Taulapapa bags hat-trick as Rovers climb to fourth place

Misi Taulapapa scored three first-half tries.
Misi Taulapapa scored three first-half tries.

Centre Misi Taulapapa scored a first-half hat-trick of tries and Jamie Foster kicked eight goals as Featherstone Rovers climbed above Batley and Halifax to fourth in the Kingstone Press Championship with Saturday night’s 44-22 win at Whitehaven.

Rovers led 18-14 at half-time and never looked like relinquishing their grip in the second-half.

Whitehaven took a 4-0 lead but Rovers hit back after 19 minutes with Taulapapa’s first touchdown.

The Cumbrians scored again to lead 8-6 but Featherstone swiftly replied with Taulapapa’s second.

The lead changed hands again when Whitehaven scored their third try but Taulapapa then completed his hat-trick to put Rovers ahead at half-time.

Foster kicked a 49th minute penalty to nose the visitors further ahead.

Whitehaven had a 57th minute effort ruled out before Featherstone’s Kyran Johnson went in at the corner.

The home side cut the gap to 26-18 with a 65th minute try but Rovers struck a vital blow when Colton Roche’s break led to Anthony Thackeray crossing.

Whitehaven came back again to reduce the deficit to 32-22 with five minutes left but Featherstone sealed victory with two late tries.

Roche marked his return with a try before Thackeray collected his second.

Featherstone Rovers: Craven; Johnson, Hardman, Taulapapa, Foster; Abdull, Thackeray; Bostock, Ellis, Baldwinson, Cording, Davies, Spears. Subs: Roche. Ormondroyd, Briggs, Grifffin.

Attendance: 656.