Featherstone Rovers 25 Sheffield Eagles 14: Former Eagles shine as Rovers complete double

Cory Aston.
Cory Aston.
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ON-LOAN Cory Aston earned the family bragging right as Featherstone completed a league double over Sheffield who are coached by his father Mark.

The 22-year-old Leeds Rhinos half back kicked five goals including a drop goal as Rovers won an untidy game in which both teams frequently lost the ball.

Simon Brown kicked a fourth minute penalty to give Sheffield the lead but Rovers led 16-2 at the break after Matty Wildie went over from close range for the first of their four tries.

The Eagles were reduced to 12 men when Greg Burns was sin-binned in the 23rd minute for ball stealing shortly after the visitors were put on a team warning.

Rovers quickly capitalised when Keal Carlile – one of five former Sheffield players in Featherstone’s line-up – forced his way over.

Carlile was held up over the line before Featherstone scored again shortly before half-time when Chris Ulugia put in another ex-Eagles player Scott Turner.

Aston increased Featherstone’s lead with a 42nd minute penalty goal but the Eagles fought back.

Former Sheffield three-quarter Misi Taulapapa, making his 200th appearance in the British game, dropped a pass and Garry Lo snapped up the ball to race 70 yards to score.

Brown, who impressed with his excellent kicking game, converted to reduce the deficit to 10 points.

Aston kicked another goal after Sheffield’s Mark Mexico was penalised but the Eagles again got back within striking distance when Mexico made amends by plunging over for a try.

Rovers then struck an important blow when dual-registered Leeds Rhinos forward Josh Walters sent in Ulugia near the corner for a 60th minute touchdown.

Aston kicked a drop goal and Featherstone held out in the closing stages.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Turner, Ulugia, Hardcastle, Taulapapa; Wildie, Aston; Moore, Carlile, Baldwinson, Walters, Davies, Lockwood. Substitutes: Cooper, Griffin, Oledzki, Ormondroyd.

Sheffield Eagles: Millar; Lo, Yere, Johnson, Blackmore; Minchella, Brown; Wheeldon, Fozzard, Mexico, James, Scott, Cox, Hope. Substitutes: Burns, Trout, Whiteley, Cox.

Referee: A Sweet (Castleford).