Giants too strong for spirited Featherstone

Featherstone's John Davies scored a first-half try and was sin-binned in the second period at Huddersfield. Picture: Bob Nunn.
Featherstone's John Davies scored a first-half try and was sin-binned in the second period at Huddersfield. Picture: Bob Nunn.

Featherstone Rovers are still looking for their first win in the Super 8s Qualifiers after losing 62-16 at Huddersfield Giants on Sunday in coach Jon Sharp’s return to his old club.

Part-timers Rovers competed excellently early on - just like they did in the previous week’s 62-6 home defeat against Leeds Rhinos - but the Giants made their Super League class tell by scoring three tries in eight minutes shortly before the break to lead 28-6.

Featherstone never gave up and Luke Briscoe and Ian Hardman scored second-half tries to add to a first-half effort by John Davies.

Rovers, without injured Michael Channing and Tim Spears and with on-loan Leeds Rhinos foward Josh Walters making his debut, did well to survive early pressure before Huddersfield found a way through after forcing two goalline drop outs.

Ryan Brierley’s pass put in Michael Lawrence for the opener and the Giants soon doubled their lead when Oliver Roberts went over from Craig Huby’s off-load, with Jamie Ellis adding his second goal.

Rovers rallied superbly, with Kyle Briggs forcing two successive drop outs with clever grubber kicks.

With the aid of several penalties, Featherstone continued to press strongly and got back in the game when Davies crossed from an astute pass by Briggs who added the conversion.

Huddersfield then took a firm grip with three quick tries before the interval.

Slick handling by Jake Connor and Leroy Cudjoe made the opening for Gene Ormsby to cross at the corner after Rovers had conceded a penalty on the fourth tackle.

Featherstone fell further behind when they failed to knock a loose ball dead and Brierley scored an easy try.

The Giants quickly struck again when Roberts bagged his second from a kick by Ellis who added his fourth goal to make it 28-6.

Huddersfield’s domination continued in the second-half when Ukuma Ta’ai burrow over on the last tackle and Kyle Wood darted in three minutes later.

Rovers battled back when clever play by Steve Snitch saw Briscoe score after Huddersfield’s Ormsby failed to deal with a high kick.

The visitors were reduced to 12 men when Davies was sin-binned for dissent after Huddersfield’s Wood grabbed a controversial second try.

However, Hardman gave the large contingent of Rovers fans something to cheer with his 14th try of the season after great work by Jack Ormondroyd.

Briggs goaled to cut the gap to 44-16 but the Giants brought up the half-century with Brierley’s second that Ellis improved.

Tai’ai then collected his second and Ryan Hinchcliffe also went in, with Ellis tgagging on his ninth goal, as the Giants finished the game firmly on top.

Featherstone will look to collect their first points in the Qualifiers when they host fellow Championship side Leigh Centurions next Sunday.

Rovers will aim to avenge two narrow defeats against the Centurions this year.

Huddersfield Giants: Connor; Murphy, Cudjoe, Wardle, Ormsby; Brierley, Ellis; Crabtree, Hinchcliffe, Huby, Ta’ai, Lawrence, Ikahihifo. Subs: K.Wood, Rapira, Mason, Roberts.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman, Duckworth, Tagg, Taulapapa, Briscoe; Briggs, Craven; Baldwinson, Thackeray, Bostock, Snitch, Davies, Walters. Subs: Ellis, Griffin, Cooper, Ormondroyd.

referee: Gareth Hewer.