Featherstone’s mission to retain the 1895 Cup took another stride forward this afternoon as they ran riot against the Raiders in the semi-final.
Featherstone’s hopes of becoming the first team to win promotion and the 1895 Cup are still alive thanks to their thumping win over Barrow.
Intercept for Craig Hall
There are few players as experienced as Craig Hall in the Championship especially when it comes down to sniffing out opportunities for scoring tries and he showed that today with a lovely intercept try at a key moment in the game.
100 not out for Briscoe
Interesting Luke Briscoe’s brother Tom is just one try away from 150 in Super League but as the Briscoe family wait for that milestone with Tom injured, they can celebrate Luke Briscoe’s 100th career try and his 72nd for the Rovers which came today on a big stage.
It’s always important for the favourites in big knockout games to score early to stamp out any hope within the opposition and that’s exactly what the Rovers did today.
Just five minutes into the semi-final, Morgan Smith burrowed over from close range with Craig Hall subsequently nailing the conversion. Smith has been superb in 2022 and is one of the reasons Featherstone have allowed Dane Chisholm and Tom Holmes to ply their trade elsewhere.
It took a while for the Rovers to extend their lead but eventually their second try came on the counter as Hall intercepted speeding away to make it 10-0. Hall was superb in last year’s 1895 Cup Final and his try today helped solidify their dreams of retaining the trophy.
Then a vital third try before the break. Luke Briscoe scoring the 100th of his career in the corner. That coupled with Hall’s second conversion took Fev’s halftime lead to 16-0.
One foot in the final, Rovers’ fans were booking their tickets to London just two minutes into the second half. As they did in the first period, Fev struck early with a try from John Davies after good work from Mark Kheirallah making it 22-0 after 42 minutes.
Crucially for the battling Barrow, they got a try back seven minutes later. The in demand Tee Ritson went close after a 40/20 from Jarrod Sammutt before Dan Toal crashed over. Sammutt’s conversion shortening the gap back to 16 points.
Their joy was short lived however as the experienced Brett Ferres burst onto a short ball to score a simple try to kill the game as the Rovers moved 28-6 ahead and if that wasn’t enough to get the most pessimistic Fev fans dreaming of the final, a lovely move involving three star players – Joey Leilua, Luke Briscoe and Mark Kheirallah – saw former Toulouse fullback Kheirallah get a try to make it 34-6.
Ryley Jacks then crossed for a deserved try as the Rovers reached the 40 point mark before Briscoe rounded off a historic day with another try to conclude a 46-6 win.