Rovers grind out victory at Keepmoat

Remy Marginet
Remy Marginet
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Featherstone Rovers came out on top in a real war of attrition against Doncaster as they made it two wins from two games in the Championship.

In a game played in freezing windy conditions at the Keepmoat Stadium Rovers came from 4-0 down at the break to win 13-6 as their extra bit of class told in the end,

In a first half that lacked excitement there was only one score when Doncaster went over for an eighth minute try, centre Danny Cowling pouncing on Paul Cooke’s well judged grubber kick to touch down with Rovers winger Ben Blackmore maybe guilty of a little hesitation.

Another Cooke kick forced a drop-out as the home side looked the sharper side in the early stages.

Featherstone defended well enough, but struggled to get their attacking together in the opening quarter and were no threat until Andy Bostock came off the bench to give some drive down the middle.

One burst by Bostock threatened to open up the Dons defence, but ended when his pass inside went straight to a home player.

Another attack soon after ended when Blackmore lost the ball in a tackle 10 metres out.

A kick by Andy Ellis was just too long for the chasing Blackmore and that was it really as Rovers were kept scoreless in the opening half.

Doncaster threatened again late in the half, but their efforts came to nothing when former Rovers player Dave Scott lost the ball 10 metres out.

Featherstone made a better start to the second half when they levelled the score within four minutes as Nathan Chappell followed up Jy Hitchock’s little kick to ground the ball over the line.

Paul Sykes was unable to add the touchline conversion, but three minutes later he kicked a penalty from closer range after the hosts were caught offside.

Doncaster hit back with a Stewart Sanderson penalty and the game was level at 6-6 going into the final quarter.

Both teams had chances as the game at last opened up. Paul Cooke missed a drop-goal attempt for the home side while Will Sharp had a “try” disallowed for a forward pass by Sykes.

Cooke then made a big break for the Dons only for the ball to go to ground.

But on 70 minutes Fev made the crucial breakthrough when Hitchock cleverly created space for Matt Ryan to charge over for a try.

Sykes added the conversion and when Remy Marginet landed a drop-goal four minutes from time it was all over.

Scorers - Doncaster: Try Cowling; goal Scott. Featherstone: Tries Chappell, Ryan; goals Sykes 2; drop-goal Marginet.

Doncaster: Scott; Doherty, Michaels, Cowling, Sanderson; Cooke, Rankin; Carbutt, Cunningham, Paleaaesina, Snitch, Dunn, Emmett. Subs: Spiers, Clark, Waterman, Howarth.

Featherstone: Rovers: Hitchcock; Sharp, Chappell, Cording, Blackmore; Sykes, Irwin; Baldwinson, Ellis, Wood, Foster, Ryan, Lockwood. Subs: Spears, James, Bostock, Marginet.

Referee: W Turley.

Half-time: 4-0.