The first round of the Qualifiers has been and gone and with it, we’ve had a chance to take a good look at the four Championship teams involved in this year’s competition.
The quartet impressed, too. London inevitably caught the eye with their excellent win at Widnes while Toronto got off to a winning start with their triumph over Halifax too.
But for Fax and Toulouse, who fell short against Leeds, they impressed too as they put in respectable displays.
There was certain players in particular who caught the eye, and here are just five that impressed this week.
Eddie Battye (London Broncos)
The Broncos prop was a huge presence down the middle in London’s excellent win.
He was London’s leader from the front, taking a high quantity of carries and getting stuck in while the Broncos were defending too.
The former Sheffield forward has been in fine form recently for London, and if he carries on playing like he is, the Broncos will be dangerous opposition.
Johnathon Ford (Toulouse Olympique)
Here at TotalRL, we’ve made no secret of our love for this guy. Now, you all know why!
Ford’s trickery was a delight to watch against Leeds. He’s undoubtedly talented, but what sets him apart is how effortless he makes it all look.
His assist for Toulouse’s first try was nothing short of magic. If he can deliver that regularly over the next two months, the French club could do some damage.
Mark Kheirallah (Toulouse Olympique)
Staying on Toulouse, their fullback was pretty good too.
Kheirallah was voted as the Championship’s best player by TotalRL earlier this year and he vindicated that tag with his performance against Leeds.
His electric offence is fantastic to watch. In many ways he’s the complete package, being able to assist, score and support.
Teams will struggle to keep him quiet.
James Saltonstall (Halifax)
Fax were defeated on Sunday but the winger definitely didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
Saltonstall had a great game in back play, taking countless carries for his team and taking them up the field. He even made two breaks.
The former Warrington product isn’t the biggest winger, but pound for pound you’ll struggle to find one that’s stronger.
Ashton Sims (Toronto Wolfpack)
Sunday’s game was attritional warfare.
In the battle that ensued, Sims stood out.
The former Warrington ace was everywhere, taking strong carries and making big tackles. His battle against the Fax pack was a great spectacle, and he came out looking strong.