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3 Feb - Championship - Round 1


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Poll: Which game are you most looking forward to? (53 member(s) have cast votes)

Which game are you most looking forward to?

  1. Voted Batley Bulldogs v Keighley Cougars (6 votes [11.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.32%

  2. Doncaster v Dewsbury Rams (4 votes [7.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.55%

  3. Featherstone Rovers v Leigh Centurions (19 votes [35.85%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.85%

  4. Hunslet Hawks v Barrow Raiders (10 votes [18.87%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.87%

  5. Swinton Lions v Workington Town (10 votes [18.87%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.87%

  6. Whitehaven v York City Knights (4 votes [7.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.55%

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#21 Viking Warrior

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

i think halifax will beat sheffield, harrison has started his re-building and the team will get stronger,

leigh have a great squad and i think they will be amongst the honours this season, i take them to beat featherstone.
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#22 RSN

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:00 PM

Tough start for Barrow Raiders away to Hunslet/Leeds,I'll be happy with a BP?


I think we've got a decent chance of winning this one. Hunslet were poor last year and looking at their squad they don't seem to have improved it much. Not sure if Leeds have sent anyone decent and their better young players seem to be getting loaned out too other SL clubs. Hoping for a win on sunday and I suspect Darren will be also.

#23 John Drake

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:05 PM

Sunday February 3

The Championship

Batley Bulldogs v Keighley Cougars (2.00pm)

Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear believes Paul March’s influence at Keighley Cougars will guarantee a fierce encounter on Sunday.
Kear, who coached March at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, said: “I expect them to be very competitive because I know what Marchy is like.
“He would compete with his own shadow, and I’m certain that will be reflected in how they play.
“If you’re going to get anything out of Keighley this year then you’ll have to earn it.”
Danny Maun and Gareth Moore are unavailable for the Bulldogs, who are otherwise at full strength for their first league fixture of 2013.
Kear added: “Keeping people fresh will be a big challenge this year, but we’re happy to embrace that and the players certainly will be.”
New Cougars coach Paul March is already battling against a number of injury worries ahead of the first game of the season.
Brendan Rawlins (broken finger) and Ben Stead (broken cheekbone) are both four weeks away from a return, Matt Bailey (broken leg) is out for two months and Jamaine Wray (back) is also missing this week.
However, March is determined his side will compete. He said: “Defensively we’ll be similar to last year, but we’re going to be more expansive with the ball in hand.
“We came sixth last year, and there’s more pressure on us this time after the season we had last year, but we’re ready for that.”

Doncaster v Dewsbury Rams (3.00pm)

Doncaster coach Tony Miller will check on Grant Edwards (concussion) and Craig Robinson (calf) before finalising his team for the club’s return to the Championship.
Miller believes the key to Doncaster’s chances this year will be their form at the Keepmoat Stadium.
He said: “We’ll target out home games and then try and pick up as many wins and bonus points away from home as possible.
“We know it’s going to be tough, but I think we’ll be OK.”
New Doncaster Rams coach Glenn Morrison insists his side will be entertainers in 2013.
The former Bradford, Wakefield and Parramatta star has spent the off-season encouraging his squad to have belief in their attacking ability.
He said: “Defence is a major part of winning any game, and we’ve worked on our defensive structures, but I also want the guys to play what they see and entertain the crowd.
“The fans want to see tries scored, and we’ll be throwing the ball around when we get the chance.”
Only Austin Buchanan (knee) and Ben Jones (groin) are missing from Dewsbury’s squad, forcing Morrison into some difficult early decisions.
“Unfortunately some blokes will have to miss out. They’ve all done well in pre-season, but we can only pick 17 come Sunday.
“Doncaster will be very tough, but we want to try to come out of the blocks and put in a good performance ourselves. It should be a good one for the fans to come and watch.”

Featherstone Rovers v Leigh Centurions (3.00pm)

Featherstone Rovers coach Daryl Powell cannot contain his excitement ahead of Sunday’s match with Leigh Centurions and the start of the new Championship season.
Rovers’ pre-season preparations have included a four-day warm weather training camp in Alicante.
Powell said: “It’s an ideal opening encounter. You’re not limping into the season; you’re going crash, bang, wallop straight into it. Hopefully we’ll go well.”
Leigh coach Paul Rowley will assess the fitness of four unnamed members of his squad before finalising his team for the trip to West Yorkshire.
Rowley said: “Featherstone will be one of the pace-setters again. Liam Finn is a massive influence for them and he gets better with age.”
However, Rowley is tipping new signings Martin Aspinwall and Sean Penkywicz to make big impacts for the Centurions.
He said: “You know what you’re going to get from Martin – he’s a strong guy, he gives 100 per cent and he gets through a lot of work.
“Penky has been one of the league’s top performers for years. He’s been at one club for eight years, so it’ll take a bit of time for our players to adjust to him, but he’s destructive on his day and that’s why we’ve brought him in.”

