Championship/League One: Thackeray stars as Rovers pile pressure on top four

Featherstone playmaker, Anthony Thackeray. PIC: Tony Johnson
Featherstone playmaker, Anthony Thackeray. PIC: Tony Johnson
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Try doubles from Anthony Thackeray, Ian Hardman and Josh Hardcastle helped Featherstone Rovers to a comfortable 40-6 victory away to Sheffield Eagles in their latest Betfred Championship match.

With winger Luke Briscoe also crossing the line Rovers enjoyed a seven-try romp that lifted them up to second place in the table for 24 hours at least. Thackeray was the star of the show, taking the man of the match and celebrating his 300th career appearance in fine style.

The Featherstone half-back collected both of his tries in the first half with his side well in control with a 24-point lead at the break. Gareth Hock and Luke Cooper combined to set up Thackeray for the opening try on eight minutes before Thackeray turned creator for Hardman to score the second try. Briscoe – loaned straight back to Rovers after his move to Leeds Rhinos in the week – then bagged his 30th try of the season.

Thackeray dummied his way over for his second try and with Hardman kicking his fourth conversion it was 24-0 with the Eagles barely landing a glove on the visitors.

Featherstone carried on the good work either side of a try for former Rovers player Shaun Pick which was no more than a consolation as Featherstone were quickly back in control.

The victory helped heap more pressure on Featherstone’s rivals for the top four places.

Sheffield Eagles: Costello; Millar, Yere, Spedding, Swift; Makelim, Aston; Offerdahl, Fozard, Magrin, Toole, Pick, James. Subs: Thomas, Davies, Garcia, Weldon.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Briscoe, Taulapapa, Hardcastle, Robinson; Thackeray, Widlie; Wheeldon, Carlile, Cooper, Lockwood, Davies, Hock. Subs: Moore, Knowles, Brooks, Ormondroyd.

Referee: Greg Dolan.

Attendance: 912.

n Elsewhere in the Championship, Dewsbury Rams were beaten 58-12 by visitors Leigh Centurions, Aaron Brown and Robbie Ward crossing for the tries and Paul Sykes adding the two-pointers.

In League One, hosts Hunslet recovered from 12-6 down at half-time to defeat Oldham 16-12.