Championship: Briggs and Payne named players of the week
Sheffield Eagles’ Kyle Briggs and Gateshead Thunder’s Jason Payne have been named Championship Players of the Week.
Briggs scored three tries against his former club in Sheffield’s 40-28 win at Featherstone Rovers, while Payne produced a captain’s performance as Gateshead beat Oldham 40-10.
Every week each coach in the Kingstone Press Championships is contacted to compile the awards.
Kingstone Press Championship Player of the Week – Kyle Briggs (Sheffield Eagles)
Sheffield Eagles’ Kyle Briggs scored three tries against his former club Featherstone to help his side to a 40-28 win.
Briggs touched down once in the first half and twice in the closing quarter, and was praised for his all-round performance by his coach Mark Aston.
Aston said: “Kyle was absolutely outstanding.
“He scored three tries, but his kicking game and composure were also superb.
“He took the line on and bust it, and then supported through the line to get his reward.
“He’s playing with a smile on his face again and his confidence is sky high.”
Kingstone Press Championship One Player of the Week – Jason Payne (Gateshead Thunder)
Gateshead Thunder captain Jason Payne was outstanding in his side’s 40-14 victory over Oldham, according to coach Stanley Gene.
The win guaranteed Gateshead’s place in the Kingstone Press Championship One play-offs, leaving Gene delighted.
Gene said: “Jason’s been good all year, but this week he produced a real captain’s performance. He leads the team, runs hard, tackles hard, and his spirit lifted all the boys.
“He’s done it all year, but against Oldham – a very tough side – it was especially pleasing.
“The first 40 minutes was the best half we’ve had since I’ve been at the club. I told the boys to believe in themselves, and they showed what they’re capable of.”
Kingstone Press Performance of the Week – Doncaster
Doncaster leap-frogged Halifax and gave themselves an opportunity to finish second in the Kingstone Press Championship with a 39-18 win over their Yorkshire rivals.
Player coach Paul Cooke played an influential role in the important win and scored two tries, but was quick to praise his team for their overall performance.
Cooke said: “Halifax are a good side and not many teams beat them by the score that we did – in fact not many teams beat them generally.
“We were just very clinical.
“We said that we had to be good down the middle and we were, and once we got down to their end we needed to get to the areas we identified that we’d have some success in, and we did.
“We knew Halifax would keep fighting and when they got to within five points in the second half some people might have got a bit jittery.
“But the players stuck to what they said they would do and reaped the rewards with the scoreline.”
Kingstone Press Try of the Week – Ben Black (Batley Bulldogs)
Batley Bulldogs halfback Ben Black finished an off-the-cuff move from his side in the 61st minute of their 42-0 win over Swinton Lions.
Bulldogs coach John Kear said: “We were on the last tackle inside our own 40 metres with Scott Leatherbarrow set up for a distance kick.
“Swinton are known as a good pressure team and rushed up to Scott, who showed great presence of mind to avoid the challenge.
“He then put in a Lee Briers-style ‘punt pass’ – a lateral kick that actually went backwards.
“That found our centre Ben Heaton in space, he went through and as the cover came across he selected Wayne Reittie on the outside.
“Wayne then drew the fullback and released Ben Black to run 30 metres to the line.
“It was a great piece of composure by Scott Leatherbarrow in such an important game, and then great execution in drawing defenders and support play.”
Kingstone Press Championship Team of the Week
1 Jack Murphy (Workington Town)
2 Alex Brown (Batley Bulldogs)
3 Ayden Faal (Batley Bulldogs)
4 Liam Cunningham (Doncaster)
5 Rob Massam (North Wales Crusaders)
6 Paul Cooke (Doncaster)
7 Neil Thorman (Whitehaven)
8 Liam Harrison (Barrow Raiders)
9 James Davey (Sheffield Eagles)
10 Jake Emmitt (Leigh Centurions)
11 Scott Hale (Dewsbury Rams)
12 Liam Colbon (Doncaster)
13 Kyle Briggs (Sheffield Eagles)
Kingstone Press Championship One Team of the Week
1 Phil Cowburn (Gloucestershire All Golds)
2 Lee Mapals (Gateshead Thunder)
3 Michael Brown (Hemel Stags)
4 Jonny Morris (Oxford)
5 Callum Mulkeen (Oxford)
6 Tommy Connick (Oxford)
7 Jordan Meads (Gateshead Thunder)
8 Dom Maloney (Hemel Stags)
9 Connor Farrer (South Wales Scorpions)
10 Lee Fewlass (Gateshead Thunder)
11 Stephen Bannister (Hemel Stags)
12 Jason Payne (Gateshead Thunder)
13 Harrison Elliott (South Wales Scorpions)