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16 July 2018

Featherstone Rovers put in a professional performance to comfortably beat the Lions, who remain second-bottom in the Betfred Championship table.

Winger Mike Butt scored a late consolation for the Lions, his 40th try for the club.

Swinton Lions 4-60 Featherstone Rovers

Featherstone Rovers kept up their top four ambitions with a ten-try display against the Lions, who had chances in the first half but were held out by some great defence.

Former Lion Shaun Robinson put his side ahead in the seventh minute when he scored in the left corner and Ian Hardman converted and six minutes later Gareth Hock went on report for a dangerous tackle.

The Lions had some early chances with Rob Fairclough trying to make opportunities for his team, but the Rovers defence was very strong and they got their reward for their resilience on twenty-seven minutes. Luke Briscoe found himself with plenty of space to score on the right after the Lions defence was stretched and again Hardman converted from the touchline. 

Hardman then added further points for the visitors, this time linking up with John Davies to score their third try, which he once again converted to give Featherstone an eighteen point advantage at the break.

Substitute Aaron Smith added the next Rovers try on forty-three minutes when he went over from short range and again the conversion was good. Just after the restart of play, referee Matt Rossleigh placed an incident on report for a tackle on Joe Brown in his own twenty, when he lost the ball and got a bang for his troubles. John Duffy’s men continued to look threatening and a brace of tries followed in four minutes for Misi Taulapapa when he was set up twice by Thackeray, with Hardman converting both.

Thackeray himself got on the board on fifty-eight minutes when some tired defence allowed him to score by the posts and the conversion made it forty-two nil to the visitors. Briscoe added his second try just after the hour after a huge overlap with another conversion from Hardman.

On a hot day temperatures rose in the second half and Hock saw a red card for dangerous contact on Josh Barlow before Jack Hansen and Andy Bracek were also sent to the sin bin as another fight broke out during a separate incident.

Rovers took advantage of the situation and Robinson should have had a second but for a wayward pass by Jason Walton eight minutes from time, but it was Hardman who grabbed his second converted try as Rovers hit the fifty mark.

The final Rovers try came with six minutes left after some poor tackles from the Lions allowed Josh Hardcastle to score and again Hardman made no mistake from the touchline for a perfect ten out of ten performance.

Despite a tough afternoon, the Lions’ fans finally had something to celebrate as their team opened their account in the dying minutes when Rhodri Lloyd sent Mike Butt over in the corner, but Rob Fairclough was unable to convert from the touchline.

Ian Rigg reporting from Heywood Road


LIONS: 1. Gabriel Fell, 5. Mike Butt, 11. Rhodri Lloyd, 4. George Tyson, 32. Joe Brown, 30. Rob Fairclough, 7. Jack Hansen, 8. Andy Bracek, 33. Josh Ganson, 10. Andy Bracek, NN. Macauley Davies, 17. Kyle Shelford, 25. Will Hope

Subs (All Used): 13. Josh Barlow, 14. Hayden Hansen, 35. Paddy Jones, 9. Luke Waterworth

Tries: Butt (76)   Goals: Fairclough 0/1

Sin-Bin: J.Hansen (66) Fighting, A.Bracek (66) Dissent


ROVERS: 1. Ian Hardman, 5. Luke Briscoe, 4. Misi Taulapapa, 18. Jason Walton, 2. Shaun Robinson, 7. Anthony Thackeray, 14. Matty Wildie, 8. Scott Wheeldon, 9. Keal Carlisle, 17. Luke Cooper, 20. Josh Hardcastle, 12. John Davies, 15. Gareth Hock

Subs: (All Used): 10 Richard Moore, 35 James Thornton, 36 Aaron Smith, 37. Cameron Smith

Tries: Robinson (7), Briscoe (27,62), Hardman (36,72) A.Smith (43), Taulapapa (48,52),

Thackeray (58), Hardcastle (74).

Goals: Hardman 10/10


On Report: Hock (13) Dangerous tackle

Sin-Bin: Wheeldon (30) Dissent   Sent-Off: Hock (65) Dangerous contact

Penalty Count: 10-10   Half-Time: 0-18   Referee: Matt Rossleigh   Att: 610



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