Two-try Ulugia gives Rovers edge in dour game

Chris Ulugia scored two tries for Rovers. Picture: Carol Austerberry.
Chris Ulugia scored two tries for Rovers. Picture: Carol Austerberry.

FEATHERSTONE Rovers maintained their 100 per cent record in the Kingstone Press Championship by pipping Oldham 8-6 in dreadful conditions at Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday.

Centre Chris Ulugia grabbed a try in each half as Rovers followed an opening day win at Halifax with another hard-earned victory in their first home fixture.

Trailing by two points at half-time, they struck an important blow with New Zealader Ulugia’s second score in the 46th and then defended superbly to cling onto a precarious lead.

Rovers coach Jon Sharp said: “To do what we did and the amount of defending we did on our own try line was confirmation of what I already knew that we are a really good defensive team.”

Oldham grabbed the opening try when Scott Leatherbarrow’s neat grubber kick set up a seventh minute score for Scott Turner that Leatherbarrow converted.

Ulugia was held up over line as Rovers rallied but their handling often let them down in the tricky conditions.

They eventually found a way through in the 25th minute when Anthony Thackeray cleverly switched play for Ulugia to slide over.

Rovers made the ideal start in the second-half when Ulugia went in at the corner for his second try after excellent play by John Davies.

Kenny Hughes was held up over the line as Rovers did well to survive Oldham pressure.

The visitors had a golden chance to level matters nine minutes from time when Featherstone were penalised for a tackle that was put on report but Leatherbarrow’s relatively easy attempt at goal from 30 yards out went wide.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Briscoe, Hardcastle, Ulugia, Handley; Thackeray, Wildie; Bostock, Carlile, Cooper, Davies, Walton, Tagg. Subs: Briggs, Walters, Ormondroyd, Griffin.

Oldham: Turner; Clay, Egodo, Grimshaw, Gill; Leatherbarrow, Hewitt; Neal, Owen, Joy, Wood, Langtree, Spencer. Subs: Ward, Mason, Burke, Hughes.

Referee: Tom Grant (Leeds).

Attendance: 1,783.