Featherstone Rovers 50 Rochdale Hornets 6: Rovers come from behind to crush Hornets
Featherstone Rovers returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 50-6 victory over Rochdale Hornets at Post Office Road.
A narrow 25-24 defeat for Bradford Bulls at York City Knights has put a three-point cushion between fifth-placed Rovers and the chasing pack.
Things didn’t go all Featherstone’s way as they were made to come from behind by a determined Hornets outfit.
Rochdale have just won one league game all season but took an early lead through winger Shaun Ainscough.
But the hosts soon turned the contest in their favour with two tries in a five-minute spell.
Makahesi Makatoa bulldozed his way over the line to get Rovers on the board before Cameron King produced a trademark dive from dummy half for Rovers’ second.
Luke Briscoe put the hosts further in front as he nipped over after taking a pass from Dane Chisholm.
Rovers looked slick in attack and the Hornets couldn’t repel the charge as Connor Jones added a fourth three minutes before the break.
Rochdale almost reduced the arrears four minutes into the second half but Pierre-Louis Bourrel knocked on as he stretched out to score.
Featherstone soon punished the visitors as Josh Walters offloaded to Jones who found James Harrison to stride between the posts.
The home side extended their lead four minutes later when Connor Carey broke clear and found Ashton Golding in support to finish.
Rochdale rarely threatened in the second period and Rovers increased their lead with just over 10 minutes to go through Brad Day.
The in-form forward ran a great line to take a short ball from Chisholm to cross unopposed. Rovers weren’t done there and added another score when Walters twisted out of a tackle to plant down four minutes from time. Day grabbed his second two minutes later as he held off a defender to get the ball down.
Chisholm missed the touchline conversion but brought Featherstone to the 50-point mark with a penalty goal on the hooter.
Featherstone Rovers: Golding, Briscoe, Carey, Hardcastle, Dagger, Reynolds, Chisholm, Makatoa, King, Ormondroyd, Day, Walters, Lockwood. Subs: Cooper, Harrison, Albert, Jones.
Rochdale Hornets: Abram, Brown, Worthington, Wood, Ainscough, Bourrel, Farrell, Marriot, Wood, Kilner, Weldon, Shelford, Thomas. Subs: Carberry, Sheridan, Kay, Gleeson.
Referee: Mr A. Moore.