Championship round-up: Featherstone’s lightning-quick start continues against Newcastle Thunder
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Having already convincingly beaten Keighley Cougars, Halifax Panthers and Whitehaven in the first three rounds, amassing 172 points in the process, Fev ran in another ten tries in round four against a Newcastle side without a win since the opening weekend.
Josh Hardcastle, Jack Bussey and Joey Leilua all grabbed doubles, while Brad Day, McKenzie Yei, Connor Jones and Luke Briscoe also added to the Thunder’s misery.
Hardcastle was first over after finishing a fine, flowing move before second-row Day, up against his former side, crashed over in the 18th minute.
Newcastle’s defensive line was breached again when centre Hardcastle got his second of the afternoon while Bussey notched his first moments later after latching on to an inviting kick to make it 22-0.
The visitors had a try to celebrate in the 31st minute when Alex Clegg crossed in the corner. But that was as good as it would get as Fev turned up the heat in the second half.
Yei powered over eight minutes after the restart before hooker Jones raced through the Newcastle line for try number six.
With the game approaching the final ten minutes, and Rovers with an unassailable 34-6 advantage, you could have forgiven Sean Long’s men for taking their foot off the accelerator.
But they are a side in fine form and, seemingly, wanting to put a marker down. Leilua went over after a neat offload from Matty Wildie before Leilua turned provider for Briscoe to crash over.
Briscoe then made an assist for Bussey before Leilua completed the rout to continue Fev’s mesmerising form and go clear at the top of the table after Toulouse’s 28-18 defeat at Bradford Bulls on Saturday.
In the Championship’s other Sunday games, there was late drama at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium as Batley Bulldogs thrillingly beat Keighley Cougars 28-23 thanks to Dale Morton’s last-gasp try.
There was similar drama in London as a 77th minute Anthony Thackeray drop-goal gave Sheffield Eagles a 20-21 victory over the Broncos.
Whitehaven picked up their first points of the season thanks to a 20-4 victory at home to Swinton Lions while York City Knights consigned Barrow Raiders to their fourth consecutive defeat, Andrew Henderson’s men winning 28-14.