Eight pre-season friendly matches involving Superleague and Championship clubs survived the weather over the weekend as coaches started their countdown to the season and trailed a mix af experience, new players and fringe players looking for a place in their thoughts for the start of hostilities in a few short weeks’ time.
We take a look at those that went ahead with the results and a few highlights from the games which beat the big freeze.
20-1-23 Featherstone Rovers 28 v. Hull KR 0
Sean Long got his tenure off to the best possible start with a trouncing and nilling of Hull KR as they scored twenty-eight unanswered points to delight the home support. Tries from Kopczak, Gale, Briscoe (2) and Hankinson with goals from Hankinson (2) and Hall (2) for a near perfect evening for the flat cappers although they did pick up a few injuries.
20-1-23 London Skolars 18 v. London Broncos 58
21-1-23 Leigh Leopards 14 v. Leeds Rhinos 12
Leigh Leopards got their latest Superleague tenure off to a great pre-season start as they came from behind to beat a Leeds Rhinos side who figured in last season´s Grand Final. Leigh had taken the lead through a Charnley try but Roberts picked up his first in Blue & Amber to level the scores, Sezer adding the extras to edge Leeds in front. Leutele put the home side back ahead just before the half hour but a try from Leeming, again converted by Sezer edged Leeds into a 12-8 half time lead. The sides were locked up on seventy-seven when Rhinos old boy Hardaker went in to level the scores and a Ben Reynolds goal snatched the win at the death.
22-1-23 Sheffield Eagles 20 v. Hull FC 22
Hull FC had just enough in the tank to come from a 20-12 half-time deficit and take the spoils with a two-point win. The eagles went 10-0 ahead with tries from Aston and Bower, the first converted by its scorer. Tag got FC´s first which Clifford converted but Dawson-Jones again extended the home lead. Clifford added a try and another goal to his earlier goal for 14-12 but Aston scored and converted his second of the afternoon for 20-12. Danny Houghton reduced the arrear to four points and a goal from McNamara made it just a deficit of two points before Cameron Scott scored the final try of the game to snatch the win.
22-1-23 Whitehaven 14 v. Wigan Warriors 22
It was a young Wigan Warriors line-up that travelled to Cumbria and defeated Whitehaven. Whitehaven had taken an early lead through Taylor and Dixon for 8-0 at the interval but Douglas and Astley edged the Warriors into a 10-8 lead. Doran put Whitehaven in front again but two tries in the last ten minutes from Astley and Sutton made sure of the win for the away side.
22-1-23 Barrow Raiders v. Workington Town
The game was abandoned early in the second half due to electrical problems with Barrow having established a 14-4 lead.
22-1-23 Oldham 20 v. Widnes Vikings 42
After a tough and hard fought first half, which saw Oldham with a 14-12 advantage at the interval, Widnes put on a terrific second half performance for a 42-20 victory. Oldham tries came from Ah Van, Hartley and Wilkinson with two goals from Ridyard while Brookes, Owens, Lawton (3), Fozard and Davies all got over the whitewash for the Vikings, Dixon (2) and Gilmore (5) kicking the goals.
The scheduled games between; Huddersfield Giants and Bradford Bulls; Castleford and Keighley; Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams; Halifax Panthers and Hunslet; Newcastle and Doncaster, all fell victim to frozen pitches, the former after the Bulls originally moved the game to try and save the fixture.