Rovers ease to seven-try Challenge Cup win at Whitehaven

Andy Bostock scored the first of Featherstone's seven tries. Picture: Bob Nunn.
Andy Bostock scored the first of Featherstone's seven tries. Picture: Bob Nunn.

Three-times Challenge Cup winners Featherstone Rovers booked their place in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fifth round with Saturday’s 36-12 win at Whitehaven.

Rovers, who won the competition in 1967, 1973 and 1983, were too good for fellow Championship outfit Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground.

The Cumbrians, boosted by their first league win of the season against London Broncos the previous weekend, were level at 12-12 late in the first-half but Rovers ran away with the game in the second period.

Prop Andy Bostock, making his first start of the season after close-season surgery, gave Rovers an excellent start when he grabbed a 10th minute try that Paul Sykes goaled.

Whitehaven replied five minutes later when ex-Rovers player Jessie Joe Parker, the 29-year-old Papua New Guinea international, scored against his old club.

John Paul Brocklebank’s conversion levelled the scores but Featherstone regained the lead when Will Sharp crossed in the 24th minute and Sykes added the extras.

It was all square again in the 31st minute when Dion Aiye’s try was goaled by Brocklebank to make it 12-12 but Rovers edged back in front shortly before half-time when Sharp darted over for his second.

Featherstone struck an important blow when Ben Blackmore went over six minutes into the second-half to stretch their lead to 20-12.

Will Milner’s 63rd minute try was improved by Sykes and Matt James scored five minutes later, with French international Remy Marginet kicking the conversion.

Nathan Chapell rounded things off with Featherstone’s seventh try five minutes from time.

Whitehaven: Lepori; Burns, Holliday, Parker, Calvert; Coyle, Fox; Seymour, Brocklebank, McAvoy, Hepi, Allen, Aiye. Subs: Bannister, Davies, Robinson, Newton.

Featherstone Rovers: Sharp; Johnson, Chappell, Hitchcox, Blackmore; Sykes, Marginet; Baldwinson, Irwin, Bostock, Cording, Foster, Spears. Subs: Milner, James, Tonks, Ormondroyd.

Referee: Chris Kendall.