Featherstone Rovers 42 Whitehaven 30: Cooke and Moore finally give Sharp something to smile about

Jon Sharp
Jon Sharp
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HALF-backs Paul Cooke and Gareth Moore led Featherstone to their first win under new head coach Jon Sharp.

Moore bagged two tries and, along with Cooke, was involved in all Featherstone’s best work as they avenged a 29-0 home defeat against Whitehaven three weeks earlier with a dominant first-half show in their opening Championship Shield fixture.

They were 42-6 ahead after 53 minutes but then eased up and Haven made the game look closer than it was by scoring three tries in the last eight minutes.

Whitehaven took a fifth minute lead when Ted Chapelhow scored the first of his two tries but Rovers stormed back to lead 32-6 at the break. Jack Bussey’s superb off-load led to Alex Foster crossing from Steve Snitch’s long pass.

Moore’s slick pass then sent in Jordan Baldwinson for his first try for Rovers to start a burst of five tries in 14 minutes.

Cooke put in half-back partner Moore whose neat kick then created a try for Will Sharp.

Jamie Cording capitalised on Cooke’s clever kick to score and Moore grabbed his second as Featherstone finished the first-half with flourish.

They quickly increased their lead in the second period when Ian Hardman’s long pass put in Kyran Johnson at the corner and Matt James powered over from Cooke’s pass, with Paul Sykes adding his fifth goal.

Grant sparked Whitehaven’s revival when he intercepted Moore’s pass and raced 75 yards for a try, before the visitors added 18 late points through Chapelhow, Chris Taylor and Ed Chamberlain who also kicked five goals.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Johnson, Sykes, Foster, Sharp; Cooke, Moore; Baldwinson, Ellis, Bussey, Cording, Snitch, Spears. Subs: James, Teasdale, Ormondroyd, Knowles-Tagg.

Whitehaven: Taylor; Burns, Wilde, Chamberlain, Calvert; Aiye, Gore; T Chapelhow, Newton, Davies, McAvoy, Hepi, Brooks. Subs: Fox, Quinn, T Coyle, Ancely.

Referee: Chris Kendall (RFL).

Attendance: 1,107.