Debutant stand-off Paul Cooke bagged two first-half tries as Featherstone Rovers moved back level on points with fourth-placed Halifax in the Kingstone Press Press Championship with Sunday’s 42-34 win at Hunslet Hawks.
Former Hull FC and Hull KR player and ex Doncaster player coach Cooke went over after 12 and 34 minutes as Rovers built a 24-12 interval lead.
Featherstone have a game in hand on Halifax which is at Bradford Bulls on Wednesday evening.
They didn’t have things all their own way against Hunslet who staged a late fightback to cut the gap to 36-28 before Alex Foster’s 70th minute try put the game beyond their reach.
The Hawks scored six tries to underline the defensive improvement Rovers will need against Bradford.
Featherstone’s other try scorers were Will Sharp (two), Gareth Moore and Ian Hardman.
Paul Sykes kicked seven goals.
Hunslet’s try scorers were Kyle Trout, Andy Kain, Jim Watson, Jack Lee (two) and Vinny Finnigan. Jordan Lilley added four goals.
Hunslet Hawks: Watson; Barnett, Maun, Mvududu, Finnigan; Kain, Lilley; Haley, Lee, Houston, Martin, Backhouse, Mulhern. Subs: Flanagan, Lyons, Trout, Gee.
Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Sharp, Sykes, Minns, Hitchcox; Cooke, Moore; Baldwinson, Ellis, Verlinden, Cording, Maitua, Spears. Subs: Marginet, Cooper, Ormondroyd, Foster.
Referee: Gareth Hewer.