Hat-trick star Robinson leads way in Featherstone Rovers’ 10-try romp against Batley

Hat-trick: Shaun Robinson.
Hat-trick: Shaun Robinson.

Featherstone Rovers rediscovered their best form as they cruised to a 50-12 home victory over Batley Bulldogs at the LD Nutrition Stadium.

The players obviously heeded the warnings they received after lacking fluency in their Challenge cup win at Doncaster seven days earlier as they dominated much of their Betfred Championship contest over opponents expected to give them a much sterner test.

They were ahead from the 16th minute with Shaun Robinson going over for the first of what was to be a hat-trick of tries following good work by Martyn Ridyard, Tom Holmes and Misi Taulapapa.

A second Robinson effort soon after was ruled out for a forward pass after a great move, but Rovers stayed in charge and after moving the ball out to the other flank Luke Briscoe was in for his 25th try of the season and in the process equalled Martin Offiah’s modern day record of scoring in 15 consecutive games.

Josh Hardcastle was next to go over for a try, although with Ridyard unable to convert any of the tries the score remained closer than it might have been at 12-0.

Featherstone were unlucky when Sam Brooks charged over only to be brought back for a forward, pass, but they did add one more try before half-time with Gareth Hock touching down. Ridyard’s goal made it 18-0 at the break.

The home domination continued into the second half as it took them just seven minutes to add to their tally with Hock blasting forward and coming up with a great offload to send Robinson over.

Batley hit straight back as Lewis Galbraith made a break down the left and passed inside for supporting full-back Dave Scott to score beneath the posts.

Izaac Farrell converted to narrow the gap to 16 points, but from the restart the visitors were penalised for an incorrect play-the-ball and Rovers took full advantage of the good field position to score again, Tom Holmes going over from close range for a try converted by Ridyard.

Batley kept battling at this stage and after forcing a goal-line drop-out they went close only for Lewis Galbraith to lose possession close to the home line.

Scott Wheeldon then knocked-on at the other end with the try-line looking open, but Fev did score again when dual registration duo Jordan Lilley and Josh Walters combined well for the latter to score. Ridyard’s goal made it 34-6.

Holmes, who had a good game at full-back, added his second try soon after when collecting Taulapapa’s pass and with Ridyard goaling the 40-point mark had been achieved.

There was still time for winger Robinson to complete his hat-trick after Lilley and Holmes had combined well.

Batley briefly replied through Dominic Brambani, but Rovers had the final word with Hardcastle going over for his second try of the afternoon and Ridyard’s fifth goal rounded off the scoring on a highly satisfactory day for Featherstone.

Scorers - Featherstone: Tries Robinson 3, Briscoe, Hardcastle 2, Hock, Holmes 2, Walters; goals Ridyard 5. Batley: Tries Scott, Brambani; goals I Farrell 2.

Featherstone Rovers: Holmes; Briscoe, Hardcastle, Taulapapa, Robinson; Ridyard, Lilley; Wheeldon, Carlile, Clark, Farrell, Walters, Moore. Subs: Wildie, Hock, Brooks, Peteru.

Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Ainscough, Smeaton, Galbraith, Crookes; I Farrell, Brambani; Holland, Leak, Rowe, Harrison, Day, Manning. Subs: Ward, Davey, J Farrell, Brown.

Referee: John McMullen.

Half-time: 18-0.

Attendance: 2,425.