Magnificent Rovers put Vikings to the sword

Centre Ben Cockayne scored two tries in Featherstone's 56-16 win.

Centre Ben Cockayne scored two tries in Featherstone's 56-16 win.

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FEATHERSTONE Rovers are on course to finish top of the Co-operative Championship for the second year running after thrashing Widnes Vikings 56-16 at Bigfellas Stadium last night (Wednesday).

It was a magnificent display by Rovers who ran in 11 tries against the outclassed Vikings, who will be in Super League next season.

The win lifted Daryl Powell’s men to the top of the table, above Leigh Centurions on points difference, with a game in hand

Featherstone led 26-0 at the break and continued to give Widnes the runaround in the second period.

Skipper Stuart Dickens set a tremendous lead in the home pack and scrum-half Liam Finn controlled the game with his excellent distribution work and tactical kicking.

Bryn Powell bagged three tries with Sam Smeaton, Tommy Saxton and Ben Cockayne all crossed twice.

Stuart Dickens and Jonny Hepworth also grabbed touchdowns and Finn kicked six goals.

Danny Hulme collected two tries for the Vikings and Shane Grady also scored.

Two of Widnes’s three tries came in the last six minutes.

Widnes centre Steve Tyrer was stretchered off unconscious shortly before half-time but the injury was not as serious as it looked.

Vikings coach Denis Betts said afterwards: “Steve Tyrer is fine. He just took a bang to the head. The doctor said he’s not in bad shape. He’s not in good shape either but he should be okay.”

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Powell, Smeaton, Cockayne, Saxton; Hepworth, Finn; Tonks, Kaye, Dickens, Grayshon, Spears, Dale. Subs: Worthington, Netherton, Bostock, Divorty.

Widnes Vikings: Hulme; Flynn, Ropati, Tyrer, Gardner; Mellor, J Coyle; Pickersgill, T Coyle, Kavanagh, Grady, Finnigan, Allen. Subs: Varkulis, Haggerty, Leuluai, Tomkins.

Referee: Ronnie Laughton (Barnsley).

Attendance: 2,021.