Round twelve of the Betfred Championship was played out over two days as Toulouse and York had a top of the table clash on Saturday afternoon, the remaining fixtures taking place on Sunday.

Sunday afternoon had five games with Leigh at Batley, Featherstone at Barrow, Bradford entertaining Rochdale, Dewsbury at Widnes and the Eagles taking on Halifax.

The final game of the round was the Wolfpacks first game in Canada in 2019 as they hosted Swinton.

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Following yesterdays parting of ways with coach Richad Marshall, Halifax had to travel to the 2019 Championship surprise package, the Sheffield Eagles, desperate for a win to give their play-off hopes a boost. Simon Grix had temporarily taken over the reigns against the experience of Mark Aston.

Halifax had Scott Murrell and Chester Butler back in their side while Sheffield gave a debut to London Broncos dual-registration player Nathan Mason off the bench.

A forty-two point victory would put the Eagles up to second as they strive for a return to Super League for the first time since the merger experiment twenty years ago. For Halifax, a loss would signal a mountain to climb to achieve a play off position.

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The top two sides in the WSL met at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle as Castleford Tigers took on the Leeds Rhinos for the honour of ending round three at the top of the pile. Something had to give as both sides brought a one hundred percent record into the game.

Leeds won all four encounters in 2018 so the Tigers ladies had a point to prove as the two sides met for the first time in 2019 Womens Super League.

These two shining lights in the ladies game were ready to put on a show for a decent crowd on a perfect looking pitch.

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It was a threadbare Castleford Tigers who travelled to a windswept DW Stadium to take on a Wigan Warriors side who are still looking to get their season underway in what has, so far, been a very disappointing 2019.

A win for the home side would lift them to eighth in the table and the Tigers would make a similar one place gain, to third spot, of they could get the two points.

It was the third game in just over a week for these two sides, and with two injury hit squads and poor playing conditions neither side will have been looking forward to the game. Would Wigan let a twenty point lead slip, as they did when the two sides met in Castleford three weeks ago.

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Toronto Wolfpack will head to Canada for their first home game after eleven rounds of Championship rugby with a ten win record, and a four-point lead at the top of the table, after their 23-14 win over Featherstone Rovers., But the game was a lot tighter than the scoreline suggest, and for a period, Rovers looked in spitting distance of a famous win.
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The Dragons went into this match knowing that they hadn’t lost an Easter Monday fixture for five years, and welcoming back players from suspension and returning from their long injury list. Castleford, on the other hand, haven’t won an Easter Monday tie in a number of years, and lost Nathan Massey just before kick-off, handing 18-year-old Lewis Peachey his Super League debut. Unsurprisingly, it was the home side who showed the early pressure, with two sets pressing the visitors’ try-line in the first five minutes, though with no points to show.
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Round Eleven of the Betfred Championship saw wins for the top five sides as they continued their excellent Easters and pushed on relentlessly in their quest for play off places.

The game of the round saw Toronto Wolfpack travel to a Featherstone Rovers side who are just starting to fall off the pace, while Toulouse hosted Halifax in another important fixture. Leigh were at home to Dewsbury as they looked to move higher up the table and the Bradford Bulls were at home to Barrow.

Elsewhere York City Knights took on Widnes in another mouthwatering tie, while Batley entertained Swinton, and the Sheffield Eagles travelled to bottom spot club Rochdale.

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A plethora of different kick off times meant a staggered Good Friday of fixtures in the Betfred Championship, as the fourteen sides played out their round ten fixtures in the increasingly competitive jostle for the play-off places, and to avoid the ignimony of relegation.

League leaders Toronto were in Cumbria to face Barrow, while second placed Toulouse travelled to third placed Sheffield for the most appetising game of the round. There were local(ish) derbies between Swinton and Rochdale, Widnes and Leigh, Featherstone and York, Halifax and Bradford, and the traditional heavy woollen derby between Dewsbury and Batley.

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Rarely in the history of Super League has there been a Wigan Warriors v. St Helens derby match where the odds were so heavily stacked against the home side.

St Helens, with just one loss so far this season, travelled to the DW Stadium to take on a Wigan Warriors side who have had a terrible start to the 2019 season by their own very high standards. Wigan have only three wins to their name and are occupying a botton three spot but this was the oldest derby, and for most Warriors supporters, the must win game of the season.

A loss would make Wigan's top five hopes very difficult, a win for Saints would keep them in top spot, regardless of other results.

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Local pride was at stake as the second Hull derby of the season kicked off at the KCOM Stadium, home of the Black & Whites. KR picked up the two points, with a try in the last few of seconds, when the two sides met in the opening round fixture back in early February. But FC have had the better opening to the season and are currently four points ahead of their opponents in the league table. 

Lee Radford has three of his stars back in the squad as Scott Taylor and Masi Matongo returned from injury and Mickey Paea from suspension. Hull KR also have reason to celebrate as they also welcome back three stars from injury with Sean Lunt, Mitch Garbutt and Lee Jewitt all back in the seventeen.

Form was out of the window, this was all about much more than recent results.

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