Rovers repeat their cup win at Whitehaven

Rovers half-back Paul Sykes scored two tries at Whitehaven. Picture: Bob Nunn.
Rovers half-back Paul Sykes scored two tries at Whitehaven. Picture: Bob Nunn.

Featherstone Rovers maintained their perfect away record this season with Sunday’s 36-12 victory at Whitehaven.

The Kingstone Press Championship clash produced an identical score to Featherstone’s win at Whitehaven in the Challenge Cup last month and the game followed a very similar pattern.

The teams were level at 12-12 late in the first-half in the cup match before Featherstone ran away with the game in the second period.

The Cumbrians recovered from 10-0 down to lead 12-10 at half-time on Sunday but, like last time, Featherstone made their class tell in the second period as they maintained their bid for a top-four place.

Thomas Minns, Paul Sykes and Gareth Moore all scored two tries, with Moore kicking four goals.

Featherstone full-back James Mendeika made his comeback after major knee surgery and 33-year-old former Great Britain, England and Wales international prop Garreth Carvell made his long-awaited Rovers debut on the bench after joining them on a two-year contract in January.

Minns put Featherstone ahead with a tenth minute try.

Sykes went over 15 minutes later and half-back partner Moore converted to make it 10-0 but Whitehaven hit back with two tries in three minutes shortly before the break from Grant Gore and Sam Brooks, both converted by John Paul Brocklebank.

Both tries came as the result of mistakes by the visitors which Whitehaven punished.

The game swung back Featherstone’s way 11 minutes into the second-half when Moore converted his own try to edge them 16-12 in front.

Sykes, Moore and Minns all grabbed their second tries and Jamie Cording also crossed as Rovers ran out comfortable winners with four tries in the last 17 minutes.

Featherstone should fancy their chances of gaining their first win this season at Big Fellas Stadium when they host Workington Town next Sunday.

Workington have won just once at Post Office Road in the last 61 years.

They lost 32-20 at Featherstone last year in head coach Andy Hay’s first match in charge of Rovers

Whitehaven: Lepori; Calvert, Bannnister, Lloyd, Chamberlain; Aiyre, Brocklebank; Walker, Gore, Davies, Hepi, McAvoy, Allen. Subs: Newton, Brooks, Chaplow, Fox.

Featherstone Rovers: Mendeika; Blackmore, Hardman, Minns, Hitcxhcox; Sykes, Moore; Baldwinson, Ellis, James, Cording, Maitua, Spears. Subs: Foster, Chappell, Bostock, Carvell.