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ROVERS SINK BULLS TO PROGRESS THROUGH

FEATHERSTONE Rovers booked their place in the fifth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, recording a 21-13 victory over Bradford Bulls in torrential conditions.

The Rovers took an early lead and they remained in the driving seat until after the break when the Bulls hit back.

An exchange of drop-goals followed before the Rovers cut loose, scoring a late blitz of tries to seal their place in the next round.

Jon Sharp chose to rest Keal Carlile and Anthony Thackeray, with Kyle Briggs moving from the bench to the starting 13, as John Davies took the role of hooker.

Featherstone took the lead early on as Johnny Campbell coughed up possession - 20 metres from the Bradford line.

The returning Josh Hardcastle was first to pounce, the centre turned back-rower galloping 20 metres to touch down beneath the posts.

Briggs added the extras, from bang in front, handing the Rovers a 6-0 lead.

A relatively uninspiring half of rugby followed, as conditions worsened at the Provident Stadium, with a comedy of errors following.

Sam Day was held up over the line prior to the interval, denying Featherstone the chance to double their lead.

Bradford hit back shortly after the restart when Evan Hodgson took a Leon Pryce offload to touch down. Joe Keyes converted to level the scores at 6-6.

On 55 minutes, Briggs landed a drop-goal to hand Featherstone a 7-6 advantage.

But the scoreboard read 7-7 after the 64th minute passed, as Keyes matched Briggs’ effort.

A fine solo effort from Jason Walton sent the travelling Rovers fans wild 12 minutes from time, Briggs converting for 13-7.

And it was game over when Ian Hardman finished a Frankie Mariano break to touch down, just to the left of the uprights.

Briggs’ fourth-successive conversion made it 21-7 but there was some consolation for the Bulls, with Campbell scoring a last-minute try.

 

BULLS: Campbell, Macani, Mendeika, Oakes, Ryan, Pryce, Keyes, Magrin, Lumb, Peltier; Wilkinson, Bentley, Halahifi. Subs: Moore, Kirk, Butterworth, Hodgson.

TRIES: Hodgson (47), Campbell (79).

GOALS: Keyes 2/2.

DROP-GOALS: Keyes (64).

 

ROVERS: Hardman, Turner, Walton, Ulugia, Duckworth, Briggs, Wildie, Bostock, Davies, Cooper; Mariano, Hardcastle, Lockwood. Subs: Tagg, Griffin, Moore, Day.

TRIES: Hardcastle (6), Walton (67), Hardman (74).

GOALS: Briggs 4/4.

DROP-GOALS: Briggs (55).

 

REFEREE: C Straw

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jason Walton

HALF-TIME: 0-6

ATTENDANCE: 2,489