Leigh lost top spot in the Kingstone Press Championship yesterday as Bradford took advantage of Centurions’ involvement in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Bradford took their place after a 34-16 win over Batley at the Provident Stadium.
The Bulldogs threatened an upset when winger Alex Brown opened the scoring but centre Adam Henry went over twice and Bradford added other tries through Jay Pitts and James Mendeika before half-time, when they led 20-10.
Batley were still in the contest when former Bradford winger Shaun Ainscough was sent off on 65 minutes and the Bulls took advantage of the extra man with Danny Williams, Matty Blythe and Ryan Shaw adding further tries to clinch a 17th consecutive league win that takes them two points ahead of Leigh, who were in Challenge Cup action this weekend.
Batley’s other scores came from Wayne Reittie and Alex Rowe.
Former Hull and Hull KR stand-off Paul Cooke scored two tries on his debut for Featherstone in a 42-34 win over Hunslet at the South Leeds Stadium.
Cooke, who quit as player-coach of Doncaster earlier this season, touched down twice before half-time and winger Will Sharp did likewise in the second half while Gareth Moore, Ian Hardman and Alex Foster got Rovers’ other tries with Paul Sykes kicking seven goals.
Jack Lee scored two tries for Hunslet, whose others came from Kyle Trout, Andy Kain, Jimmy Watson and Vinny Finigan, with Jordan Liley kicking five goals.
Whitehaven ran in nine tries in a 50-18 victory at the Keepmoat Stadium as they condemned hosts Doncaster to a 23rd successive defeat.
Scott McAvoy touched down twice before half-time and Dave Allen, Grant Gore, Chris Taylor, Jessie-Joe Parker, Jordan Sigismeau, Ben Davies and Dion Aiye got the others, with Louis Jouffret kicking seven goals.
Doncaster responded with second-half scores from Paul Mennell, Jansin Turgut and Kyle Kesik, with Dave Scott adding the extras with the boot.
Sheffield Eagles consolidated third place with a 26-6 win over Workington at Doncaster’s Castle Park.
Workington, who gave a debut to Australian stand-off Jarrod Sammut and had Wigan centre Iain Thornley making his comeback from injury on a dual-registration, opened the scoring with Brett Carter’s 21st-minute try.
However, the Eagles drew level by half-time thanks to a try from full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae, who added a second after the break, while Steve Thorpe, John Davies and Duane Straugheir also touched down and Kyle Briggs kicked three goals.