LEAGUE ONE leaders Doncaster gave Featherstone Rovers a scare before bowing out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup 26-16 at Keepmoat Stadium.
Rovers were 10-0 ahead after as many minutes, but trailed by six near the end of the third quarter.
Three late tries secured Featherstone’s place in Wednesday’s sixth-round draw, but they were well below the form which has lifted them into second place in the Championship.
Rovers winger Luke Briscoe crossed twice early on to extend his try-scoring run to 14 matches, but Doncaster recovered from their poor start.
Aaron Jones-Bishop sprinted 30 metres to get them back in the game on 14 minutes, then Brad England barged over from close range five minutes later, Jack Miller landing his only goal of the half to level the scores.
Featherstone were rattled and went behind on the half hour when Jason Tali touched down after Jordan Howden’s kick was kept in play by Jones-Bishop.
Seven minutes into the second half Howden thought he had scored from his own kick, but referee Matt Rossleigh spotted a knock-on in-goal and then sin-binned the Doncaster half-back for delaying the restart.
Miller extended the home side’s lead with a penalty goal, but error-ridden Rovers finally put a move together – just before Howden returned – and Tom Holmes went over from a pass by Martyn Ridyard, whose second conversion levelled the scores.
That was on 56 minutes and four later Ridyard provided another with a looping, cut-out ball which was finished well by Shaun Robinson at the corner.
Doncaster were in contention until four minutes from time when Farrell’s lovely pass carved out a second try for Robinson and Ridyard’s conversion completed the scoring.
Doncaster: Sanderson, Jones-Bishop, Welham, Tali, Doherty, Miller, Howden, Boyle, Kesik, Scott, England, Martin, Wilkinson. Substitutes: Spiers, Braham, Cross, Muranka.
Featherstone Rovers: Thackeray, Briscoe, hardcastle, Taulapapa, Robinson, Ridyard, Holmes, Cooper, Wildie, Moore, farrell, Davies, Lockwood. Substitutes: Wheeldon, Brooks, Knowles, Carlile.
Referee: M Rossleigh (London).