Featherstone 32 Leeds Rhinos 16: Rovers too strong for inexperienced Leeds line-up
A near full-strength Featherstone Rovers were too strong for Leeds Rhinos' fringe players and under-19s, winning 32-16 at Big Fellas Stadium.
In difficult conditions, Rovers dominated early on, but Leeds hit back well and were only six points adrift with 10 minutes left before two late tries spared the hosts’ blushes..
The game was overshadowed by two injuries.
Rhinos were without Australian hooker Beau Falloon after he suffered a broken toe in training and Rovers’ No 9 Matty Wildie was stretchered off, after lengthy treatment, in the first half.
Featherstone were close to full-strength and led led 18-12 at the break, after Rhinos hit back from 18-0 down.
Playing down the slope, the visitors could not get out of their own half early on and Featherstone took advantage with three tries, all converted by Kyle Briggs.
Briggs crossed from Anthony Thackeray’s short pass, Tim Spears put Danny Craven and in Briggs scooted over after Thackeray dummied into space.
Tommy Brierley touched down Jack Wray’s kick and Wray and Nyle Flynn combined to put Ashton Golding over, Jordan Lilley converting both as Leeds rallied.
Kieran Johnson’s break set up an unconverted try for Misi Taulapapa at the start of the second half, but Rhinos refused to throw in the towel and Jack Norfolk’s unconverted try cut the deficit to six points with 20 minutes remaining.
Leeds scented at least a draw, but Briggs put Craven over for his second try on 70 minutes and Ian Hardman added a late touchdown, converted by Briggs.