Featherstone Rovers 14 Toronto Wolfpack 23: Valiant Rovers push star-studded Toronto all the way

Featherstone Rovers produced one of their best displays under Ryan Carr but were ultimately defeated by league leaders Toronto Wolfpack on Easter Monday.

By Ben McKenna
Monday, 22nd April 2019, 5:56 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd April 2019, 6:04 pm
Makahesi Makatoa scored Rovers' first try of the afternoon. PIC: James Heaton.
Makahesi Makatoa scored Rovers' first try of the afternoon. PIC: James Heaton.

An Andrew Dixon try five minutes from time settled matters, as Featherstone came up short after a stellar display.

Carr will surely take plenty of positives from the clash, as his side pushed a star-studded Toronto outfit right until the final hooter.

Rovers' intensity forced the Wolfpack into numerous uncharacteristic errors as the hosts dominated the game for lengthy periods.

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Jack Bussey produced a fine display against his former side. PIC: James Heaton.

Toronto were slicker with the ball in attack and made it pay as they crossed for three tries in the opening 40 minutes.

Featherstone more than kept themselves in the game, however, and were aided slightly by the inaccurate goal-kicking of Blake Wallace, who missed all his conversion attempts in the first half.

Rovers had a try disallowed and had one chance go begging when Jack Broadbent put his foot in touch before failing to gather Alex Sutcliffe's pass.

Most of the second half was played in the Toronto half, however the visitors always looked threatening when they did get close to the Rovers' line.

The away side opened the scoring when Gareth O'Brien threw a few dummy passes to give himself the space to score on the left.

Matty Russell then added his 13th try of the season a few moments later, putting the Wolfpack eight points in front.

Former Toronto player Jack Bussey then sparked the move that got the hosts back into the game.

He slipped the ball to Josh Walters who held off a defender before finding Makeshi Makatoa on his inside, and the forward made no mistake in planting down by the posts.

But, minutes later, Russell stepped past Josh Hardcaslte to re-extend the away side's lead. Another missed conversion attempt meant there were just six points in it.

Toronto were reduced to 12 men when O'Brien brought down Chisholm with a high tackle, as the half-back looked to burst clear.

The Wolfpack edged seven points ahead on the half-time hooter when Josh McCrone kicked a drop-goal from close range.

Chisholm created a superb try as Featherstone got to within a point three minutes into the second half.

The half-back twisted and turned to break the line and put in a high kick toward the corner for Conor Carey to chase.

The winger plucked the ball out of the air and finished superbly for his first Rovers try, dotting down with millimetres to spare.

Rovers were the better side for the first 20 minutes of the second half and came close to going in front through Chisholm, Cameron King and James Harrison.

Featherstone did take the lead on 66 minutes whe Chisholm hammered over a penalty goal from 40 metres.

However, the away side - who have lost just one game all season - broke Rovers hearts with two tries in the last five minutes.

Dixon broke clear to score under the posts before Russell completed his hat-trick in the final minute.

Featherstone Rovers: Render, Broadbent, Sutcliffe, Hardcastle, Carey, Bussey, Chsiholm, Wheeldon, Maskill, Cooper, Day, Walters, Lockwood. Subs: King, Harrison Makatoa, Ormondroyd.

Toronto Wolfpack: O'Brien, Higson, Miloudi, Leutele, Russell, Wallace, McCrone, Sidlow, Beswick, Sims, Dixon, Olbison, Wilkin. Subs: Ackers, Lussick, Mullally, Thompson.

Referee: Gareth Hewer.