Football Sport

Leeds 58-0 Featherstone: Rhinos progress to Challenge Cup semi-finals

Leeds secured their place in the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with a comfortable 58-0 victory over Featherstone at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

Stevie Ward, Brett Ferres, Joel Moon and Ash Handley all crossed the whitewash in the first half for the 2015 cup winners as they cruised to 22-0 lead at half-time. 

Carl Ablett, Liam Sutcliffe and Handley touched down during James Lockwood’s 10 minutes in the sin-bin at the start of the second half before a brace of tries from Brad Singleton and a further score from Ryan Hall completed the rout, with Sutcliffe kicking nine goals from 10 attempts for a personal tally off 22 points.

Leeds are now just 80 minutes away from extending their incredible record to a sixth final appearance in the last eight seasons, while Rovers will focus their attention on securing a top-four finish in the Championship for a place in next month’s Super 8’s Qualifiers.

It was a shaky start from the visitors with Josh Hardcastle knocking on from Sutcliffe’s kick-off giving the initiative to Leeds, which they managed to convert with the first try of the match after just four minutes.

Featherstone faced back-to-back sets before another knock-on from Michael Knowles gifted the Rhinos a scrum on Rovers’ own 10-metre line and Stevie Ward crashed over under the posts, with Sutcliffe adding the extras.

Leeds were soon 12-0 ahead in their next meaningful attack, albeit in fortuitous fashion when a high kick from captain Danny Maguire was dropped by second row John Davies inside his in-goal area under no pressure for Ferres to touch down.

The hosts soon extended their advantage further when a neat offload from Maguire created the space for Ferres to break free and despite being halted by Ian Hardman, the loose forward found the supporting Moon to crash over under pressure of three defenders to put Leeds 18-0 up with 16 minutes on the clock.

Leeds thought they had put themselves further ahead when Maguire crossed the whitewash but the try was correctly disallowed for double movement, before Handley, who had played seven matches for Rovers whilst on dual registration earlier this season, finished off a flowing move in the corner for his side’s fourth try.

Lockwood’s cannonball tackle gave Leeds the impetus to show more freedom in their attack and they made full use of their man advantage with Ablett and Sutcliffe both scoring after swift moves from left to right to put Leeds 34-0 ahead.

The Featherstone second row returned to the field to find Rovers further behind after Handley crossed for his second try of the match when he was freed by a offload from Hall before prop Singleton scored similar tries from close range within five minutes of each other to take Leeds’ total past the half-century mark.

Rhinos increased their advantage when Hall won an aerial battle with Hardcastle from Sutcliffe’s cross-field kick before the Featherstone centre thought he finally got his side on the scoreboard when he dotted down, only for the video referee rule it out for knock-on.

Source : TalkSport

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