In-form Featherstone Rovers ease to fourth straight win

Anthony Thackeray was on the scoresheet in Featherstone's win at Swinton. Picture: Carol Austerberry.
Anthony Thackeray was on the scoresheet in Featherstone's win at Swinton. Picture: Carol Austerberry.

Featherstone Rovers stepped up their top-four bid in the Kingstone Press Championship with a fourth straight victory by beating 30-10 Swinton Lions at Heywood Road, Sale, on Sunday.

The Lions, still without a win after achieving promotion last season, were outplayed from the start and were 30-0 down before they scored two late tries.

Rovers, who have a match in hand on most of their rivals, were forced to make a late change when centre Michael Channing sustained a hamstring injury in the warm-up.

Ian Hardman switched to centre, Danny Craven moved to full-back and Will Milner took over on the bench.

Jamie Cording had an early effort ruled out for a forward pass before Rovers went ahead in the 15th minute when a lovely move involving Bradley Knowles-Tagg and Kyle Briggs set up the position for Scott Turner to cross at the corner.

They struck again six minutes later when Ian Hardman went over after plucking the ball out of the air from a high kick.

Featherstone’s third unconverted try came in the 32nd minute when Swinton lost possession near their own try line and the ball was moved swiftly to Kyran Johnson who had an easy touchdown.

The Lions then had a let-off when Johnson had another effort disallowed before Swinton’s Chris Atkin was held up over the line shortly before half-time.

Rovers stretched their lead five minutes into the second-half when Jack Ormondroyd’s powerful drive up the middle led to Jamie Cording scoring a try that Briggs goaled.

Mid-way through the half, Swinton were then punished for a dreadful error at a play the ball near their own try line when there was no one at dummy half and Briggs snapped up the ball to grab a gift try he also improved.

Swinton’s Mike Morrison was sin-binned before Rovers made it 30-0 when Anthony Thackeray darted over and Briggs converted.

The Lions completed the scoring when Macaulay Hallett and Atkin crossed in the closing stages.

Rovers now take a break from league action when they visit London Broncos in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fourth round on Saturday (8pm kick-off).

Swinton Lions: Atkin; Robinson, Littler, Hallett, Marshall; White, Beharrell; Morrison, Nicholson, Hand, Lloyd, Dwyer, Lever. Subs:Halafihi, Thornley, Barlow, Austin.

Featherstone Rovers: Craven; Johnson, Hardman, Taulapapa, Turner; Briggs, Thackeray; Griffin, Ellis, Bostock, Cording, Davies, Knowles-Tagg. Subs: Ormondroyd, Milner, Baldwinson, Roche.

Referee: Sam Ansell.

Attendance: 745.