Whitehaven 22 Featherstone 44: Taulapapa hat-trick earns Rovers points

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Centre Misi Taulapapa scored a first-half hat-trick of tries and Jamie Foster kicked eight goals as Featherstone climbed the Championship table with a 44-22 win at Whitehaven.

Rovers, who had lost their previous two league matches, led 18-14 at half-time and sealed victory with two tries in the last three minutes.

Rovers, boosted by the return of Danny Craven, Kyle Briggs, Andy Ellis, Colton Roche and Tim Spears, made hard work of their task at times.

Their usually solid defence let in five tries which kept Whitehaven in the game until the dying minutes.

Craig Calvert’s try put Haven ahead but Rovers hit back after 19 minutes with Taulapapa’s first.

The Cumbrians scored again to lead 8-6 but Featherstone swiftly replied with Taulapapa’s second.

The lead changed hands again when Whitehaven scored their third try but Taulapapa then completed his hat-trick from Danny Craven’s kick to the corner to put Rovers ahead at half-time.

Foster kicked a penalty to nose the visitors further ahead.

Rovers had a let-off in the 57th minute when Whitehaven had an effort ruled out after a player put a foot behind the deadball line before touching down. Kyran Johnson then squeezed in at the corner to put Rovers further in front.

The home side cut the gap to 26-18 with a try but Rovers struck a vital blow when Roche’s break led to Anthony Thackeray crossing for the first of his two tries.

Whitehaven came back again to reduce the deficit to 32-22 with five minutes left but Featherstone sealed victory with two late tries from Roche and Thackeray.

Whitehaven: Jouffret; Burns, Taylor, Holliday, Calvert; Aiye, Gore; Riley, newton, Chaplow, Allen, Parker, Carberry. Substitutes: Brocklebank, Duffy, Davies, Fox.

Featherstone Rovers: Craven; Johnson, Hardman, Taulapapa, Foster; Abdull, Thackeray; Bostock, Ellis, Baldwinson, Cording, Davies, Spears. Substitutes: Roche. Ormondroyd, Briggs, Grifffin.