Featherstone Rovers v London Broncos Preview

Two sides currently in the top four go head to head on Sunday as Featherstone play host to London. The Rovers won their last match which came last Saturday in a rearranged tie against Whitehaven while London’s last game also ended in a victory. Andrew Henderson’s men defeated fellow full-time outfit Bradford at Trailfinders Sports Ground.

Last Time Out

Featherstone made good use of their game in hand as they got the better of Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground. Jon Sharp’s men were 44-22 victors over Haven as the West Yorkshire side moved into the top four of the Championship. The first half was closely fought but the Rovers went into the break with a 18-14 advantage. Craig Calvert broke the deadlock for Haven before Misi Taulapapa replied for the visitors. Calvert then doubled his tally for the match on 20 minutes and Haven were ahead again. The Calvert-Taulapapa battle continued when the latter registered his second try as the lead changed hands once more. Dave Allen and Taulapapa, for a third time, exchanged scores to end a frantic first period. The opening quarter of the second half brought only two points as Jamie Foster was on target from the tee. Rovers grabbed the bull by the horns in the final 20 minutes and ended the game as a contest by scoring four tries to Haven’s two. Kyran Johnson extended his side’s lead with a try in the 61st minute but they were soon pegged back by Jesse Joe Parker who scored a four pointer of his own just a few minutes later. With only eight points between the sides heading into the last ten minutes, it was still all to play for until Danny Craven added another try to Featherstone’s collection. Connor Holliday did get a try back for Haven but further scores from Colton Roche and Anthony Thackeray added gloss to the scoreline for the Rovers.

London Broncos maintained their perfect home record in the Championship by beating Bradford Bulls 30-16. The first try of the game went the way of Bradford, and Danny Addy, as the visitors started brightly. London struck back in quick time through Ben Hellewell as he grounded a William Barthau grubber. Neither try was converted. The first half was a tough battle and Bradford’s Kris Welham and London’s Rhys Williams traded four pointers as the time ticked towards half-time. However, Welham’s second try in the dying embers of the half gave the visitors a slender advantage at the break and London needed to react in the second period. They reacted positively to the setback as Andy Ackers crossed the whitewash to cut the deficit by four. Barthau missed the conversion but made amends by slotting over a penalty goal soon after to tie the game. Another penalty goal, but for Bradford this time, handed the lead back to the Yorkshire club before the Broncos came to life in the final quarter. Ackers’ second try of the game put the Broncos ahead and they didn’t look back from then on. A sin-binning for Bradford’s Dale Ferguson certainly helped the cause and the hosts hardly needed a further invitation to seal the win. Williams and James Cunningham both touched down for the Broncos as coach Henderson’s men took a step closer to Qualifiers rugby.

Key Battle

The recent signing of Jamie Foster will more than likely prove a shrewd move from Featherstone coach Jon Sharp. The dead-eye goal kicker made the move to the Big Fellas Stadium after a spell at Huddersfield Giants. Fellow winger Kyran Johnson has had a good start to life in the first team under Sharp. The youngster started getting game time at the end of last season and he hasn’t looked back since then. Going up against the duo will be London flyers Rhys Williams and Iliess Macani, who have seen quite a bit of success over the whitewash this year. The pair will be striving to get the better of their opposite numbers this weekend and if they do that, their side should be on their way to a vital win.


Like many of the games this weekend, this one is a very tough one to call as both sides will be fighting hammer and tong for what would be a great victory. London are second in the league for a reason and possess a lot of quality while Featherstone will want to make amends for a poor home record last year, which saw a loss against London on home turf during the regular season – London by 12

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