DEPLETED Featherstone Rovers emerged with great credit from tonight’s 26-12 defeat against Catalans Dragons at Stade Gilbert Brutus in the Super 8s Qualifiers.
The Dragons scored first in a match that saw four players sin-binned, two from each side. Rovers were punished for conceding a penalty for playing the ball incorrectly when Richie Myler put in Krisnan Inu for a fifth-minute try and Luke Walsh converted.
Three minutes later Catalans loose-forward Ben Garcia was yellow-carded for a dangerous challenge on Rovers winger Scott Turner and Featherstone capitalised. Anthony Thackeray’s neat kick forced a goalline drop out before James Lockwood’s off-load sent in Scotland international prop Sam Brooks for his first try for the club.
Kyran Johnson’s conversion levelled the scores but Walsh soon edged the French side back in front with a penalty goal.
Justin Horo had two efforts ruled out by video referee Ben Thaler as Featherstone did well to survive. Dragons stretched their lead to 12 points with two tries in two minutes.
Featherstone battled back to reduce the deficit to six points in the 32nd minute when Turner intercepted Walsh’s pass and raced 80 yards before sending in the supporting Thackeray, with Johnson adding the goal. Featherstone’s Misi Taulapapa went close early in the second half and Rovers prop Luke Cooper was halted inches short.
Catalans second-rower Louis Anderson and Featherstone winger Luke Briscoe were sin-binned after a 59th minute punch-up.
Five minutes later, Rovers hooker Keal Carlile was sin-binned for a late, high tackle on Walsh and Inu kicked the goal from the resulting penalty.
Featherstone continnued to compete but Catalans sealed victory when Moa powered over and Inu added the extra two points.
Catalans Dragons: Tierney; Duport, Inu, Williame, Yaha; Walsh, Myler; Moa, Da Costa, Casty, Anderson, Horo, Garcia. Subs: Bousquet, Baitieri, Albert, Margalet.
Featherstone Rovers: Johnson; Briscoe, Taulapapa, Hardcastle, Turner; Thackeray, Wildie; Mariano, Carlile, Brooks, Davies, Farrell, Lockwood. Subs: Tagg, Cooper, Walters, Igbinedion. Referee: Liam Moore.