Rovers totally dominate second-half to complete hat-trick of wins over Bulls

Featherstone's Kyle Briggs marked his 200th career appearance with a try at Bradford on Sunday. Picture: Carol Austerberry.
Featherstone's Kyle Briggs marked his 200th career appearance with a try at Bradford on Sunday. Picture: Carol Austerberry.

FEATHERSTONE Rovers stayed on course for the Championship top-four by completing a hat-trick of victories over Bradford Bulls this season at Odsal on Sunday.

Trailing 12-10 at half-time, Rovers ran out 36-12 winners by scoring 26 unanswered second-half points.

Josh Hardcastle bagged two tries to take his tally to 12 this season and Kyle Briggs marked his 200th career appearance with a first-half touchdown against his former club as Rovers inflicted Bradford’s eighth straight defeat.

Featherstone’s victory kept them three points clear of fifth-placed Halifax who trounced Sheffield Eagles.

Early pressure from bottom team Bradford saw Colton Roche score against his old club and Oscar Thomas convert to put the Bulls 6-0 up.

Rovers soon levelled when Keal Carlile’s grubber kick set up an 11th minute try for Anthony Thackeray and Michael Knowles added the first of his four goals.

The Bulls survived more Featherstone pressure before regaining the lead when Scott Moore put in James Bentley and Thomas added the extras.

Featherstone’s Michael Knowles was held up over the line before Briggs weaved his way over for a 33rd minute touchdown to cut the gap to two points.

Rovers full-back Ian Hardman had an effort ruled out for a foot in touch shortly before half-time.

Featherstone, who have lost just one of their last nine matches, went ahead for the first time three minutes into the second-half when Hardcastle capitalised on a kick by John Davies to score and they quickly struck again when dual-registered Leeds Rhinos forward Jack Ormondroyd powered over from 45 yards out.

Knowles kicked a 56th minute penalty to put the visitors 24-12 ahead before they sealed victory six minutes from time when Matty Wildie darted over and Briggs added the extras.

Hardcastle then barged his way over for his second score and Briggs again goaled to round off Featherstone’s totally dominant second-half display.

Bradford Bulls: Pickersgill; Caro, Oakes, Mendeika, Macani; Thomas, Lilley; Magrin, Moore, Kirk, Bentley, Roche, Hallas. Subs: Peltier, Davies, Wilkinson, Halafihi.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Duckworth, Johnson, Hardcastle, Taulapapa; Thackeray, Wildie; Moore, Carlile, Baldwinson, Knowles, Davies, Lockwood. Subs: Briggs, Mariano, Griffin, Ormondroyd.

Referee: John McMullen.