Featherstone Rovers 78 Sheffield Eagles 10: Rovers romp to victory in final regular season game
Featherstone Rovers racked up their biggest points tally of the season as they thrashed Sheffield Eagles 78-10 in their final outing before the play-offs.
Rovers' second-place finish has secured a home tie in the Championship play-off semi-finals. They will face the highest-ranked side that emerges from the first round of the play-offs with Batley Bulldogs and Bradford Bulls going head-to-head before Halifax Panthers take on Whitehaven next weekend for a place in the semi-finals.
Sunday's win over Sheffield was Featherstone's joint-highest winning margin of 2021, matching their 68-0 success over Oldham in May.
In total, James Webster's side ran in 15 tries, and kicked nine conversions, with Craig Hall crossing for a third of the hosts' tries in another eye-catching individual display.
Frankie Halton claimed a first-half hat-trick as Rovers built a 32-6 advantage by half time before continuing their dominance after the break.
Hall opened the scoring after just one minute but Sheffield took the lead for the only time in the game when Ryan Johnson's try was converted by Josh Gudzek on 15 minutes.
The hosts regained the lead soon after as Nu Brown sliced through the Sheffield defence for a four-pointer.
Rovers then turned on the style as Halton crossed for the first of his hat-trick and just two minutes later Hall dotted down for his second of the afternoon.
Another Halton try followed almost immediately after Hall's score, before the forward completed his hat-trick just after the half-hour mark.
Brett Ferres claimed the first points of the second half four minutes after the restart before Jack Bussey marked his 100th Featherstone appearance with a try.
Featherstone were in the mood as they looked to maintain their momentum heading into the play-offs as Gareth Gale scored his 26th try of the season and two minutes later Hall was available to finish off a well-worked move.
With over a quarter of the game remaining, Rovers had established a 48-point lead and increased that advantage with two tries in three minutes from Josh Hardcastle and Hall.
The former Toronto Wolfpack and Hull KR man went in again with 14 minutes remaining before Ferres scored the home side's 14th try of the afternoon with 10 minutes to play.
Gale concluded the scoring for Rovers a minute from time as he planted down on the right edge.
Eagles winger Rob Worrincy, who was playing in his last game before retirement, scored on the hooter to salvage some pride for Sheffield.
Webster's men will now enjoy the benefit of a weekend off as they await to see who their semi-final opponents will be in the Championship play-offs.