Featherstone 28 Sheffield 40: Briggs returns to halt Featherstone’s charge

LAST season’s champions Sheffield continued their surge with their fifth straight win.

Former Featherstone half-back Kyle Briggs scored three tries and his half-back partner Dominic Brambani kicked six goals as the Eagles prevented Rovers from clinching second place.

It left Featherstone just one point ahead of third-placed Doncaster ahead of next Sunday’s final league matches when Rovers visit Keighley and Doncaster host Batley.

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Rovers took an eighth-minute when Andy Kain scored from his own high kick. Briggs dummied his way over three minutes later and Sheffield dominated the rest of the half.

They shot further ahead with two tries in three minutes. Pat Walker and Quentin Laulu-Togagae sent in Misi Taulapapa before Laulu-Togagae darted over twice to put them 22-4 up.

Featherstone hooker Luke Teasdale plunged over from acting half for the first of his two tries but the Eagles replied when Duane Straughier snatched the ball out of Ian Hardman’s hands and raced over from 50 yards out.

Rovers bounced back when Will Sharp plucked the ball out of the air to score from Kain’s kick.

Teasdale grabbed his second touchdown to cut the gap to six points but the Eagles struck in the 65th minute when Eddie Battye put in Briggs for his second.

Rovers prop Chris Annakin forced his way over from Andy Ellis’s pass and Jack Bussey kicked his fourth goal but Sheffield had the last word when Briggs exchanged passes with Menzie Yere to complete his hat-trick.

Featherstone Rovers: Sharp; Blackmore, Worthington, Hardman, Crookes; Bussey, Kain; Crossley, Ellis, Annakin, Pick, Spears, Lockwood. Substitutes: Teasdale, James, Trout, Hirst.

Sheffield Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Straugheir, Taulapapa; Briggs, Brambani; Battye, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Green, Walker. Substitutes: Davey, Garside, Lillycrop, Tagaloa.

Referee: W Turley (Leigh).