Featherstone 8 Oldham 6: Featherstone underline defensive qualities to keep Oldham at bay

Match-winner Chris Ulugia scored a try in each half for Featherstone against Oldham.
Match-winner Chris Ulugia scored a try in each half for Featherstone against Oldham.
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FEATHERSTONE made it two wins from two games by edging out Oldham in heavy conditions.

Centre Chris Ulugia was the match-winner, scoring a try in each half as Rovers came out on top in a dour contest after winning at Halifax on the opening day. Trailing 6-4 at the break, they struck a crucial blow with New Zealader Ulugia’s second score in the 46th and then defended superbly to soak up sustained Oldham pressure.

Rovers coach Jon Sharp said: “To do what we did and the amount of defending we did on our own try line was confirmation of what I already knew that we are a really good defensive team.” Oldham scored the only first-half try when Scott Leatherbarrow’s neat grubber kick set up a seventh minute score for Scott Turner that Leatherbarrow goaled to put them 6-0 up.

Ulugia was held up over line as Rovers rallied but their handling often let them down in the tricky conditions.

They eventually found a way through in the 25th minute when Anthony Thackeray switched play for Ulugia to slide over. Rovers made the ideal start in the second half when Ulugia went in at the corner for his second try after excellent play by John Davies.

Kenny Hughes was held up over the line as Rovers did well to survive Oldham pressure.

The visitors had a golden chance to level nine minutes from time when Featherstone were penalised for a tackle that was put on report but Leatherbarrow’s easy kick at goal from 30 yards went wide.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Briscoe, Hardcastle, Ulugia, Handley; Thackeray, Wildie; Bostock, Carlile, Cooper, Davies, Walton, Tagg. Subs: Briggs, Walters, Ormondroyd, Griffin.

Oldham: Turner; Clay, Egodo, Grimshaw, Gill; Leatherbarrow, Hewitt; Neal, Owen, Joy, Wood, Langtree, Spencer. Subs: Ward, Mason, Burke, Hughes.

Referee: Tom Grant (Leeds).

Attendance: 1,783.