London Broncos 26 Featherstone Rovers 48: Hardman and Johnson help polish off Broncos’ stubborn but limited resilience

Ian Hardman
Ian Hardman
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Three-times Challenge Cup winners Featherstone Rovers recovered from 14-0 down to stretch their winning run to five matches with Saturday’s 48-26 win at London Broncos in the Challenge Cup.

Full-back Ian Hardman continued his rich vein of form by grabbing five tries as Rovers trounced the Championship leaders. Rovers recovered from a poor start.Elliot Kear forced his way over to put London ahead and former Rovers player Alex Foster then went in after sustained pressure, with Scott Leatherbarrow converting.

The Broncos made it 14-0 on 28 minute when Rovers knocked on from a high kick and debutant Israel Eliab scooped up the ball to put in Rhys Williams for London’s third. Hardman opened Featherstone’s account with a 33rd-minute touchdown to leave them trailing 14-4 at the break.

Rovers, with skipper Tim Spears making his 300th career appearance after missing the previous two matches with a calf injury, made a great start to the second half. Within two minutes, Jack Ormondroyd barged his way over and Kyran Johnson converted. Danny Craven’s 40-20 paved the way for Sam Day to scoot over for a try that Johnson goaled to edge the visitors ahead for the first time.

Hardman bagged his second try that Johnson also improved to put Rovers 22-14 up.

Johnson capitalised on a London error to sprint the length of the field to score. Foster’s second try, improved by Leatherbarrow, got London back in the game but Rovers replied swiftly when Scott Turner’s try was followed by Hardman’s third.

Broncos’ sub’ William Barthau grabbed a try that Leatherbarrow goaled to cut the gap to 10 points with 11 minutes left but Hardman popped up again to score his fourth to end London’s lingering hopes. He added his fifth three minutes from time with Johnson adding his sixth goal.

London Broncos: Alex Walker; Rhys Williams, Ben Helewell, Elliot Kear, Iliess Macani; Israel Eliab, Scott Leatherbarrow; Jamie Thackray, Andy Ackers, Jon Magrin, Daniel Harrison, Alex Foster, Matt Davis. Subs: William Barthau, Jack Bussey, Mark Offerdahl, Toby Everett.

Rovers: Ian Hardman; Kyran Johnson, Michael Channing, Liam Blockley, Scott Turner; Danny Craven, Anthony Thackeray; Darrell Griffin, John Davies, Andy Bostock, James Cording, Tim Spears, Bradley Knowles-Tagg. Subs: Samuel Day, Luke Cooper, Jack Ormondroyd, Colton Roche.

Tony Duffy. PIC: Tony Johnson

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