Rovers coach hails Hardman’s five-star show

Ian Hardman scored five tries against London. Picture: Carol Austerberry.
Ian Hardman scored five tries against London. Picture: Carol Austerberry.

Featherstone Rovers coach Jon Sharp has praised full-back Ian Hardman’s superb five-try display in last weekend’s 48-26 Challenge Cup win at London Broncos.

Former St Helens and Hull KR player Hardman was just one try short of equalling the club’s all-time individual record of six tries in a game held jointly by Mike Smith (v Doncaster in 1968) and Chris Bibb (v Keighley in 1989).

Sharp said: “Hardo also had one disallowed and he swears he got the ball down.

“He has been great this year. He has responded to some challenges I set him in the off-season.

“We brought in Danny Craven and I spoke to Hardo about that and he has been magnificent since.

“I said to him before Saturday’s game that I had a feeling he was going to play well.

“He had trained really hard all week. He’d had an exceptional week in training and I sensed he was going to do something special.”

Hardman’s five-try haul equalled the club’s individual tries in a match record for the summer era (from 1996 onwards).

Hardman scored five tries against Doncaster in 2009 and already jointly held the summer era record with Wayne McHugh (v Skirlaugh in 2006) annd Tangi Ropati (v Swinton Lions in 2012).