SUBSTITUTE centre Chris Ulugia scored two tries in two minutes early in the second-half as Featherstone bagged their fourth straight pre-season win – 28-20 over visiting Wakefield Trinity.
The Championship side followed victories over Halifax, Hunslet and York by beating Super League Wakefield who lacked urgency at times as they slipped to first defeat in four warm-up games.
“I was pleased on a lot of fronts,” said Rovers coach Jon Sharp. “Defensively, we were challenged by a really good footballing team and I thought we handled them pretty well.”
John Kear, Wakefield’s head of rugby, said: “We made too many errors – that’s the top and bottom of it. I thought the best team won.” Trinity took a third-minute lead with Jacob Miller’s try from close range but Rovers levelled when Andy Bostock put in Anthony Thackeray and Michael Knowles added the first of his four goals.
Featherstone snatched the lead when Leeds Rhinos’ dual-registered forward Jack Omondroyd forced his way over but Wakefield finished the half strongly. They reduced the deficit to two points when Judah Mazive scored after crisp handling by Liam Finn, Miller and Joe Arundel.
Rovers made a blistering start to the second-half when Thackeray and Ian Hardman set up Ulugia first try and the former Batley player quickly grabbed his second direct from a scrum close to the try line.
Wakefield’s Finn went over from acting half and kicked his second goal but Featherstone clinched victory when Scott Turner finished a crossfield move. Arundel’s try seven minutes from time was too late for Trinity.
Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Duckworth, Walton, Briscoe, Turner; Thackeray, Wildie; Griffin, Carlile, Bostock, Knowles, Davies, Tagg. Subs: Moore, Cooper, Ormondroyd, Hardcastle, Aston, Johnson, Briggs, Kitchen, Day, Ulugia.
Wakefield Trinity: Jones-Bishop; Mazive, Gibson, Arundel, Caton-Brown; Miller, Finn; England, Sio, Huby, Batchelor, Senior, Annakin. Subs: Arona, Crowther, Walker, Moules, York, Ackroyd, Kershaw.
Referee: Steve Race (Wakefield).