Five-try Hardman leads spree as rampant Rovers crush Broncos

Ian Hardman scored five tries.
Ian Hardman scored five tries.

Three-times Challenge Cup winners Featherstone Rovers recovered from 14-0 down to stretch their winning run to five matches with Saturday night’s 48-26 win at London Broncos in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fourth round.

Full-back Ian Hardman continued his rich vein of form by grabbing five tries as Rovers trounced the Championship leaders.

Featherstone Rovers recovered superbly from a poor start.

Elliot Kear forced his way over from close range to put London ahead and former Rovers player Alex Foster then went in after sustained pressure, with Scott Leatherbarrow converting.

The Broncos made it 14-0 in the 28th minute when Rovers knocked on from a high kick and debutant Israel Eliab scooped up the ball to put in Rhys Williams for London’s third try.

Hardman opened Featherstone’s account with a 33rd minute touchdown to leave them trailing 14-4 at the break.

Featherstone, with skipper Tim Spears making his 300th career appearance after missing the previous two matches with a calf injury, made a great start to the second-half.

Within two minutes, Jack Ormondroyd barged his way over and Kyran Johnson converted to cut the gap to four points.

Danny Craven’s 40-20 then paved the way for Sam Day to scoot over for a try that Johnson goaled to edge the visitors ahead for the first time.

Hardman bagged his second try that Johnson improved to put Rovers 22-14 up.

Johnson then capitalised on a London error to sprint the length of the fields to score as Featherstone’s domination continued.

Foster’s second try that Leatherbarrow improved got London back in the game but Rovers swiftly replied when Scott Turner’s try was followed by Hardman’s third.

Ex-Rovers player Jack Bussey’s break led to fellow Broncos sub William Barthau grabbing a try that Leatherbarrow goaled to reduce the arrears to 10 points with 11 minutes left but that man Hardman popped up again to score his fourth to end London’s lingering hopes.

He added his fifth three minnutes from time with Johnson adding his sixth goal to complete the rout

They will hope to complete a quick double when they visit London again in Easter Monday’s league match.

London Broncos: Alex Walker; Rhys Williams, Ben Helewell, Elliot Kear, Iliess Macani; Israel Eliab, Scott Leatherbarrow; Jamie Thackray, Andy Ackers, Jon Magrin, Daniel Harrison, Alex Foster, Matt Davis. Subs: William Barthau, Jack Bussey, Mark Offerdahl, Toby Everett.

Featherstone Rovers: Ian Hardman; Kyran Johnson, Michael Channing, Liam Blockley, Scott Turner; Danny Craven, Anthony Thackeray; Darrell Griffin, John Davies, Andy Bostock, James Cording, Tim Spears, Bradley Knowles-Tagg. Subs: Samuel Day, Luke Cooper, Jack Ormondroyd, Colton Roche.