Betfred League 1 Round Five Preview
April 7, 2023
Round five in Betfred League 1 starts today (Good Friday) with three of the four games taking place on this, the first bank holiday of 2023.
Current table toppers Dewsbury Rams host Yorkshire rivals Hunslet at the FLAIR Stadium looking to keep their 100 per cent start across all competitions intact. Last time out, Liam Finn’s Rams caused something of a Challenge Cup upset when they defeated Championship outfit Widnes Vikings 32-12.
The Rams, who have made a strong start to their quest for an immediate second tier return after suffering relegation in 2022, have scored over 160 in just four games as they look down on the rest.
But Hunslet will arguably provide Finn’s troops with their sternest test of the campaign to date as they have picked up two wins from three games so far. The Parksiders also pushed big-spending Championship outfit Keighley Cougars all the way in a recent Challenge Cup tie.
Workington Town coach Anthony Murray will face his former employers North Wales as the Cumbrian side host the Crusaders at Derwent Park.
Town are in something of a transitional phase after they propped up the rest in the Championship last year and although they have picked up two league wins in 2023, they were also brushed aside by Dewsbury in round three.
However, Murray’s side perhaps should and could have beaten promotion hopefuls Doncaster last month meaning they are still a force to be reckoned with in League 1.
For Crusaders, though, it has been a desperate start to 2023 with all four league games ending in defeat. But just like Town, it’s not all doom and gloom in Colwyn Bay as North Wales gave Keighley a real scare in the Challenge Cup last weekend before the Cougars’ expensively assembled squad eventually prevailed.
Arguably the most eye-catching game of the three to take place today is at Whitebank this evening as fierce local rivals Oldham and Rochdale Hornets face off.
The Roughyeds are one of rugby league’s feel good stories currently as the club, who were founder members of Super League in 1996, have been taken over by a local consortium which includes legendary former player Mike Ford.
Oldham are also moving back to Boundary Park, home of the town’s football club Oldham Athletic, and with a squad capable of promotion assembled by head coach Stuart Littler, the future does indeed look bright for Oldham.
Littler and his side have two victories to their name so far this season after a home win over basement dwellers London Skolars and an away triumph at North Wales.
They go into the match as red hot favourites against a struggling Hornets outfit who were thrashed by Dewsbury in their last league game. Rochdale’s only win of the campaign so far came against a Midlands Hurricanes side, minus the more notable members of their Castleford dual-registration players, last month.
Finally, the round is completed here in the Duchy at the Memorial Ground with Doncaster the Choughs’ opposition.
Both teams will come into the match brimming with confidence after impressive league victories in round four. The Choughs thumped London Skolars 35-10 to record a first ever victory on home soil while Doncaster defeated North Wales 30-16.
The Dons and their coach Richard Horne exited the Challenge Cup last weekend and despite the 66-16 scoreline in favour of opponents London Broncos indicating a one-sided match, the two teams were locked together at 16-16 after 40 minutes.
Betfred League 1 Round Five fixtures
Cornwall vs Doncaster (Saturday, 1.00pm)
Dewsbury Rams vs Hunslet (Friday, 3.00pm)
Oldham vs Rochdale Hornets (Friday, 7.30pm)
Workington Town vs North Wales Crusaders (Friday, 3.00pm)