History making Featherstone Rovers stun Toronto

Keal Carlile, whose try set Featherstone Rovers on the way to a shock victory at Toronto.
Keal Carlile, whose try set Featherstone Rovers on the way to a shock victory at Toronto.

Featherstone Rovers kept their top four hopes alive at least for a day after they made history by becoming the first visiting team to beat Toronto Wolfpack on their own patch.

John Duffy’s men knew they had to win to have any chance of making the Super League Qualifiers and came up with their best win of the year as they ran out 30-12 victors.

Under pressure, Rovers produced a gritty and skilful display to achieve a win that was so against the odds with Toronto’s 100 per cent home record in two years in Rugby League and the fact that Featherstone had so many players unavailable.

They were so down on players that they could only field three substitutes, but if Fev were there just to make up the numbers nobody told the players as they went straight at their opponents and led from the ninth minute.

Hooker Keal Carlile went over for the opening try after forcing his way over from the foot of a ruck. Ian Hardman kicked the first of what would be seven goals to make it 6-0.

A Hardman penalty stretched the lead before the hosts replied through one of their high profile stars, Ashton Sims, with former Castleford Tigers youngster Ryan Brierley adding the conversion.

Featherstone showed their mettle, however, as they came up with the next score as Aaron Smith’s offload sent Jason Walton charging over for a try converted by Hardman.

A further penalty goal by Hardman made it 16-6 at half-time, although the full-back was off target another kick at goal just before the break.

In their big game last week Rovers were ahead at the interval only to lose their way and they must have been worried when Toronto scored first in the second half, Adam Sidlow making a blindside run to score and Brierley goaling.

However, the visitors were in no mood to let their lead slip this time and within four minutes they were over again, Josh Hardcastle racing over from Anthony Thackeray’s pass.

Hardman added the conversion before kicking a penalty to push the advantage out to 12 points.

When scrum-half Matty Wildie came up with a fine individual effort 13 minutes from time and Hardman tagged on the extras the Fev fans could begin celebrating a remarkable victory.

The win lifted Rovers up to third place in the Betfred Championship table and all eyes will now be on whether rivals London Broncos and Halifax can now pip them for a place in the Qualifiers as they need to get results against Barrow and Rochdale Hornets respectably tomorrow.

Scorers - Toronto: Tries Sims, Sidlow; goals Brierley 2. Featherstone: Tries Carlile, Walton, Hardcastle, Wildie; goals Hardman 7.

Toronto Wolfpack: Wheeler; Rawsthorne, Ngawati, Whiting, Kay; McCrone, Brierley; Emmitt, Ackers, Sims, Beswick, Bussey, Krasniqi. Subs: Dixon, Sidlow, Buchanan, Hopkins.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Whylie, Taulapapa, Hardcastle, Robinson; Thackeray, Wildie; Wheeldon, Carlile, Cooper, Davies, Lockwood, Walton. Subs: Moore, Brooks, Smith.

Referee: Greg Dolan

Half-time: 6-16.