Thackeray stars as Featherstone move up to second with win over Sheffield

Two tries: Anthony Thackeray.
Two tries: Anthony Thackeray.

Try doubles from Anthony Thackeray, Ian Hardman and Josh Hardcastle helped Featherstone Rovers to a comfortable 40-6 victory away to Sheffield Eagles in their latest Betfred Championship match.

With winger Luke Briscoe also crossing the line Rovers enjoyed a seven-try romp that lifted them up to second place in the table for 24 hours at least.

Thackeray was the star of the show, taking the man of the match and celebrating his 300th career appearance in fine style.

The Featherstone half-back collected both of his tries in the first half with his side well in control with a 24-point lead at the break.

Gareth Hock and Luke Cooper combined to set up Thackeray for the opening try on eight minutes before Thackeray turned creator for Hardman to score the second try.

Briscoe - loaned straight back to Rovers after his move to Leeds Rhinos in the week - then bagged his 30th try of the season as he raced fully 40 metres to score after backing up a break by fellow winger Shaun Robinson.

Thackeray added to the lead as he dummied his way over for his second try and with Hardman kicking his fourth conversion it was 24-0 with the Eagles barely landing a glove on the visitors.

Featherstone carried on the good work early in the second half when centre Hardcastle powered over from close range for the fifth try.

He then soon had his second after collecting a well judged kick by Thackeray.

Former Rovers player Shaun Pick crossed for a Sheffield try, but it was no more than a consolation as Featherstone were quickly back in control with Hardman scoring his second try.

Gareth Hock was unlucky to see his effort ruled out, but it did not matter as Rovers were convincing winners to pick up another crucial two points and heap the pressure on their top four rivals.

Scorers: Sheffield: Try Pick; goal Aston. Featherstone: Tries Thackeray (two), Hardman (two), Briscoe, Hardcastle (two); goals Hardman 6.

Sheffield Eagles: Costello; Millar, Yere, Spedding, Swift; Makelim, Aston; Offerdahl, Fozard, Magrin, Toole, Pick, James. Subs: Thomas, Davies, Garcia, Weldon.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Briscoe, Taulapapa, Hardcastle, Robinson; Thackeray, Widlie; Wheeldon, Carlile, Cooper, Lockwood, Davies, Hock. Subs: Moore, Knowles, Brooks, Ormondroyd.

Referee: Greg Dolan

Half-time: 0-24

Attendance: 912