Rovers climb to third by taming Lions in scrappy game

Josh Hardcastle scored two tries in Featherstone's 36-2 win.
Josh Hardcastle scored two tries in Featherstone's 36-2 win.

JOSH Hardcastle and Anthony Thackeray each scored two tries as Featherstone climbed to third in the Kingstone Press Championship with Wednesday night’s 36-2 win over Swinton Lions at LD Nutrition Stadium.

Rovers comfortably won an untidy, stop-start game in which referee Liam Moore’s 23 penalties were nearly matched by the number of scrums.

Featherstone are now only one point behind second-placed London Broncos who they visit on Sunday in their third game in nine days.

Lowly Swinton, with just one win at Featherstone in the last 52 years, scored their only points in the third minute with a Chris Atkin penalty goal.

They trailed 20-2 at half-time after Matty Wildie put in Hardcastle for the opening try.

Rovers missed a gilt-edged chance when Kyran Johnson failed to catch Ian Hardman’s pass with the try line wide open but it was only temporary respite for Swinton.

Wildie scooped up a loose ball to dart over from 35 yards out and Thackeray then dummied his way over.

Rovers struck again on the stroke of half-time when John Davies scored from Keal Carlile’s kick and Johnson added his second goal.

Thackeray bagged his second early in the second-half after Swinton full-back Jack Hampson fumbled Wildie’s kick.

Hardcastle scored his second from another clever grubber kick by Carlile before Jason Walton powered over four minutes from time to complete the scoring.

Davies landed two goals from two kicks after taking over the goalkicking from Johnson who missed three of his five attempts.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Johnson, Ulugia, Hardcastle, Taulapapa; Thackeray, Wildie; Baldwinson, Carlile, Griffin, Walton, Mariano, Walters. Subs: Davies, Moore, Bostock, Ormondroyd.

Swinton Lions: Hampson; Hankinson, Forsyth, Lloyd, Butt; White, Atkin; Barnes, Nicholson, Barlow, Paisley, Jones, Bate. Subs: Carberry, Bracek, Davies, Butterworth.;

Referee: Liam Moore (Wigan).

Attendance: 1,892