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A great win: Featherstone Rovers 54 Hull FC 6

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A great win: Featherstone Rovers 54 Hull FC 6

Well done Fev from a proud sponsor. Having already claimed the scalp of Super League side Wakefield Wildcats, Featherstone Rovers were determined to show they have the quality to consistently compete at the top level and end their pre-season with a 100% record.
That they certainly did, with the pack bullying the Hull opposition, Gareth Moore once again proving unplayable, and every team member appearing telepathically connected. Featherstone dominated Hull from start to finish, registering 10 tries to secure an unbelievable 54-6 victory in former Rover Richard Whiting's testimonial game at the Big Fellas stadium.
An impenetrable defence during the opening exchanges formed the platform for the rest of the game. Just over five minutes out and increasing pressure had resulted in a Hull drop out, which Steve Crossley returned with a thundering charge. Rovers then spread the ball wide right and seemed certain to score in the right corner, but the final pass went behind Will Sharp.
Less than twenty minutes had passed and this time they didn't fluff their lines. Having won a penalty ten metres from the line Keegan Hirst was unleashed upon the visitor's defence, before Flanagan displayed great awareness and dived over from acting half to give Rovers the lead. This was quickly followed by a sublime tackle from Ben Hellewell dislodging the ball from Westerman's grasp. Moore was quickest to react and sprinted away to score beneath the posts. The good news didn't stop there either, as minutes later Matt James broke downfield and subsequent offloads resulted in Hellewell being held short on the 5th tackle. Moore exhibited his ingenuity on the last play of the set with a perfectly placed kick which caught Hull's defence off guard and was plucked out of the air by Flanagan to register his scoring his second try of the afternoon. Moore converted all three to secure an 18 point lead.
Featherstone still weren't finished. Ten minutes remained when Jack Bussey's inside ball sent in Matty Dale for the games fourth try, following a long distance break from Sharp. Despite leaving it late, Hull were able to gain a share of the spoils, when Jamie Shaul pounced on a grubber kick to reduce the deficit on the final play of the half. Rich Whiting then added the extras to ensure he had one moment worth remembering from his testimonial.
Half Time: Featherstone Rovers 24 Hull FC 6
Rovers resumed brightly, Mendeika's pass was met perfectly by Sharp, who slipped through an impossible gap to reassert their dominance just five minutes in to the second period. Sharp was soon in again, squeezing through an ever closing gauntlet, with Mendieka again the provider. Moore failed with both conversions, making the scores 36-6.

Moore soon atoned for his failed conversions with a delightful 40/20, which it appears could be a common occurrence this year. With the field position gained Mendieka was able to show his skill with an exceptional curved run and hand off to score in the right corner. It was then the turn of the forwards; Crossley looked certain to be held agonisingly short, but worked relentlessly in order to get an offload to Jamie Cording, who held a difficult catch to dive over to the left of the sticks.
Ensuring he wasn't forgotten amongst everyone else's superb performances Rovers Captain Tim Spears finished the game with a brace of his own. The first from a clever piece of deception by Flanagan and the second, as was the case for so much of the game, was as a result of Moore's trickery. He then converted to produce the final victory margin of forty-eight points.
Rovers have completed their preseason fixtures with a perfect record, and have not once appeared to be in a difficult position. In this game they were able to display their attributes when playing expansive rugby and were able to put on a show to rival whatever the Chillis have planned for the Super Bowl at halftime. John Bastian once more praised a defence which held out their Super League opposition for the entire second half. He also acknowledged the extreme selection headache he was suffering with, as all players continued to prove themselves at the top level. This sends out a clear challenge to players still to return, that all their effort will be required.
Full Time: Featherstone Rovers 54 Hull FC 6

ROVERS: 1 James Mendeika, 2 Will Sharp, 3 Greg Worthington, 4 Ben Hellewell, 5 Tommy Saxton, 6 Jack Bussey, 7 Gareth Moore, 8 Steve Crossley, 9 Andy Ellis, 10 Keegan Hirst,
11 James Lockwood, 12 Tim Spears, 13 Matt James.
Subs:- 14 George Flanagan, 15 Luke Teasdale, 16 Andy Bostock, 17 Matty Dale, 25 Jamel Chisholm, 30 Jack Ormondroyd, 32 Gavin Bennion, 33 Jamie Cording, No number: Sean Pick.
Tries: Flanagan (17, 25) Moore (21) Dale (29) Sharp (45, 52) Mendeika (56) Cording (60) Spears (69,72)
Goals: Moore (6/9), Flanagan (1/1)
HULL FC: 1 Jamie Shaul, 5 Tom Lineham, 3 Ben Crooks, 4 Kirk Yeaman, 2 Tom Stark,
6 Richard Horne, 32 Jordan Rankin, 17 Liam Watts, 21 Dean Hadley, 22 Josh Bowden,
16 Jordan Thompson, 14 Richard Whiting, 13 Joe Westerman.
Subs:- 15 Joe Arundel, 29 Bobby Tyson Wilson, 10 Chris Green, 7 Jacob Miller, 34 Jordan Abdul, 23 Liam Kent, 1 Josh Nicklin, 19 Matt Liggins, 25 Ash Leeming, 30 Harry Tyson Wilson,
11 Jansin Turgut, 12 Brad Fish, 33 Alex Shepherdson.
Tries: Shaul (39)
Goals: Whiting (1/1)

Rovers Fans Forum Man of the Match: Gareth Moore
Penalty count: 6-2
Referee: Matt Thomason
Attendance: 3,316.
SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 12-0, 18-0, 24-0, 24-6, 28-6, 32-6, 36-6, 42-6, 48-6, 54-6.

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