Sheffield Eagles 12 Featherstone Rovers 32: Rovers take step closer to home Shield final

Featherstone Rovers extended their winning run to five games and moved one step closer to a home final in the Championship Shield with a 32-12 victory over Sheffield Eagles on Friday evening.

Ian Hardman, who kicked four goals and scored a try in the win at Sheffield.

It didn’t all go Rovers way, however, after a number of early penalties allowed the home side to get an early foothold in the contest but they were unable to break through a well-organised Featherstone defence.

Rovers struggled to find their rhythm in attack as they gave up possession cheaply and almost went behind but for some last-ditch tackling from Luke Cooper and John Davies.

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Another error from the visitors led to the opening try as Sheffield finally made their relentless pressure pay just after the 25-minute mark.

Rovers coughed up possession in the Eagles half and the hosts moved forward before Greg Burns played a short pass to Blake Broadbent who stormed through a gap and dived over the try line.

Featherstone responded immediately to the setback, with their first try-scoring opportunity, when Brad Knowles-Tagg powered through the Sheffield defenders to crash over next to the uprights.

A few moments later Rovers took the lead as Anthony Thackeray cut through the Eagles line to plant the ball down for his fourth try in as many games.

It soon got better for Featherstone when the ball was worked quickly to Harry Newman who strolled over unchallenged for his 12th try in a Featherstone shirt.

The visitors started the second half with the same intensity that they finished the first as they extended their lead through two well-worked tries from Dakota Whylie and Ian Hardman.

Newman put the result beyond doubt when he broke the line and turned Eagles full-back Oscar Thomas inside out to cross for his second of the evening.

The youngster was then sent to the sin bin on 69 minutes after he was punished for dissent following the referee’s decision to disallow what would have been his hat-trick try.

Hardman kicked a penalty goal late in the contest before Sheffield added a consolation through Matty Fozard.

Rovers: Hardman, Whylie, Taulapapa, Newman, Robinson, Wildie, Thackeray, Cooper, Carlile, Brooks, Farrell, Davies, Lockwood. Subs: Hardcastle, Maskill, Knowles.

Eagles: Thomas, Macani, Yere, Toole, Blackmore, Brown, Aston, Offerdahl, Burns, Pick, Davies, James, Fozard. Subs: Burns, Weldon, Broadbent, Garcia.

Referee: Mr Greg Dolan.

Attendance: 689.