Rugby League Report: Featherstone Rovers 58 Sheffield Eagles 14

Matty James was back in the Sheffield Eagles line-up
Matty James was back in the Sheffield Eagles line-up
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Sheffield Eagles remain rooted to the foot of the Betfred Championship after a 58-14 defeat at Featherstone Rovers.

The Eagles slipped to their fourth consecutive defeat and are still searching for their first points of the campaign, with Mark Aston’s new look side still finding their feet after conceding 50 points for the second week in a row.

With the roadshow over for now after four consecutive away fixtures, Aston will be relieved to be back in Sheffield next weekend as they look to end their losing streak.

With star man Garry Lo missing with an ankle problem and centre Menzie Yere still out with visa issues, Aston was buoyed prior to kick off with the return of Matty James and Nabil Djalout.

Despite the reinforcement, Rovers quickly breached the Eagles’ line when Shaun Robinson’s try from Anthony Thackeray’s pass on two minutes opened the scoring, and the same combination were at it again three minutes later as Robinson bagged his second score.

Martyn Ridyard’s converted try gave the hosts a healthy advantage, but Aston’s side stayed in the contest by hitting straight back. After winning back possession, James Bentley’s kick through was seized upon by Iliess Macani who crossed, but Oscar Thomas missed the extras.

Any hope that the Eagles would build on their foothold were quickly dashed as Fev regained their supremacy. Tom Holmes and Josh Hardcastle helped send the ball wide, allowing Luke Briscoe to score in corner. Rovers scored again before the break when Brad Knowles fed Sam Brooks to inflict further damage, with Ian Hardman converting.

It was more of the same after the break when Frankie Mariano finished off Matty Wildie’s pass for the next try, Hardman again converting. The Eagles hit-back immediately when Rovers made a mess of the restart, allowing Macani in for his second try, but Thomas failed with the extras.

There was more punishment for the Eagles who conceded three tries in six minutes. A converted score from Hardman was followed by a try for Thackeray, again converted, with Wildie’s converted try taking the lead to 40 points.

A converted consolation try for Matty Fozard added some respectability for the Eagles, but Fev took the total past 50 with further scores from Hardcastle and Thackeray before the close.

Featherstone: Hardman; Briscoe, Hardcastle, Thackeray, Robinson; Ridyard, Holmes; Wheeldon, Carlile, Moore; Farrell, Mariano; Clark. Interchange: Wildie, Hock, Knowles, Brooks.

Scorers: Tries: Robinson (2, 5), Ridyard (20), Briscoe (26), Brooks (36), Mariano (46), Hardman (52), Wildie (58), Hardcastle (67), Thackeray (55, 79) Goals: Ridyard 0/1, Hardman 7/10

Eagles: Thomas; Macani, Igbinedion, Spedding, Millar; Fozard, Aston; Lees, Burns, Pick; Davies, Bentley; James. Interchange: Moran, Offerdahl, Djalout, Magrin.

Scorers: Tries: Macani (23, 49), Fozard (64) Goals: Thomas 1/3

Referee: John McMullen

Attendance: 2,048