Featherstone Rovers rediscovered their best form as they cruised to a 50-12 home victory over Batley Bulldogs at the LD Nutrition Stadium.
Rovers dominated much of their Betfred Championship contest over opponents expected to give them a much sterner test. They were ahead from the 16th minute with Shaun Robinson going over for the first of a hat-trick of tries.
A second Robinson effort soon after was ruled out for a forward pass after a great move, but Luke Briscoe went in for his 25th try of the season and in the process equalled Martin Offiah’s modern-day record of scoring in 15 consecutive games. Josh Hardcastle was next to go over for a try, although with Martyn Ridyard unable to convert any of the tries the score remained closer than it might have been at 12-0. Rovers added one more try before half-time with Gareth Hock touching down. Ridyard’s goal made it 18-0 at the break.
The home domination continued into the second half as it took them just seven minutes to add to their tally with Hock blasting forward and coming up with a great offload to send Robinson over.
Batley hit straight back as Lewis Galbraith made a break down the left and passed inside for supporting full-back Dave Scott to score beneath the posts. Izaac Farrell converted to narrow the gap to 16 points, but from the restart the visitors were penalised for an incorrect play-the-ball and Rovers took full advantage to score again, Tom Holmes going over for a try converted by Ridyard.
Rovers did score again when dual registration duo Jordan Lilley and Josh Walters combined well for the latter to score. Ridyard’s goal made it 34-6. Holmes, who had a good game at full-back, added his second try soon after when collecting Taulapapa’s pass and with Ridyard goaling the 40-point mark had been achieved. There was still time for winger Robinson to complete his hat-trick after Lilley and Holmes had combined well.
Batley briefly replied through Dominic Brambani, but Rovers had the final word with Hardcastle going over for his second try of the afternoon and Ridyard’s fifth goal rounded off the scoring.
Featherstone Rovers: Holmes; Briscoe, Hardcastle, Taulapapa, Robinson; Ridyard, Lilley; Wheeldon, Carlile, Clark, Farrell, Walters, Moore. Subs: Wildie, Hock, Brooks, Peteru.
Batley Bulldogs: Scott; Ainscough, Smeaton, Galbraith, Crookes; I Farrell, Brambani; Holland, Leak, Rowe, Harrison, Day, Manning. Subs: Ward, Davey, J Farrell, Brown.
Referee: John McMullen. Attendance: 2,425.