Featherstone Rovers v Bradford Bulls Challenge Cup rugby league Match report by Daniel Crossfield (a dedicated flatcapper watching from home)

Featherstone Rovers v Bradford Bulls Challenge Cup 1st round (Sunday 21st March 2021)

This was the first competitive game for 12 months or 373 days since March 13th 2020 for both Featherstone and Bradford, I was excited to watch from home.  It was on BBC Sport website, BBC Iplayer, BBC red button and for those who wanted to listen, it was on BBC Radio Leeds.

Who would win this West Yorkshire derby and book their place in round 2 of The Challenge Cup against Batley Bulldogs?.

Keep reading to find out.

It was played at The Millennium Stadium in Featherstone 

1st try of the game for Bradford

It was an even start to the match, but the first try went to Bradford after 10 minutes and a good period for Bradford ended with Brough finding Hamlett in the corner, conversion by Brough.

1st Rovers try

At the midway point of the first half, Featherstone scored their first try after a good passage of play by Rovers passing the ball through hands, then Hardcastle got tackled high, penalty for Rovers, from the penalty a couple of Rovers players got held up near the line, before Jones dummied and went over under the sticks , Hall converted and it was a level game.

After 25 minutes, a big moment as Pickersgill didn’t quite get the ball down off Brough’s grubber kick.

2nd Rovers try

A minute later Rovers scored their 2nd try as Nu Brown fed Minns who who went over to the left of the sticks converted by Hall.

3rd Rovers try

After 34 minutes the transmission was lost as the commentators were in a studio and not at the ground, so I’ll try my best to describe this try.  Nu Brown fed Blackmore who scored in the corner, successfully converted by Hall

4th Rovers try

The last meaningful action of the first half was a 4th Rovers try, but again I didn’t see it , but it was a great break by Hall who passed to Harrison who went over, and another successful conversion by Hall.

Halftime score:  Featherstone Rovers 24-6 Bradford Bulls

So an excellent first half by Rovers who after a slow start got themselves going and scored some good tries, could they score more in the 2nd half or would Bradford fight back?

2nd Bradford try

Seven minutes into the 2nd half, Bradford scored their 2nd try to get back into the match. It was good passing through hands and Hamlett scored superbly in the corner, unsuccessful conversion by Brough.

3rd Bradford try

After 56 minutes, another try for Bradford as Jo Brown was held up but Bradford got another set of six, and Fleming crashed over, and it was a successful conversion by Brough.

5th Featherstone try

Just before the hour mark, an instant response by Rovers as Harrison crashed over, successfully converted by Hall, Rovers were 16 points clear.

6th Rovers try

Just after the hour mark, another Rovers try and this one was good as Ferguson dulldozed through the middle, he offloaded to Parata who went over under the sticks, Hall successfully converted again.

7th  Rovers try

After 66 minutes, a sensational solo try by Hall as he ran 70 metres to score in the corner, but he couldn’t convert his own try, but Featherstone were 24 points ahead with 14 minutes left, they were heading through surely?

With 2 minutes left,   a blot on the Rovers discipline as Gareth Gale got sin-binned.

Drop goal for Featherstone

The last meaningful action was a drop goal for Featherstone as Hall added a drop goal for Rovers.

Fulltime score:  Featherstone Rovers 41-16 Bradford Bulls

So an excellent performance and victory for Featherstone considering they hadn’t played for a year, some good tries as well.

I think this is going to be yet another good year for Rovers and who knows if they can stay consistent during the Championship campaign, they may get themselves promotion in their centenary year, and hopefully at some point in 2021 fans will be able to go back to the ground and watch them.

Highlights of this game are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcHmpTKSrLw

The next game for Featherstone is their 2nd round Challenge Cup tie with another West Yorkshire side Batley Bulldogs on Saturday 27th March 2021 at the Millennium Stadium with a 12:45pm kickoff. It will be shown on a website called the Sportsman, and fans can watch through that website, or the Sportsman YouTube or Facebook channels for free at the following links:

Website – https://www.thesportsman.com/

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo8OTxf4QJ6oH_g21vEVUfQ

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheSportsmancom

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