FEATHERSTONE recovered from 8-6 down at half-time to make a winning start to their Kingstone Press Championship campaign at Wakefield’s Belle Vue ground.
Promoted Hunslet gave an excellent account of themselves in their opening match.
Ian Hardman’s 17th minute try put Rovers ahead but they had Tim Spears sin-binned and the Hawks struck back with a touchdown from Callum Casey and two Simon Brown goals to lead at the break.
Jack Bussey scored four minutes into the second-half to put Featherstone back ahead but the game then swung Hunslet’s way asgain when Liam Mackay crossed.
Featherstone then made their class tell, with Paul Sykes, Sam Irwin and French triallist Remy Marginet pulling the strings.
Sykes scored a clever solo try and Ben Blackmore grabbed two touchdowns to give Rovers a flattering win against a battling Hunslet team that included eight former Rovers players.
Featherstone coach Andy Hay said: “We made it hard for ourselves by turning over cheap possession but luckily we got away with it in this game. We can’t do it every week and we have to learn a lesson from that.”
Hunslet coach Barry Eaton was pleased with his side’s performance.
“Obviously Featherstone were Grand Finalists last season and have strengthened even further,” he said.
“We gave them a really good scrap out there.
“We are pleased with the effort and pleased with the display but we’ve got to do that another 29 times and pick some wins up along the way.”
Featherstone Rovers: Hitchcox; Sharp, Chappell, Hardman, Blackmore; Sykes, Irwin; Baldwinson, Ellis, Wood, Lockwood, Foster, Spears. Subs: Marginnet, Bussey, Bostock, James.
Hunslet Hawks: Watson; Barnnett, Briscoe, Maun, Finnigan; Kain, Brown; Houston, Lee, Haley, Lyons, Casey, Mackay. Subs: Brennan, Mulhern, Grimshaw, Cosgrove.
Referee: C Kendall.