The 2012 Rugby Football League Championship, also known as Co-operative Championship due to sponsorship by The Co-operative Group, was a semi-professional rugby league football competition played in the UK, one tier below the first tier Super League. The two worst performing teams during the season usually are relegated to Championship 1, however for the 2012 season, no relegation took place, due to the expansion of the Championship to 14 teams in 2013. The winners of the division is decided by a play-off system involving the top 6 teams at the end of the regular season with two teams eventually progressing to the Grand Final. The final was won by Sheffield Eagles, who beat Featherstone Rovers 20–16 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
|Co-operative Championship 2012|
|Duration||18 Rounds (Followed by 4 round playoffs)|
|Highest attendance||2,816 Featherstone Rovers v Keighley Cougars (2 September 2012)|
|Lowest attendance||408 Hunslet Hawks v Leigh Centurions (5 August 2012)|
|Broadcast partners||Premier Sports|
|Grand Final winners||Sheffield Eagles|
|League leaders||Featherstone Rovers|
|Top point-scorer(s)||Liam Finn (247)|
|Top try-scorer(s)||Andy Kain (22)|
There was no automatic promotion from this league to Super League, which uses a licensing system renewed every three years. Qualifying for the Grand Final or winning the Northern Rail Cup is a prerequisite for Championship clubs to be able to apply for a licence in the next round of applications for the 2015–17 seasons.
All of the teams in the 2012 Co-operative Championship also competed in the 2012 Challenge Cup, where they entered in the third round. All of the teams also competed in the 2012 National League Cup which started before the Co-operative Championship with the finals held mid season.
This year's competition featured mostly the same teams as it did in 2011. The Swinton Lions and Keighley Cougars were promoted from the 2011 Championship 1, Widnes Vikings were promoted into Super League after winning a licence for 2012-14 seasons, while Barrow Raiders were relegated. Toulouse Olympique, who finished second bottom the previous season, decided to withdraw from the competition and return to the French Elite One Championship league. The changes means that 10 teams competed in the 2012 season. This will increase to 14 in the 2013 season, which meant no relegation from the Championship for the 2012 season.
|Defending Northern Rail Cup Champions|
|Team & Current Season||Stadium||Capacity||Location|
|Batley Bulldogs||Mount Pleasant||6,000||Batley, West Yorkshire|
|Dewsbury Rams||Tetley's Stadium||3,500||Dewsbury, West Yorkshire|
|Featherstone Rovers||Bigfellas Stadium||6,750||Featherstone, West Yorkshire|
|Halifax||The Shay Stadium||6,561||Halifax, West Yorkshire|
|Hunslet Hawks||South Leeds Stadium||4,000||Leeds, West Yorkshire|
|Keighley Cougars||Cougar Park||7,800||Keighley, West Yorkshire|
|Leigh Centurions||Leigh Sports Village||12,700||Leigh, Greater Manchester|
|Sheffield Eagles||Bramall Lane||32,702||Sheffield, South Yorkshire|
|Swinton Lions||Leigh Sports Village||12,700||Leigh, Greater Manchester|
|York City Knights||Huntington Stadium||3,428||York, North Yorkshire|
Season standings edit
|2012 RFL Championship|
|10||York City Knights||18||1||0||17||272||645||-373||4||7|
|Teams qualifying for the Play-offs|
Season results edit
The regular league season sees the 10 teams play each other twice (one home, one away) over 18 matches. The top six teams at the end of the regular season goes through to the play-offs to determine the winners of the Championship.
The Co-operative Championship uses a top 6 play-off system.
Sheffield Eagles 42-12 Batley Bulldogs
Halifax 28-24 Keighley Cougars
Halifax 12-54 Sheffield Eagles
Featherstone Rovers 32-14 Leigh
Leigh 22-32 Sheffield Eagles
Featherstone Rovers 16-20 Sheffield Eagles
See also edit
- "Stats Centre". Love Rugby League. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
- "Relegation is scrapped from Championship this campaign". Keighley News. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "Featherstone Rovers 16-20 Sheffield Eagles". BBC Sport. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.