Hunslet Hawks v Barrow Raiders (3.00pm)

Hunslet Hawks coach Barry Eaton is warning his players to brace themselves for a huge challenge from newly promoted Barrow on Sunday.
The Raiders start life in the Championship with a trip to West Yorkshire to face the Hawks, and Eaton is convinced Barrow will be brimming with confidence.
Eaton said: “I’ve pondered over the last couple of weeks whether it’s the best or worst time to get a newly promoted team.
“They’ll be enthusiastic and as mentally strong and tough as you’d expect at any point of the season. It’s probably not the best time to play them, but the slight advantage in our favour is the fact we’re at home.”
Former Bradford junior Callum Windley is missing for Hunslet after suffering a double fractured cheekbone.
Barrow Raiders coach Darren Holt has a selection headache as the fitness of five forwards continues to be in doubt ahead of Sunday’s match.
Ruairi McGoff, Nathan Mossop and Andrew Dawson all have knee problems, while Jamie Butler (wrist) and Jack Spencer (ankle) are also battling to be fit.
Holt said: “It’s going to be tough picking this first squad. There are a lot of decisions to make.”

Swinton Lions v Workington Town (3.00pm)

Swinton Lions coach Steve McCormack has been dealt an early blow with the news that Chaz I’Anson faces up to three weeks on the sidelines with a broken thumb.
But McCormack’s focus remains on starting well against newly-promoted Workington Town in Sunday’s Championship clash.
McCormack said: “It’s down to business and there are never any easy games in this competition.
“There’s no settling in period where you can get a few games under your belt and work on a few combinations.
“It’s straight into the firing line and that makes it even more exciting.”
Town travel without Graeme Mattinson, Dan Rooney, Jarrad Stack and Elliott Miller, who are all recovering from off-season surgery.
Workington coach Gary Charlton said: “Coming into the Championship is a big step-up, and a lot of our boys haven’t played at this standard week-in, week-out, but they’re looking forward to it.
“It’s all about the speed of things in this division. We’ve got a tough bunch of lads and the physical side of it won’t bother them.”

Whitehaven v York City Knights (3.00pm)

Dave Woods believes Whitehaven are ready for the step up as they prepare for life in the Championship.
The former Gateshead, Castleford and York coach is gearing up for his first competitive game in charge of the Cumbrian club.
And he insists his men are ready for the challenge York City Knights will pose on Sunday.
Woods said: “What we’ve been doing in training has all been about replicating how quick and tough it will be in the Championship.
“This year you’ve got to make sure you’ve done everything right in pre-season so that you can hit the ground running.”
French international Seb Martins could make his home debut for Whitehaven, while York have doubts over Adam Sullivan (knee) and Luke Stenchion (ankle).
Knights coach Gary Thornton has set his sights on changing the culture within his squad.
He said: “We want to get off to a good start and get rid of the losing culture.
“We’ve got to sweep that under the carpet and start afresh. We’ve been keen to make sure we don’t have any hangovers from last year.”
He added: “We’ve got some good characters on board, as well as those that were already here, and I’m pretty pleased with how the team’s coming together.”

John Drake
Site Admin: TotalRL.com
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#24 RSN

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:04 PM

Was thinking Widnes reserves would beat Swinton but think they'll struggle without Miller, Mattinson and Stack IMO the three best players at the club last season.

#25 Derwent

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

Was thinking Widnes reserves would beat Swinton but think they'll struggle without Miller, Mattinson and Stack IMO the three best players at the club last season.


We're also without Thackray, Morris and Acton who are all suspended.
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#26 donald

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:59 PM

stacks playing on sunday

#27 Saintslass

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:27 PM

The Halifax - Sheffield match was a good hit out for a first game. Sheffield were a bit underdone - no surprise really since they hadn't had a friendly to warm up with - but they showed their lovely attacking football now and again so should be great to watch again this season once they get their match fitness up to scratch.

