FEATHERSTONE Rovers’ top-four hopes are in tatters after they suffered an emphatic defeat at a Sheffield Eagles side who had lost their previous six games.
Jon Sharp’s team were 20-0 down inside 38 minutes and staring at a loss that leaves them rooted in sixth in the Championship with just four games to go.
Rovers – who saw full-back Michael Channing stretchered off in the first half – would have moved into fourth with a win but could have few complaints as they were unpicked by Sheffield half-back Cory Aston. He scored their opening try, created two more and kicked three goals.
As the hosts went about securing their first win since April, Keal Carlile sent Scott Wheeldon crashing over before Ben Blackmore added a third.
Even when Sheffield were reduced to 12 men after Mark Mexico was sin-binned for elbowing dual-registered Leeds Rhinos half-back Jordan Lilley, there was no let-up.
Featherstone dropped the ball to allow Garry Lo to collect and race 9om in the 38th minute.
Jamie Cording got Featherstone off the mark, just before the break with Jamie Foster converting and, after Eagles second-row Duane Straugheir was yellow carded after a team warning, Rovers struck again, winger James Duckworth crossing.
But Aston’s low kick saw Menzie Yere cross and then the stand-off created again for ex-Featherstone winger Blackmore.
Knowles added a drop goal and after Andy Bostock was sin-binned for Rovers late on, Elliot Minchella scored a try, Aston improving.
Sheffield Eagles: Lautu-Togagage; Lo, Yere, Chappell, Blackmore; Aston, Fozard; Thorpe, Carlile, Wheeldon, James, Straugheir, Knowles. Substitutes: Minchella, Worrincy, Tyson, Mexico.
Featherstone Rovers: Channing; Duckworth, Cording, Taulapapa, Foster; Lilley, Thackeray; Griffin, Ellis, Baldwinson, Spears, Davies, Knowles-Tagg. Substitutes: Briggs, Roche, Ormondroyd, Bostock.