Five things we learned from the Championship: Round three

1. It’s going to be a long season for Dewsbury

Defeat for the Rams was their second heavy hammering in their first three matches and leaves them winless at the start of the season.

Dewsbury are not the first and will not be the last to come away from France on the end of a loss, but they didn’t show any signs of turning things around with their performance against Toulouse.

They have been tipped to struggle by many this year, and they haven’t shown much evidence to suggest otherwise so far.

2. Rochdale’s two opening victories were no fluke

OK, so the Hornets lost against Hull Kingston Rovers, but they pushed their full-time counterparts the distance.

Following back-to-back triumphs over Dewsbury and Bradford, Rochdale head coach Alan Kilshaw bemoaned the fact that many were talking down their victories, and instead focusing on the shortcomings of their opponents.

Well, this match managed to highlight the undoubted strengths of Kilshaw’s side as they nearly stunned Tim Sheens’ star-studded side.

Could they push for the top four? It’s hard to say at this point, but they’ve been very good so far, and don’t let anyone tell you anything different.

3. There’s hope for Bradford

Following defeat at home to Rochdale, some Bradford fans had already conceded defeat in their battle to avoid relegation.

But there’s still life in the Bulls!

Bradford defeated Swinton to get them up and running, while also cutting the distance between themselves and some of their counterparts.

In truth, victory at Swinton was a great return – the Lions have been tipped to do well this year – and maybe, just maybe, the Bulls can pull off a miraculous escape.

4. Oldham are the unluckiest team going

Poor Scott Naylor must be cursing his look.

For the second consecutive week, Oldham missed a late penalty to salvage a point against the highly fancied London Broncos.

Dave Hewitt’s 78th-minute penalty rattled the post, a week after Scott Leatherbarrow missed a kick at goal to get them a point against Featherstone.

Naylor will be able to take hope from their performances against teams that many believe will be in the top four later this year, but he’ll also be rueing his side’s misfortune.

5. Consistency is an issue for many clubs

So far, several clubs have struggled to back up performances.

The biggest culprits have been Batley, Halifax and Sheffield.

Matt Diskin’s Bulldogs avenged a shocking display against Toulouse to beat Halifax in round two, but they were way off the pace as they fell to a heavy defeat against Featherstone.

Halifax, who were abysmal against Batley following a really good performance against Featherstone the week before, hammered Sheffield in their latest outing.

As for the Eagles, they were superb in victory over Toulouse but were awful against Halifax.

Inconsistency has resulted in an unpredictable, exciting campaign so far, but it’s also stressing their coaches to no end.