Five major talking points ahead of this weekend’s Championship action

Dewsbury v Bradford – a relegation decider?

Perhaps the most pivotal game of the entire weekend is at the Tetley’s Stadium as the Rams and the Bulls lock horns in what is a huge game at the bottom of the Championship.

The two teams currently occupy the two relegation places in the Championship table at the midway stage, and both are in desperate need of a win.

For Bradford, they will be looking to build on an excellent showing in their narrow defeat to Hull Kingston Rovers, and pick up a result that will put them on zero points.

But defeat would see them at least eight points adrift of safety, and that would result in Dewsbury potentially being level with Swinton Lions on the ladder.

It promises to be a humdinger, and the repercussions could be monumental.

Can Featherstone respond following their defeat at Summer Bash?

Jon Sharp described their performance in defeat to London as ‘shocking’, and it’s fair to say that the Rovers did vastly underperform.

That result has changed their outlook on the table. Instead of being two points ahead of the chasing pack, they are now fourth and could very well be on the cusp of a move out of the Qualifiers by the end of the weekend.

That is, of course, on the basis they lose to league leaders Hull Kingston Rovers, but having pushed them very close earlier this season and with a point to prove, they’ll be highly motivated to get the two points.

Is Halifax’s trip to London a ‘must win game’ for Fax?

Perhaps the biggest losers of the Summer Bash were Halifax, who are now chasing their top four rivals following defeat to Toulouse.

It gets no easier, either, as they now must travel to London for a massive game against their rivals.

A defeat would almost certainly leave Fax four points adrift of the top four with visits to Featherstone and Toulouse still to come in the final seven rounds of the regular season.

They’d still have time to turn things around, but if they could defeat London it would make the task ahead of them much easier.

Who’s the best of the rest?

While the top five teams in the league have created some gap between themselves and the chasing pack, a number of teams are jostling for the final spot in the top half.

Two of those teams, Sheffield and Rochdale, face off this weekend.

Sheffield are currently five points ahead of the Hornets and victory would go a long way to securing their battle for sixth place is with Batley alone.

But Rochdale are keen to look up the ladder after their Summer Bash win over Oldham. This would help them do that.

Are Swinton too good to go down?

Since their arrival in the Championship last year, Swinton have earned enormous credit for their attractive, adventurous style of play.

But the Lions are still struggling for wins, and if they fail to beat Oldham on Sunday at least one of the teams chasing them will cut the gap.

It’s a huge game for the Lions as not only could they keep the cushion between themselves and the bottom two, they could also pull Oldham back into the fight.