Ragged Rovers slump to third home defeat

Rovers slipped to their third home defeat.
Rovers slipped to their third home defeat.

Featherstone Rovers slipped to sixth place in the Championship with a dreadful display in Friday’s 24-8 home defeat against London Broncos.

Fielding the same team that won impressively at Dewsbury last time out, Rovers unexpectedly struggled to put their game together.

They finished a clear second best as their top-four bid suffered a setback with their third home loss of the season.

Rovers were out-enthused by resurgent London who continued their winning start under new head coach Andrew Henderson with their first away victory of the campaign.

Players from both sides had difficulty holding onto the ball and staying on their feet in the slippy conditions

Featherstone did well to weather an early spell of London pressure before they started to dominate territorially.

Alex Foster went close but an excellent attacking position was wasted when Paul Wood lost the ball close to the line.

London then came far more into the game and Rhys Williams was halted short before Brad Dwyer put them ahead after 23 minutes when he darted over from acting half for a try that Wes Naiqama goaled.

Matt Garside forced a goalline drop out as London pressed again, with Garside being held up over the line on the final tackle.

Rovers cut the gap to two points when Wood sent in young substitute Jack Ormondroyd after 33 minutes for only his second try at senior level.

Sykes’s attempted conversion struck a post and he was off target with a penalty kick on the stroke of half-time.

The Broncos increased their lead to eight points ahead early in the second-half when Oscar Thomas went over and Naiqama converted.

Rovers looked rattled and their handling often let them down.

They fell further behind in the 58th minute when swift handling put in Rhys Williams at the corner.

Williams sealed London’s win when he raced 75 yards for his second try five minutes from time and Naiqama kicked his third goal.

Nathan Chappell’s late try was in vain for Rovers.

Featherstone Rovers: Hitchcox; Blackmore, Hardman, Chappell, Sharp; Sykes, Marginet; Baldwinson, Irwin, Bostock, Cording, Foster, Spears. Subs: Milner, James, Wood, Ormondroyd.

London Broncos: Hellewell; R Williams, Farrar, Naiqama, Macani; Thomas, Keyes; Lovegrove, Dwyer, D Williams, Harrison, Garside, Minchella. Subs: Nasso, Thackray, Dollapi, Everett.

Referee: Mike Woodhead.