Discuss all this week's games here.
THURSDAY 4 JULY
York City Knights v Barrow Raiders 19:30 (Premier Sports)
FRIDAY 5 JULY
Sheffield Eagles v Swinton Lions 19:30
SUNDAY 7 JULY
Doncaster v Leigh Centurions 15:00
Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs 15:00
Halifax v Whitehaven 15:00
Keighley Cougars v Hunslet Hawks 15:00
Workington Town v Dewsbury Rams 15:00
04-07/07/13 - Kingstone Press Championship Match Thread
Posted 04 July 2013 - 03:43 PM
Discuss all this week's games here.
Posted 04 July 2013 - 04:39 PM
Kingstone Press Championship Match Previews
York City Knights v Barrow Raiders (7.30, Premier Sports)
York City Knights coach Gary Thornton has challenged his men to maintain their top-eight push when they face a fired-up Barrow Raiders in Thursday’s televised Kingstone Press Championship clash.
The Raiders lost their last match 60-6 against Featherstone and Barrow coach Darren Holt is sure to demand a major improvement.
Thornton said: “I’m expecting a massive backlash from them. They’re in front of the TV cameras and they’ll want to right a few wrongs, but we don’t want to be the team they do that against. It’s a massively important game for us.”
He added: “Barrow are not a bad team at all. I’ve seen plenty of them this year, and even in defeat they’ve done well.
“They’ve got eight bonus points, which shows how close they are. Apart from last week they’ve not been getting beaten comprehensively.”
Simon Brown returns from suspension, while Ben Johnston and George Elliot are also available after calf and back injuries.
Matt Nicholson and Jason Golden are long-term absentees, but Thornton has revealed that Nicholson is ahead of schedule and could return from a shoulder operation in early August.
Raiders are likely to be boosted by the inclusion of Liam Harrison, Sean Casey and Andrew Dawson, while Nathan Mossop (Achilles) faces a late test.
Holt said: “The players have spoken about it (the defeat against Featherstone). They’ve been very open and honest, and have put their hands up.
“It’s been a good reaction. They’ve worked hard since then and hopefully we can go forward from it.”
Sheffield Eagles v Swinton Lions (7.30pm)
Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston is set to change his team line-up, despite a club record 14 successive wins.
Sheffield most recently saw off Doncaster in last week’s Northern Rail Cup semi-final.
They now face a demanding July that includes a Challenge Cup quarter-final as well as the Northern Rail Cup final, and Aston is prepared use his whole squad.
Aston said: “A few people have been put on warning and they haven’t done themselves any favours.”
Mick Nanyn looks set to make his Swinton Lions debut after joining on a one-month loan deal from Halifax.
Lions coach Gary Chambers said: “Mick trained with us on Tuesday, looked good and wants to play. That bit of experience will do us good.”
Richie Hawkyard and Jack Cooper remain sidelined, but Chambers has an otherwise fully fit squad for the challenge of facing the league leaders.
Chambers said: “We’ve got total respect for Sheffield. I’ve watched them a few times this year and we’re in no doubt about what we’re coming up against, but we’re pretty confident.
“We had a good result in our last away game and we’re getting blokes back, so we’ll go there and see what we can do.”
Doncaster v Leigh Centurions (3.00pm)
Doncaster coach Tony Miller will check on Paul Cooke, Kyle Kesik and Dennis Tuffour before naming his side to face Leigh Centurions.
Dan Scott could come back into contention after missing last week’s Northern Rail Cup semi-final as the Dons look to start securing their place in the Kingstone Press Championship.
Miller said: “We’ve 10 games left, seven at home, and we have to pick up some wins to make sure we stay in the division.”
Rob Parker and Martin Aspinwall remain sidelined for Leigh, but Paul Rowley is in confident mood.
Rowley said: “Every team targets consistency and we’re no different. Sometimes you need a bit of luck, whether it be injuries or the bounce of the ball, but we’re quite happy to be where we are.
“We’re right up in the mix at the top of the table and the impressive thing this year is that some of the tries we’ve scored have been phenomenal.”
He added: “Doncaster have got loads to play for. They’ll be wanting to bounce back in style after last week, and they’ve been pretty good all year.
“They’re a good side on paper and certainly a big side. Their back three bring the ball back very well and they’ve a couple of big boys in the middle who cause some damage.”
Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs (3.00pm)
Featherstone Rovers coach Ryan Sheridan continues to demand more from his side, despite heavy wins in each of Featherstone’s last two fixtures.
