FEATHERSTONE Rovers showed why they are this season’s Northern Rail Cup favourites by trouncing Doncaster 54-10 at Bigfellas Stadium on Friday evening.
Rovers comfortably won their opening group match by running in 11 tries against their Championship One opponents.
They led 22-4 at half-time and added 32 second-half points against 12-man Doncaster who had Kyle Kesik sent off shortly before half-time for his part in a brawl that also saw Featherstone’s Tim Spears and Doncaster’s Chris Spurr sin-binned.
Sam Smeaton (pictured) led Featherstone’s spree with a hat-trick of tries as they defied a gale-force wind to pile up the points.
Andy Kain crossed twice and his half-back partner Liam Finn scored a try and kicked five goals.
Featherstone’s other try scorers were Tony Tonks, Ian Hardman, Tommy Saxton, debutant Andy Bostock and Zak Hardaker.
Doncaster opened the scoring after just 66 seconds with an 80-yard try by Mick Butterfield but they then had to wait until 12 minutes from time before Mike Emmett collected their second touchdown.
Scorers - Featherstone: tries Smeaton (3), Kain (2), Tonks, Finn, Hardman, Saxton, Bostock, Hardaker; goals: Finn (5). Doncaster: tries Butterfield, Emmett; goal Spaven
Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Powell, Smeaton, Worthington, Saxton; Kain, Finn; Tonks, Kaye, Dickens, Grayshon, Spears, Dale. Subs: Morrison, Haley, Bostock, Hardaker.
Doncaster: Butterfield; Colton, Leaf, Spurr, Sanderson; Fawcett, Spaven; Bovill, P Hughes, Scott, Simpson, Robinson, Emmett. Subs: Carbutt, Crawley, Gomersall, Kesik.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).