Valencia Huracanes 14 Featherstone Rovers 102: Four different players claim hat-tricks as Rovers romp to victory in Spain
Featherstone Rovers had four different players score a hat-trick as they romped to victory with a stunning 102-14 triumph against Spanish side Valencia Huracanes.
Jake Sweeting, Sam Ottewell, Gareth Gale and Ben Blackmore all crossed for three tries each as Rovers continued their unbeaten start to 2020.
Valencia, playing in their first-ever match, responded with tries from Connor Aspey, Miguel Tomas Enriqe and Antoni Martinez Besch.
Aspey was one of three players loaned to Huracanes from Salford Red Devils with Sam Bardsley and Luis Roberts also running out for the hosts for the historic clash.
Louis Jouffret crossed for two further Rovers tries while Nathan Wright, Brandon French, Dean Parata, Luke Cooper and Jack Richardson completed the scoring for the visitors.
Over 300 Featherstone supporters made the trip to Spain, with more than 500 fans in total attending the fixture.
And Rovers CEO Davide Longo feels that the Valencia club will prove a success.
“It’s been brilliant. I’ve been stood with the CEO of Valencia Huracanes [Dean Buchan] and all we’ve been talking about all day is about rugby league,” he said.
“This is what it’s all about. It’s not about the scoreline, it’s about Valencia Huracanes.
“We’re supporting their brand in a region where I believe there are a lot of rugby league people living.”
Longo continued: “Do I believe it’s going to be a success? Absolutely.”
“This region has got the ability to be a great success, not just for the people who live around here but away travellers as well.
“Our fans have come in their numbers and every one of them has absolutely been delighted by what they’ve received during this trip.”
Gale crossed for a 30-minute hat-trick in the first half as Rovers went into the interval with a 42-4 lead.
Aspey crossed for Valencia’s first-ever try before Enrique had both sets of fans applauding moments into the second half as he became the first domestic player to score a try for Huracanes.
Blackmore replicated Gale’s first-half showing as he claimed a second-half hat-trick.
Sweeting and Ottewell completed their hat-tricks in the second 40 minutes after scoring Rovers’ first and second tries, respectively, of the afternoon.
Besch added a third for the home side with Erick Leon tagging on the extras.
Rovers travel to Super League side Hull KR on Sunday, January 19, for their penultimate pre-season outing.