Sheridan said: “We still need improvements in certain areas, but to score 100 points in two games is very good.”
Rovers are without Anthony England (shoulder), while Batley Bulldogs are missing long-term absentee Mark Applegarth.
Bulldogs coach John Kear says his focus is not on the league table ahead of Sunday’s mouthwatering clash.
Fourth-placed Batley could move to within a point of second-placed Rovers with victory at the Bigfellas Stadium.
But Kear insists: “That’s not our focus. What we’re trying to do is play better than we’ve played in the last two weeks.
“We’re going to concentrate on the process and performance, not the league table.
“We weren’t far off against Sheffield or Leigh, but we haven’t quite nailed it yet. They’re both difficult teams to play against, and Featherstone are another one in that group.
“We’re battle-hardened, but there’s an emotional disappointment after lost the Northern Rail Cup semi-final. It’s my job to get us up and ready for Sunday.”
Halifax v Whitehaven (3.00pm)
Halifax coach Karl Harrison is unlikely to make widespread changes to his team for Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship match with Whitehaven.
Sam Barlow, Callum Casey and Rikki Sheriffe are all in contention, but are not guaranteed to return as Harrison aims for a fourth consecutive league victory.
Whitehaven coach Dave Woods travels with a full-strength squad, insisting his men must start with a high tempo and determination to ‘pressure’ their hosts.
Woods said: “It’s a big challenge. We know Halifax are very good and we need to work hard, but we’re doing all right.
“We’re playing some good footy and picking up the wins at home, which is important.
“We need to keep doing that, and we need a bonus point as a minimum this week.”
He added: “You’ve got to put a bit of pressure on teams like Halifax and try to make them come up with some errors.
“You’ve got to be very strong and hope they have a bit of an off-day. We’ll certainly give it everything we’ve got.”
Keighley Cougars v Hunslet Hawks (3.00pm)
Keighley Cougars coach Paul March looks set to name an unchanged side for Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship showdown with Hunslet Hawks.
March said: “We’ve got a full-strength squad and plenty of competition for places, but we’ll probably stick with the same 17 that played against Doncaster a fortnight ago.”
He added: “Hunslet are just below us on the table. Yes, we want to be pushing for the top eight – but Sunday’s game has more significance to it in that we can push five points clear of Hunslet. It’s a massive game for us.”
On the Hawks’ season, March said: “They’ve been a bit inconsistent. They’ve performed against some of the big sides and then let themselves down at other times.
“They’ll be looking to bounce back, but if we do everything we can and play to the best of our ability, hopefully the result will take care of itself.”
Luke Helliwell and Danny Grimshaw will both be assessed later in the week as Hunslet coach Barry Eaton searches for a winning formula.
Eaton said: “We’re looking forward to this one – it’s a big challenge for us. We want to be better than we were last week.”
Workington Town v Dewsbury Rams (3.00pm)
Workington Town coach Gary Charlton must cope with Karl Olstrum during Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash with Dewsbury Rams.
Olstrum received a one-match ban on Tuesday and his absence will be keenly felt in a match Charlton believes carries huge importance.
Charlton said: “It’s a big game for us, and a big game for Dewsbury as well.
“There’ll be no hanging back; it’ll be full-on from the word go.
“Both teams know how crucial it is, but hopefully with a big crowd behind us we’ll get the points.”
Workington’s Callum Phillips (shoulder) faces a late fitness test, while Rob Spicer is back in contention for Dewsbury.
Rams coach Glenn Morrison expects to hear the results of Aaron Brown’s knee scan on Thursday.
Morrison said: “In our next five games we’re playing against teams that are around us in the league table.
“We need to make sure we get as many points as we can, and if we do that it should cement us in the top half. The flip side is that if you drop a couple of games, you’re in the mix fighting at the other end.”
He added: “It’s a big trip to get to Workington and everybody knows it’s a massive advantage for the Cumbrian sides to be playing at home.
“On top of that they’ve got a quality team and they’re just sitting behind us in the league. They’re going to be very, very tough.”
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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:31 PM
Cmon Barrow, looking for a good display tonight, barrow-barrow-barrow!!!!
Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:22 PM
It's time to park the camels.
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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:08 PM
Barrow getting the rub off the green with video ref decisions tonight.
Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:10 PM
Edited by chuffer, 04 July 2013 - 08:11 PM.
Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:31 PM
What a match. I don't know where the greater drama came from: the pitch or the video ref! I was impressed by Barrow's effort. They were like a dog with a bone, just wouldn't let go.