Wales.

Centre Damien Reid scored a hat-trick of tries for Hornets, with others coming from Dean Gorton, John Cookson, Danny Smith, Dane Donoghue and Dale Bloomfield.

South Wales never gave up, and Lee Williams and Jamie Murphy scored tries for the Scorpions, with Lloyd White kicking two goals. They exerted some late pressure but the Hornets defence could not be broken down.

York produced a strong second-half performance to cling onto fourth place with an 18-14 home win over Workington.

The Cumbrians had their sights on a third successive win when a Jack Pedley try and two Darren Holt goals put them 8-0 up at the break, and they were also 14-12 in front when Jarrad Stack scored their second try nine minutes from the end.

But Jack Lee produced the winner three minutes before the end for the City Knights, who also scored second-half tries through Mike Mitchell and Steve Lewis to secure their 10th win of the season.

Shaun Leaf scored two first-half tries to put Doncaster on their way to a 38-26 win at London Skolars at New River Stadium.

Scott Watson, Ryan Steen, Chris Spurr, Paul Hughes and Craig Fawcett also scored tries for the visitors but they were never able to relax against the lively Londoners, who fought to the end.

Winger Ade Adebisi scored the Skolars' solitary first-half try while Jy-Mel Coleman, Oliver Purslow, Paul Thorman and Smokey Junor added others after the break.

Oldham remained just three points behind Hunslet with a game in hand thanks to a thrilling 24-22 win at third-placed Blackpool.

Danny Halliwell's try eight minutes from the end, converted by Tom Hemingway, edged the Panthers 22-20 ahead but Mick Fogerty won it for the visitors with their fifth try with just a minute left on the clock.

Paul O'Connor scored a hat-trick of tries for Oldham while Casey Mayberry touched down twice for Blackpool, who will face a Rugby Football League tribunal on Wednesday to answer questions over alleged financial irregularities.

Championship One leaders Hunslet gave their points difference a boost with an 86-16 rout of bottom club Gateshead.

Winger Waine Pryce scored three of the Hawks' 16 tries and George Raynor, Michael Mark, Tommy Haughey and Stuart Kain all touched down twice at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Gateshead actually led 6-4 thanks to Michael Brown's converted try on 15 minutes but were ultimately powerless to prevent a 14th successive defeat. Second-half tries from Ryan Clarke and Tom Wilson were little more than consolation.

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see also
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