Swinton play their first match at their new temporary home, Heywood Road, against Featherstone. The Lions lost their last game to Whitehaven while Featherstone registered a narrow victory against Dewsbury.
Last Time Out
In a game between two of the teams in the lower echelons of the table, Swinton were defeated 18-12 by Whitehaven at The Recreation Ground. The hosts scored the opening two tries of the evening through John-Paul Brocklebank and Louis Jouffret. Both tries were converted but Swinton hit back courtesy of a Shaun Robinson four pointer. Swinton were 12-6 down at the interval but levelled the match during the second period when Chris Atkin sauntered over. The game petered out until the final stages when the game breaking try came from Haven winger Elliot Miller, whose try was brilliantly converted from the touchline by Brocklebank. A tough loss for the Lions, who will be wanting to mark their debut at Heywood Road with a great win over Featherstone.
Featherstone won a nail biter against fellow West Yorkshire side Dewsbury at the Big Fellas Stadium. The Rams dominated the opening exchanges and went 14-0 up for their troubles as Josh Guzdek and Shane Grady both crossed the whitewash and Ben Reynolds converted both and added a penalty goal for good measure. The hosts did hit back with two tries of their own before half-time as they cut the deficit by 10 points courtesy of tries from Kyle Briggs and Kryan Johnson. After the restart, Misi Taulapapa levelled the game as the tension in the game ramped up. Dewsbury’s Jason Crookes and Featherstone’s Scott Turner exchanged scores but the former’s try was converted unlike the latter’s. The score was 20-18 heading into the final ten minutes but a Rovers penalty goal meant the attempted one pointers started to rain down in the dying embers of the tie. Paul Sykes tried his luck for Dewsbury but he got his angles wrong and that allowed for Danny Craven to have a shot at winning the match, which he did with aplomb.
The wingers of both sides have been getting among the tries in the past couple of weeks and that can only mean good things. Shaun Robinson has had a very good start to the season as he has been a regular visitor to the whitewash, while Featherstone’s Scott Turner continues to be one of the best wingers in the second tier. Rovers’ young winger Kyran Johnson has settled into the first team environment respectably. Liam Marshall made his debut for the Lions last weekend and he’ll be wanting to make a good impression in front of a home crowd on Sunday.
Featherstone go into the game as favourites but you can hardly rule out Swinton, who are a threat to any side on their day. John Duffy has done a good job at the Lions but they are yet to win a game this year and they’ll be wanting to right the wrongs from last week. The Rovers have got off to a decent start in 2016 and they will be expecting to carry on in the same fashion when they travel to Swinton – Featherstone by 14