A strong second-half fightback at Featherstone wasn’t quite enough for Swinton who fell to their fifth straight league defeat, but the Lions gave their fans great encouragement with a determined and gritty display.
Featherstone Rovers 32-18 Swinton Lions
Swinton put up a great performance against high-flying Featherstone Rovers in a feisty affair which saw three players sent to the sin bin and Misi Taulapapa sent off for an attack on Lions’ scrum half Rob Fairclough.
The Lions were under the pump straight from the kick off when they lost the ball in the second tackle of the match in their own ten metre area but the home side could not capitalise. They did take the lead on seven minutes when Luke Briscoe found a gap in the Lions defence and he raced forty metres to score with Martin Ridyard adding the conversion. Defence was on top for the Lions and Rovers playing down the slope were probing for a gap which they did not find until the twenty-first minute when Keal Carlile darted over from short range and Ridyard again converted.
Stuart Littler’s men hit back on the half-hour when Fairclough and Josh Woods combined to send Matt Sarsfield away down the left to score but Chris Hankinson could not convert but Rovers hit back quickly when Matty Wildie sent Frankie Mariano over by the posts and Ridyard again made no mistake with his conversion.
Rovers went further ahead five into the second half when James Lockwood fed Ridyard to dive over under the posts and again he converted. However the Lions were not throwing in the towel and hit back quickly when Jack Higginson made a break down the left and put in a nicely weighted kick towards the try line. George Tyson won the race with Shaun Robinson to score the try but again Hankinson failed with the boot. It got even better just before the hour when Higginson went close on the left and from the play the ball Tyson managed to squeeze over in the left corner but again no conversion.
Rovers seem to have made the game safe on sixty-four minutes when Robinson scored one of his typical tries with an airborne dive into the left corner but Hardman could not convert this. Rhodri Lloyd and Tom Holmes were sent to the sin bin two minutes later for fighting and then on seventy-two minutes Taulapapa was sent off for an attack on Fairclough and the Lions half back was given a yellow card for retaliation.
Sarsfield added his second try with five minutes left from a Woods pass to score on the left and this time Woods took over the kicking to add the conversion. However Rovers had the last word as Robinson added his second in the final minute but again Hardman could not convert.