Featherstone get off the mark by snatching last-gasp draw at London

Connor Farrell scored his first try for Featherstone in Sunday's game at London. Picture: Carol Austerberry.
Connor Farrell scored his first try for Featherstone in Sunday's game at London. Picture: Carol Austerberry.

FEATHERSTONE Rovers collected their first point in the Super 8s Qualifiers and their first under new coach John Duffy by snatching a 32-32 draw in a dramatic finish to Sunday’s game at London Broncos.

Trailing 14-0 midway through the first-half, Featherstone recovered excellently to lead 22-14 early in the second period.

Broncos hit back to take a 32-22 advantage but Rovers earned a share of the points with late tries from Luke Briscoe and Chris Ulugia.

Ian Hardman levelled the scores with a last minute touchline conversion to finish with four goals.

John Davies and Briscoe each bagged two tries as Featherstone bounced back from a dreadful start after conceding three tries in the first 19 minutes.

They fell behind in the 11th minute when Api Pewhairangi scooped up a dropped Rovers pass and raced 85 yards. He was foiled by Anthony Thackeray’s tackle but the Broncos capitalised on the attacking position when Jay Pitts went over.

The home side struck again when Jarrod Sammut’s long pass saw Elliot Kear dive over at the corner.

Ex-Rovers player Ben Hellewell’s break then led to William Barthau crossing and Sammut added the first of his four goals.

Featherstone rallied and Thackeray was halted inches short of the try line.

A delightful move then resulted in half-backs Thackeray and Kyle Briggs making the opening for former Wigan Warriors forward Connor Farrell to score his first try for Rovers to spark their fightback.

Featherstone suffered a setback when they lost injured prop Andy Bostock but they now looked the better side and scored again five minutes before half-time when Davies pounced on a clever kick by Briggs to cut the gap to four points.

They made a great start to the second-half with two tries in three minutes.

Sam Brooks flung out a pass to Briggs who sent in Davies for his second touchdown before Brooks and Briggs combined again for Briscoe to go over.

Hardman added both conversions to give the visitors an eight-point lead but the game quickly swung back London’s way.

They reduced the deficit when Sammut converted his own 54th minute solo try and they regained the lead two minutes later when Mark Ioane made the most of poor tackling to score.

Josh Hardcastle went close for Rovers before the Broncos shot further ahead when Eddie Battye supplied a superb off-load for Andy Ackers to plunge over on his 100th career appearance.

Featherstone fought back again when Briggs took an off-load from Davies to put in Briscoe for his second try 11 minutes from time.

With time running out, Farrell collected a high kick and fed Richard Moore who sent in Kiwi centre Ulugia at the corner and Hardman added the vital touchline goal.

London Broncos: Walker; Williams, Hellewell, Pewhairangi, Kear; Sammut, Barthau; Spencer, Ackers, Ioane, Wilde, Pitts, Davis. Subs: Boudeza, Gee, Battye, Bienek.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Taulapapa, Ulugia, Hardcastle, Briscoe; Briggs, Thackeray; Moore, Carlile, Griffin, Davies, Farrell, Baldwinson. Subs: Brooks, Wildie, Bostock, Mariano.

Referee: Liam Moore.