Leeds 58-0 Featherstone: Rhinos fly into Challenge Cup semis
Last Updated: 16/06/17 11:46pm
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 on Friday night.
Stevie Ward, Brett Ferres, Joel Moon and Ash Handley all crossed the whitewash in the first half as the Rhinos cruised to a 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.
After that, a brace of tries from Brad Singleton and a further score from Ryan Hall completed the rout.
Sutcliffe finished the night having amassed a personal tally of 22 points, having kicked nine goals from 10 attempts.
Leeds are now just 80 minutes away from extending their record to a sixth Challenge Cup final appearance in the last eight seasons.
For Rovers, the focus turns to 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. Immediately the hosts turned that into 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. Stevie Ward then crashed over under the posts to double their tally, with Sutcliffe adding the extras.
Leeds were soon 12-0 ahead when a high kick from captain Danny McGuire was dropped by second row John Davies and under no pressure, Ferres touched down.
The hosts soon further extended their advantage when a neat offload from McGuire created the space for Ferres to break free. Despite being halted by Ian Hardman, the loose forward found the supporting Moon, who crashed over under pressure of three defenders.
Leeds thought they had put themselves further ahead when McGuire crossed the whitewash but the try was 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 saw yellow on 46 minutes and Leeds made full use of the extra man running in three tries.
Ablett and Sutcliffe both scored after swift moves from left to right and that put Leeds 34-0 ahead before Handley scored his fifth try in the Challenge Cup so far this season.
With the accuracy of Sutcliffe's boot, Leeds were 40-0 in front
Two tries from Singleton within five minutes of each other took Leeds' total past the half-century mark before Hall capped their try-scoring on 70 minutes.
Featherstone pressed until the end and thought that they had finally got themselves on the scoreboard, only to be denied by the video referee who ruled a knock-on.