Rover and out as 10-try Rhinos prove too strong in Challenge Cup

Joel Moon scores Leeds' third try in tonight's Challenge Cup tie against Featherstone although he appeared to lose the ball short of the line. Referee Chris Kendall awarded the touchdown without referring the decision to video referee Ben Thaler. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Joel Moon scores Leeds' third try in tonight's Challenge Cup tie against Featherstone although he appeared to lose the ball short of the line. Referee Chris Kendall awarded the touchdown without referring the decision to video referee Ben Thaler. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

FEATHERSTONE bowed out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with Friday night’s 58-0 quarterfinal defeat against Super League partner club Leeds Rhinos at Headingley.

Championship side Rovers battled hard but they made too many mistakes and did not put Leeds under any sustained pressure as the Rhinos repeated their 62-6 win at Featherstone in last season’s Qualifiers.

Rovers never recovered after a string of errors saw them 18-0 down after 15 minutes.

Nothing seemed to go their way in the early stages with several debatable decisions going against them.

Featherstone’s Josh Hardcastle dropped the ball from the kick-off and it saw Leeds have three consecutive sets which led to Stevie Ward plunging over for a third minute try.

The Rhinos soon doubled their lead when John Davies fumbled Danny McGuire’s crossfield kick behind his own posts and Brett Ferres scored a gift try.

Ferres then put Joel Moon for a dubious try, with the Leeds player appearing to lose the ball short of the line, and Liam Sutcliffe added his third goal to put the Rhinos further ahead.

Featherstone came far more into the game and enjoyed a spell of pressure.

They missed a gilt-edged chance in the 25th minute when on-loan Cory Aston darted clear against his parent club and fed Davies whose pass to James Lockwood went to ground inches from the try line.

McGuire had an effort ruled out for a double movement before Leeds made it 22-0 shortly before half-time when McGuire and Ryan Hall made the opening for Ash Handley to cross near the corner.

Lockwood was sin-binned in the 46th minute for dangerous contact and Leeds took advantage of the extra man to score three tries in six minutes.

Carl Ablett went over from McGuire’s pass on his 300th career appearance, Sutcliffe scored from Tom Briscoe’s kick and Hall sent in Handley for his second.

Sutcliffe added all three conversions to make it 40-0 after 57 minutes.

Brad Singleton then grabbbed two quick tries as the Rhinos onslaught continued.

Sutcliffe’s kick set up a try for Hall and Sutcliffe landed his ninth goal from 10 kicks to complete the rout.

Featherstone’s Hardcastle had an effort controversially ruled out by video referee Ben Thaler five minutes from time.

Rovers will aim to bounce back when they host Swinton Lions in Wednesday’s re-arranged Championship game at LD Nutrition Stadium.

Leeds Rhinos: Sutcliffe; Briscoe, Watkins, Hall, Handley; McGuire, Moon; Galloway, Parcell, Singleton, Ablett, Ward, Ferres. Subs: Walker, Garbutt, Mullally, Cuthbertson.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Taulapapa, Hardcastle, Walton, Johnson; Briggs, Aston; Cooper, Wildie, Moore, Knowles, Davies, Tagg. Subs: Carlile, Griffin, Mariano, Lockwood.

Referee: Chris Kendall.