Featherstone Rovers 38 London Broncos 18: Broncos are hit for six by top-four chasing Rovers

Featherstone Rovers tryscorer 
Cory Aston.
Featherstone Rovers tryscorer Cory Aston.
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FEATHERSTONE maintained their Championship top-four bid with a six-try display against London Broncos at the Big Fellas Stadium.

Centre Chris Ulugia scored two tries and on-loan half-back Cory Aston kicked seven goals as Rovers moved back level on points with second-placed Toulouse by making it seven wins from nine league games so far this season.

Mikolaj Oledzki runs into trouble against London Broncos.

Mikolaj Oledzki runs into trouble against London Broncos.

Boosted by centre Misi Taulapapa’s first appearance this season after being given visa clearance, Rovers overcame the absence of several key players to bag an important victory that put them four points clear of London.

They made a shaky start when Anthony Thackeray was sin-binned for a trip and the Broncos made the most of the extra man when Api Pewhairangi put in Jarrod Sammut, who added the first of his three goals.

Thackeray quickly made amends on his return when his towering kick created a touchdown for John Davies.

Featherstone took an 18-6 lead with two more tries shortly before half-time.

Aston, James Lockwood and Michael Knowles made the opening for Ulugia to score his first and Luke Briscoe sent Aston darting over.

The Broncos hit back early in the second half when Featherstone failed to deal with Sammut’s kick and Vitale Roqica scooped up the loose ball to cross the opposition whitewash. But Rovers struck a crucial blow in the 51st minute when Andy Bostock stormed over from Mattty Wildie’s pass, and quickly shot further ahead when Thackeray sent in Ulugia for his second. London’s James Cunningham picked up a loose ball to score but the visitors finished well beaten.

Broncos substitute Lewis Foster was sin-binned in the 76th minute for a high tackle on Briscoe, who crossed at the corner two minutes later to complete the scoring.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Duckworth, Ulugia, Taulapapa, Briscoe; Thackeray, Aston; Bostock, Carlile, Baldwinson, Knowles, Davies, Lockwood. Subs: Griffin, Wildie, Cooper, Oledzki.

London Broncos: Kear; Williams, Hellewell, Purtell, Dixon; Sammut, Pewhairangi; Gee, Cunningham, Evans, Harrison, Garside, Pitts. Subs: Foster, Davis, Ioane, Roqica.

Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL).

Attendance: 2,509.

Featherstone Rovers head coach John Duffy.

Pre-season schedule is rigourous test of Rovers, believes Duffy