4th February 2018, 22:45 | championship
Toronto Wolfpack laid down a gauntlet on the opening round of Betfred Championship as they battled back from 12-0 behind to defeat fellow title contenders Leigh Centurions 34-12 at the Leigh Sports Village.
It was set up for a huge clash to open the Championship season and hosts Leigh, relegated from Super League last October, made a lightning start with captain Harrisen Hansen and Matty Dawson both scoring for a 12-0 lead inside nine minutes.
Tries from Adam Sidlow and Liam Kay saw Toronto, led by former Leigh coach Paul Rowley, go into the sheds at 10-12 down and it was all one way traffic in the second half as the Canadian side moved up a gear.
Cory Paterson then scored against his former side with a 65m effort, before Liam Kay landed a couple of impressive finishes to complete his hat-trick. Ryan Brierley also crossed as Toronto kicked off their second season in style.
“We massively let ourselves down,” Leigh coach Neil Jukes told the Leigh Journal. “We expected a lot of their guys to try and play their best game which you always do against your former club. And that’s what they did.”
The silence from the naysayers, critics and opposition fans on social media right now is music to our ears. We will savour this win for today, but then it’s back to business tomorrow.. Barrow up next! 👀#WolfpacksOnFire 🐺🔛🔥 pic.twitter.com/VvOAtPy5fI— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) February 4, 2018
Featherstone Rovers, who have recruited well over the close season under new coach John Duffy, ran out 20-4 winners over Halifax in a West Yorkshire derby at The LD Nutrition Stadium.
Luke Briscoe, Shaun Robinson, Martyn Ridyard and Anthony Thackeray all crossed for Rovers while Fax’s only try coming from Ben Heaton.
🖥 ROVERS TV - PRESS CONFERENCE: Get the views of Rovers boss John Duffy after his Featherstone side overcame Halifax on the opening day of the season.— Featherstone Rovers (@FevRovers) February 4, 2018
➡️ WATCH the full video here: https://t.co/KnvPULT6dO#ThisIsOurHouse pic.twitter.com/Ddh6Mb8M5f
London Broncos romped to a 56-12 win over newly-promoted Barrow Raiders in the capital.
18-year-old Danny Meadows scored the opener in a Man-of-the-Match performance. London’s other scorers were Rhys Williams, Daniel Harrison, Kieran, Dixon, Eddie Battye, Mark Ioane and James Cunningham.
Barrow’s scorers were Shaun Dallimore and James Fieldhouse.
Dewsbury Rams kicked off the season on Friday night as they secured a 20-18 win in a tightly-fought contest against Sheffield Eagles.
Tries from James Glover, Rob Worrincy and Dom Speakman had put the Rams 14-0 up but Eagles battled back with early efforts in the second half from Mark Offerdahl, Joshua Toole and Shaun Pick putting them 18-14 up.
However Dale Morton’s 62nd minute try put Dewsbury level, with Paul Sykes landing the conversion for the two points.
On Saturday, Toulouse Olympique cruised to a 46-14 victory over Swinton Lions.
Willie Barthau, Tony Maurel (2), Rhys Curran, Paul Marcon, Stan Robin, Gavin Marguerite, Bastian Ader and Mark Kheirallah all crossed for the French side. Swinton’s scorers were Kyle Shelford and Mike Butt.
Sunday’s clash between Rochdale Hornets and Batley Bulldogs was postponed due to ongoing pitch problems at the Crown Oil Arena.