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Featherstone Rovers 24-34 York Knights - Match Report

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York Knights claimed their first league victory at Featherstone Rovers since 1957 after a thrilling come-from-behind 34-24 win at the Millennium Stadium.

York trailed 16-0 inside the opening quarter after tries from Brad Day, Caleb Aekins and Paul Turner but rallied to lead 24-18 after an hour through Jack Teanby, Joe Brown, Josh Daley and Ukuma Ta’ai scores.

Turner completed his double to level the scores but the Knights sealed their historic win thanks to a pair late tries from Ata Hingano and Liam Harris.

A fourth victory in their last five league matches leaves Mark Applegarth’s side seventh in the Betfred Championship table, now trailing sixth-placed Featherstone, who occupy the final Play-Off spot, by just two points.

Featherstone made a blistering start, scoring twice inside the opening eight minutes, with new signing Dec Patton, who joined from Swinton Lions in the week, creating both tries.

The ex-Warrington Wolves man delivered a fine short ball for Day to crash onto to open the scoring before his short-side grubber kick allowed Aekins to touch down in the left corner.

Patton converted the former of those two tries, the first of four goals from five attempts.

York worked themselves back into the contest and thought they had responded through Will Jubb’s dummy-half scoot under the sticks, but the referee ruled him short.

Featherstone delivered a sucker-blow just a couple of plays later when Gareth Gale’s offload set Louix Gorman away down the right edge before Rovers worked the ball back inside for Turner to finish.

The Knights did however enjoy the better of the final dozen minutes of the first half and cut the margin down to two scores at half-time when Teanby found a gap to the left of the posts from Jordan Thompson’s flat pass

Will Dagger added the two points, his first of five conversions from six efforts.

Featherstone ensured that they remained ahead at half-time though, adding to their lead just before the break through a Patton penalty goal.

The visitors raced out of the blocks early in the second half when Harris delivered a brilliant wide cut-out pass which allowed Brown to acrobatically leap over in the right corner.

Interchange hooker Daley put York on level terms when reaching out over the line after Hingano’s offload before Ta’ai sent the Knights into the lead for the first time by barging past a couple of attempted tryline tackles.

Ex-NRL half-back Turner got Featherstone back into the contest at 24-24 when he stepped back inside to score behind the sticks.

But it was York who would take the two points, with Hingano adding to his two assists with a magnificent match-winning try.

After kicking a wonderful 40/20, the former Tonga international sidestepped and weaved past the Featherstone defence to put York back in front.

The victory was wrapped up in the penultimate minute when Harris’ inside pass put Dagger through the line before the full-back returned the ball to his captain, who surged clear from 40m out.

Featherstone: Aekins, Gale, Gorman, Minikin, Eden, Turner, Patton, Springer, Jones, Nakubuwai, Day, Johnson, Addy 

Subs (all used): Bowes, England, Kamano, Fishwick 

18th Player: Wynne

Tries: Day (4’), Aekins (8’), Turner (19’, 66’)

Goals: Patton (4/5)

York: Dagger, Brown, Keinhorst, Williams, Ward, Harris, Hingano, Ta’ai, Jubb, Thompson, Field, Bailey, Gannon

Subs (all used): Fitzsimmons, Teanby, Santi, Daley

18th Player: Cook

Tries: Teanby (28’), Brown (44’), Daley (54’), Ta’ai (59’), Hingano (71’), Harris (79’)

Goals: Dagger (5/6)


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