As we entered the final week of the regular rounds in the Betfred Championship there were still three places, in the all-important top four, up for grabs. Any three of five sides could make the four, but Toulouse, London and Halifax all knew that a victory would be enough for them to join the Toronto Wolfpack in the Qualifiers.

Toulouse were up first on Saturday afternoon against Dewsbury before Featherstone knew that a win was needed in Toronto for them to retain their outside chance of the four. The remainder of the games were scheduled on Sunday afternoon.

Halifax hosted Rochdale, London were at Barrow, and Leigh were at home to Sheffield in the crucial matches. In the final match, Batley were at home to Swinton.

Toulouse made no mistake for their top four place. Centrone scored twice in the opening eight minutes and Kheirallah added a third for Toulouse for a 12-0 lead, but two for Glover before the half-hour levelled the scores. Kheirallah kicked a penalty on half time to edge his side 14-12 ahead at the break. Planas made it 20-12 but Brown again got the Rams back into the game 20-18 with just over twenty remaining. Toulouse then pushed on and tries from Peuch, Centrone, Marion and Marcon gave Olympique an emphatic 44-18 victory.

Featherstone Rovers gave their all in Toronto to beat the Wolfpack by 30-12 but with Sunday’s results going against them it wasn’t enough for them to make the Qualifiers. Carlile was first on the board before Sims and Walton exchanged four pointers, Rovers leading 14-6 at the break. Sidlow scored first in the second half for the home side for 12-14 but tries from Hardcastle and Wildie along with two Hardman conversions and a penalty goal completed the scoring.

London secured their top four place with an emphatic demolition of Barrow. First half tries from Pewhairangi, Walker, Williams, Cunningham, Dixon, Harrison and Sammut gave the Broncos a 38-0 half time lead. Williams completed his brace, as did Cunningham before Walker completed his hat-trick for 60-0. Sammut git his second before late consolation from Dallimore avoided the nilling. Williams completed his hat-trick on seventy-seven to seal a 72-6 victory.

The final side to make the top four was Halifax who did it in style with a 38-6 win over the Rochdale Hornets. The first half was one-way traffic with Grix, Fairbank, Butler and Tyrer giving Halifax a 22-0 lead. Hatton scored first in the second half for Rochdale but Tyrer and Kaye both scored tries in the last twenty for Halifax for a famous 38-6 win which sees ‘Fax into the qualifiers.

Leigh Centurions came from behind to secure a win but it was more like a wake than a celebration as they missed out on the four and look into an uncertain future. The Eagles had taken a surprise 10-0 lead through Bentley, Aston and a Thomas conversion but Bailey scored a late first-half try for the home side for 4-10 at the break. The second half was all Leigh with three tries from Bergal, two from Dawson and one from Dagger for the 34-10 win.

Batley got their first win in ten games with a massive 40-18 win over bottom side Swinton Lions. Day, Crooks, Harrison and Reittie gave the home side a 24-0 interval lead which Harrison, Scott and Campbell extended to 40-0 before a late Swinton fightback with tries from Barlow, Hall and Butt softening the magnitude of the defeat.

Toronto Wolfpack, London Broncos, Toulouse Olympique,  and Halifax join the Widnes Vikings, Salford Red Devils, Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos in the Qualifiers to start in a fortnights time after next week’s cup semi-finals.

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