Five things we learned from this weekend’s Championship action

1. Hull Kingston Rovers are finding their stride

Since returning to the Championship, Tim Sheens’ men have perhaps not won in as convincing nature as some expected.

That changed entirely at the weekend as they avenged last year’s shock Challenge Cup defeat to Oldham by hammering them 48-0.

Don’t forget, this was an Oldham side that had pushed London and Featherstone all the way in the last two rounds fixtures, but the Robins put them to the sword.

With four wins from four and top of the league, Hull KR are already asserting their dominance in the division.

2. Bradford are good enough to stay up

If the last fortnight is anything to go by, Bradford genuinely can stay up.

Yes, there will be bumps along the way and yes, Toulouse have looked anything but convincing away from home so far. But if they can continue picking up a victory every other game, they will have a chance of surviving the drop.

Whichever way you look at it, they certainly won’t go down with a whimper. The Bulls are up for the rodeo.

3. Featherstone’s defensive prowess will make them hard to stop

Like Hull Kingston Rovers, Featherstone are also unbeaten after a very impressive start to the year.

Their latest victory came in the shape of a 30-13 victory over Swinton, a game in which Featherstone’s defence came to the fore again.

After four rounds, Rovers are the competition’s best defensive team having conceded just 51 points, and they have only leaked 25 since defeating Halifax in round one.

It was their capabilities without the ball that earned them a top four spot last year, it could be the same this time, too.

4. A four-horse race for top four?

Even after four rounds, there already appears to be a divide opening up in the division.

As expected, Hull Kingston Rovers, Featherstone and London have come through the opening rounds unscathed, excluding London’s narrow defeat to the Robins.

After that, a number of clubs are jostling for position in and around the top four. Many tipped Toulouse, Batley and Halifax to all battle it out for the fourth and final Qualifiers spot, and that appears to be the case already with the three teams, along with Rochdale, all currently tied on four points.

In the early stages of the year, those four teams appear the best equipped to make a push for the top four, and although it is very premature to suggest the table will remain as it is all year, it must also be said that the ladder is looking similar to what many pundits predicted at the start of the season.

5. What is going on at Sheffield?

The Championship is, traditionally, a topsy-turvy division.

But even by the competition’s standards, Sheffield have endured an extreme fluctuation in their performances.

Since hammering Toulouse, the Eagles have been pummeled by both Halifax and Batley.

Mark Aston labelled their side’s display against the Bulldogs as a ‘disgrace’, and it doesn’t get any easier this weekend when they take on Hull Kingston Rovers.