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10 July 2023


 IAN RIGG at Millennium Stadium, Sunday 9 July 2023

Rovers continued their march at the top with seven second half tries that blew away any chances the Lions had despite a promising first half. Rovers playing down the slope in the first half made a good start and had some good early chances, but the Lions defence forced two knock-ons in the first two attacks and then Arama Hau went for the left corner and thought he had scored but there was an obstruction in the build-up. The Lions then had an attack on the Rovers line but there was a knock on in the final ten, but the first clear cut chance that Rovers should have taken was when Logan Astley kicked for the right corner and with Luke Briscoe looking an all-out scorer, he managed top misjudge the bounce of the ball and it rolled dead. Former Lion Chris Hankinson then knocked on in a good position and just after this an incident in the next attack was placed on report with no clear reason why. Rovers took the lead on twenty-seven minutes when Logan Astley set up a try for Hau on the left and Mark Kheirallah converted. Briscoe then knocked on at the kick off giving the Lions some pressure, but they couldn’t take any advantage. They then lost Jake Spedding to a green card and Astley capitalised on this when Astley broke down the right to put in a nice kick inside which bounced just right for Kheirallah to collect and score and add the conversion. Briscoe was then sent to the sin bin for a dangerous challenge on Jayden Hatton and two minutes later McKenzie Yei put a late hit on Jordy Gibson, and he too went to cool his boots. Rovers got a penalty just inside the Lions half in the dying seconds of the half, but Craig Hall sent his kick just wide as the hooter sounded.

The Lions got off to the worse possible start in the second half when a high kick towards their line was dropped by Joey Romeo and Hau collected to race in by the posts with Kheirallah converting. Four minutes later they were in again when fast hands saw Briscoe score in the corner but no conversion for this one, but Briscoe turned provider for the next one setting up Hall and the conversion was good for this one. Lions then had a chance when a chip over the top was collected by Badrock but he was just tackled before releasing the ball to Josh Eaves. Hall then scored a second in the next play when again Astley sent in the centre after a great pass and Kheirallah converted again. Lewis Hall was sent to the sinbin for holding down on sixty-five minutes and from the penalty pressure Connor Jones went over from close range and this again was converted. George Roby and Hau were both sent to the sinbin ten minutes from time for fighting and Rovers capitalised running in two tries both from close range with Gadwin Springer and Thomas Lacans both going in by the posts and Kheirallah converted both taking them past the half century. It was the Lions who finished the stronger forcing two knock-ons in the Rovers own ten in as many sets and from the pressure a good passing movement saw Hatton cross in the left corner and Gibson despite distractions from behind him converted off the touchline, and as the final hooter sounded Mike Butt hacked the ball forward towards the line but Matty Wildie just won the foot race with Eaves to run the ball dead and end the game.



26 Joey Romeo

4 Jayden Hatton

3 Jake Spedding

22 Andy Badrock

2 Mike Butt

23 Joe Lowe

7 Jordy Gibson

13 Louis Brogan

30 George Roby

8 Gavin Bennion

34 Matty Foster

16 Gavin Rodden

35 Lewis Hall

Subs (all used)

14 Josh Eaves

10 Kenny Baker

12 Mitch Cox

15 Jordan Case



Hatton (78)



Gibson 1/1



Hall (65) Holding down

Roby (70) Running in



20 Mark Kheirallah

2 Luke Briscoe

4 Craig Hall

3 Chris Hankinson

5 Gareth Gale

23 Caleb Aekins

33 Logan Astley

17 Gadwin Springer

14 Matty Wildie

10 James Lockwood

31 Arama Hau

12 Elijah Taylor

32 Daniel Smith


Subs (all used)

9 Connor Jones

25 Thomas Lacans

8 Craig Kopczak

27 McKenzie Yei



Hau (21,41), Kheirallah (28), Briscoe (45), Hall (48,58), Jones (67), Springer (71), Lacans (74)



Kheirallah 8/9; Hall 0/1



Briscoe (23) Dangerous contact

Yei (34) Late Hit

Hau (70) Fighting



Penalty Count: 10-6

Half-time: 12-0

Referee: Mike Smaill

Attendance: 2845


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