Rovers run over Eagles
Featherstone crushed Sheffield 40-4 in the Co-operative Championship Grand Final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Last Updated: 03/10/11 1:03am
Featherstone crushed Sheffield 40-4 in the Co-operative Championship Grand Final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington.
Liam Finn scored 20 points to help Rovers, who finished the regular season 17 points ahead of their final opponents, erase the memory of last year's extra-time defeat by Halifax.
Sheffield had become the first team to reach the final from outside the top two but they were simply blown away in their biggest match since they famously beat Wigan at Wembley to lift the Challenge Cup in 1998.
Stand-off Andy Kain twice split the Eagles defence wide open to create tries for second rower Tim Spears and Finn, who converted both to give his side a 12-0 lead inside the opening six minutes.
Sheffield hit back through stand-off Dane McDonald, who forced his way over from dummy half, and the score remained 12-4 until just before half time.
Former Hull KR winger Ben Cockayne set up a second try for Finn and the latter's third conversion made it 18-4 at the break.
Featherstone's lead was quickly out to 20 points when loose forward Jon Hepworth broke clear to get full-back Ian Hardman over within 90 seconds of the re-start.
Rovers let slip a 22-4 advantage against Halifax a year ago to go down 23-22 but history never looked like being repeated.
There was still some fighting spirit in the Eagles though, Joe Hirst being sin-binned for his part in a brawl that involved nearly every player on the field. Kirk Netherton of Featherstone was also yellow carded for his role in the scuffle.
Cockayne gathered Finn's kick to touch down for the eighth successive match while Tom Saxton created a try for Hepworth before sprinting 90 metres to touch down himself and complete a resounding victory for Rovers.
Earlier in the day, Keighley claimed the second promotion place with a 32-12 triumph over Workington in the Championship One play-off final.
Former Wakefield captain Jason Demetriou, in his first season as player-coach, was named man of the match as the Cougars clinched their second promotion in three years to join Swinton in the Championship in 2012.
Jake Normington crossed for two late tries after Keighley had cruised to a 22-0 advantage by half time.
Workington avoided the ignominy of becoming the first team in 10 years of the finals to be shut out when Jarrad Stack created scores for half-back Scott Kaighan and winger Neil Frazer in the final quarter.