IN-FORM winger Luke Briscoe extended his try-scoring run to nine games with a hat-trick as Featherstone Rovers hit back from 12-0 down after eight minutes to win 40-14 at Batley Bulldogs.
The former Hull and Leeds Rhinos man is now just one game short of equalling Paul Newlove’s club record of tries in 10 successive matches, set in 1993.
Batley full-back Dave Scott crossed twice in as many minutes, Patch Walker converting both, but a flurry of penalties against them broke the hosts’ early momentum.
James Lockwood and Briscoe replied and Martyn Ridyard booted the first of his six conversions before a Walker penalty sent the home team, who were reduced to 12 men when Jason Crookes was sin-binned after a team warning, in at the break with a 14-10 advantage.
It remained that way until the 51st minute when 18-year-old centre Harry Newman, a Leeds Rhinos dual-registration player, marked his debut with a try. Briscoe raced 70 metres down Mount Pleasant’s slope for his second and Tom Holmes, Briscoe again and Matty Wildie all crossed in the final quarter as Batley tired.
Featherstone coach John Duffy said: “Credit to the boys, they performed when they needed to.
“We had a shaky start, we knew they were going to throw the kitchen sink at us in the first half, coming downhill.
“We could have handled it a bit better, but our goal line D [defence] was superb.
“We have got to take that forward now, because it’s an area we’ve not been too great at.”
Batley coach Matt Diskin felt some of the penalties against his team were harsh and he said: “The scoreline doesn’t reflect the game. We were in it for long parts and I actually think we threw the game away rather than it was won by Fev, which is the frustrating thing.”
Batley Bulldogs: Scott, Tomlinson, Cowling, Galbraith, Crookes, Walker, I Farrell, Rowe, Leak, Ward, Smeaton, Harrison, Chandler. Substitutes: Brambani, Davey, Brown, Holland.
Featherstone Rovers: Holmes, Briscoe, Hardcastle, Newman, Robinson, Ridyard, Wildie, Knowles, Carlile, Clark, C Farrell, Davies, Lockwood. Substitutes: Cooper, Brooks, Mariano, Ormondroyd.
Referee: N Bennett (Dewsbury).