Featherstone Rovers triumph as Monday Night Championship kicks off – three talking points
The Monday Night Rugby League kicked off at the LNER Community Stadium as Featherstone Rovers showed their class with a 30-12 win over York.
Brian McDermott made several debuts in the opening clash, including Brandon Pickersgill and Jesse Sene-Lefao. Fans will have to wait to see Joey Leilua in action, who was not featured.
For the hosts, Jack Logan made his Centers debut. Ireland international Ronan Michael was named as an accessory, with Pauli Pauli on the bench.
Sene Lefao came close to breaking through on his debut just five minutes later, but an excellent cover tackle from Matty Marsh forced the error.
It saw the end of the night for the former Castleford striker, as he left the pitch with a dislocated arm.
Half-back Smith crashed in the 20th minute to open the scoring against his former club. Craig Hall converted the try for a 6-0 lead.
Man of the match Jack Bussey extends his lead
Jack Bussey extended his side’s lead five minutes later. A short ball from captain James Lockwood gave the former Toronto forward enough room to squeeze past the sticks. Hall converts for a score of 12-0.
James Glover fired back for the hosts in the 38th minute. Jamie Ellis’ high kick into the corner was collected by winger Joe Brown, and his offload found the cross to collect the ball off the floor and score the club’s first try of the season. Ellis converted the try for a score of 12-6.
The two teams closed before the break, with Pickersgill held back on the line but only six points separated the two teams at half-time.
Smith showed his class in attack and defence, as his final tackle saved a try for his side in the 46th minute. The 23-year-old held off forward Chris Clarkson just yards from the line.
Rovers crossed just two minutes later through Josh Hardcastle to extend their lead to 18-6.
Former Leeds winger Luke Briscoe scored on his return to the club with an acrobatic finish from the corner in the 54th minute to make it 24-6.
York Hooker Will Jubb moved from dummy half to give the hosts hope for a late comeback. However, that was not to be the case. Hall wrapped things up in the 71st minute to secure victory in their opener before adding two on a penalty before the full-time whistle for the score at 30-12.
feather rover: Pickersgill, Briscoe, Hardcastle, Hall, Gale, Holmes, Smith, Cooper, Wildie, Lockwood, Moors, Sene-Lefao, Bussey.
submarines: Jones, Davies, Trout, Field.
try: Smith, Bussey, Hardcastle, Briscoe, Hall.
Goals: Room 4/5
Knights of the City of York: Harrison, Brown, Glover, Logan, Oakes, Marsh, Ellis, Matongo, Jubb, Michael, Clarkson, Kirmond, Thompson.
try: Glover, Jubb.
Goals: Ellis 2/2
Monday Night Rugby League kick off
How good is it to see Championship rugby league broadcast live? While York would have preferred their home clash to result in a win, what a fantastic place to start the Monday Night Rugby League.
From coverage, commentary, presenters and pundits – it’s shaping up to be a hit for Premier Sports in 2022.
Next, Featherstone hosts Leigh.
Brandon Pickersgill shines on his debut
Brandon Pickersgill received praise from the commentating team during the game. The former Bradford full-back shone on his Featherstone debut and shows why he was handed the number one shirt at Rovers.
York shows promising signs
Jamie Ellis’ kicking game will cause problems for defenses in the 2022 campaign. Joe Brown looked good on the wing, while Will Jubb also crossed for a try. There’s a lot of improvement in them, but York should push for a play-off spot this season.
Read more: The list of matches of the rugby union championship on Monday evening live on television
PLAYER: Our free Fantasy Rugby League competition is back for 2022
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