#28 gazza77

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:32 PM

The Halifax - Sheffield match was a good hit out for a first game. Sheffield were a bit underdone - no surprise really since they hadn't had a friendly to warm up with - but they showed their lovely attacking football now and again so should be great to watch again this season once they get their match fitness up to scratch.


You're right Sheffield were unerdone, but I thought it was a poor game. Sheffield showed odd touches of flair but far too many handling errors. Fax looked reasonably solid in defence, and one man rugby was all they had in attack. I'm sure Sheffield will getbetter with a couple of games under their belt, but will Fax look to play with a little more flair in attack? I just hope that the Fev v Leigh game on Sunday is of a better standard.

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#29 Lounge Room Lizard

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

Harrison told Fax to play one out rugby due to the conditions. I dont rate Handforth or Thackray and feel Fax would have lost i it was dry ground. Murrell is vital to Fax. Same old poor defence and technique at times from Fax. I would expect Fev and Leigh to play more open rugby as they are not as forward orientated as Fax

#30 Keith T

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

We're also without Thackray, Morris and Acton who are all suspended.


The Widnes pre-season match counted as Morris' one match suspension that was outstanding from last season, so he's available.

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#31 a.n Other

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:40 AM

Harrison told Fax to play one out rugby due to the conditions. I dont rate Handforth or Thackray and feel Fax would have lost i it was dry ground. Murrell is vital to Fax. Same old poor defence and technique at times from Fax. I would expect Fev and Leigh to play more open rugby as they are not as forward orientated as Fax

Poor defence? They only conceded 10 points against a good attacking side who like to offload at every opportunity. Thought the defence was pretty solid.

#32 Lounge Room Lizard

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:27 AM

Poor defence? They only conceded 10 points against a good attacking side who like to offload at every opportunity. Thought the defence was pretty solid.


The defending from kicks was poor. Sheriffe was caught out and was nowhere for the second try and the first try was also a soft try to Sheffield. I am also of the opinion like the commentary team that at times Halifax allowed Sheffield too much room and were not stopping them or tackling them on the initial contact.

#33 gazza77

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:57 AM

Attendance seemed low at 1553. I know Sheffield aren't exactly known for a huge travelling support, but do the Fax fans on here think that was a poor turn out for a season opener between the reigning NRC holders & GF winners?

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#34 Lounge Room Lizard

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:55 AM

Attendance seemed low at 1553. I know Sheffield aren't exactly known for a huge travelling support, but do the Fax fans on here think that was a poor turn out for a season opener between the reigning NRC holders & GF winners?


Thursday Night is always badly attended and add to the fact the Pubteam had a Quarter final the night before then I didnt expect more than 1500. A number of fans I know work shirts at Nestle and Marshalls whilst others live in York, Stockport etc which might have decided to watch on TV than face the trip across. I doubt many Thursday games will top 1500 crowd

#35 sweaty craiq

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:08 PM

Thursdays is a shocking loss maker for Championship clubs, if we must have a TV deal with no income then lets televise Sunday 6pm.

#36 marklaspalmas

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:11 PM

Thursdays is a shocking loss maker for Championship clubs, if we must have a TV deal with no income then lets televise Sunday 6pm.


Good idea.

 

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#37 gazza77

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:12 PM

Thursdays is a shocking loss maker for Championship clubs, if we must have a TV deal with no income then lets televise Sunday 6pm.


Not long to wait to see how that pans out then - next Championship game being televised is Dews v Fev at 6pm on 10th.

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#38 thundergaz

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:15 PM

Thursdays is a shocking loss maker for Championship clubs, if we must have a TV deal with no income then lets televise Sunday 6pm.


I agree Craig but if your playing a Cumbrian team I doubt many would make the journey either way with work the following day.

#39 gazza77

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:32 PM

I also suspect that across all clubs, especially at the lower levels, that a lot of casual fans will be put off by attending in bad weather. Even if sat under cover at this time of year, it's likely to be pretty cold and miserable. I bet even Thursday evening kick offs are more polular if we get some decent weather a bit later in the season.

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#40 marklaspalmas

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

I also suspect that across all clubs, especially at the lower levels, that a lot of casual fans will be put off by attending in bad weather. Even if sat under cover at this time of year, it's likely to be pretty cold and miserable. I bet even Thursday evening kick offs are more polular if we get some decent weather a bit later in the season.


Sure. Why would that be more true at lower levels?

 

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