It was tale of ups and downs for both sides at Trailfinders on Sunday afternoon, ending in a level 32-32 draw in the capital.
Things started as chaotically as they went on, when on seven minutes, Kear looked to have bagged the home side’s first score, ref, Moore, didn’t award the try, but did award a penalty for a very late tackle on Barthau.
However, London took the first lead after 11 minutes, when a superbly timed offload from Barthau sent Pitts over the whitewash. Sammut uncharacteristically missed the kick.
Only four minutes later, a flowing team attacking effort culminated in Kear diving over in the right corner, but Sammut was off target again.
Another quick fire try followed a mere two minutes later – Hellewell broke Featherstone’s line and raced 50 metres, before getting a brilliant offload to Barthau, who went over under the sticks.
The visitors managed pull one back ten minutes later, Farrell capitalised on a penalty awarded after a high tackle, and Hardman’s kick was good.
Davies added two either side of the break – the first, he beat Walker to a loose Featherstone ball, and pounced down over the line, before finding a gaping hole in London’s line and darting over on 47 minutes.
On the 50 minute mark, Briscoe raced away down the right wing, going over in the corner. Hardman added the two, and extended the visitors lead to 14-22.
Sammut, Ioane and Ackers all added four pointers it rather sensational style inside the next eleven minutes, scoring 18 unanswered points, and regaining the lead.
It wasn’t to be, however, and Briscoe bagged his brace, before, with seconds to go, Ulugia broke London hearts, going through a gap in London’s defence to bring the game to within two points. Hardman added the two on the final siren, ending a see saw performance in a draw.
Head coach, Andrew Henderson, was disappointed, but not dispirited in his side’s performance.
“It was tough one today. It shows the nature of this competition, it’s very evenly matched. Yes, we were disappointed we didn’t come away with two points, but you’ve got credit Featherstone, and their performance today.
“Both teams enjoyed good spells of momentum. We had a really great start in the first 20, and then at the start of the second half, we fell away, and Featherstone got some ascendancy.”
24. Alex Walker, 2. Rhys Williams, 3. Ben Hellewell, 19. Api Pewhairangi, 1. Elliot Kear, 6. Jarrod Sammut, 7. William Barthau, 8. Tom Spencer, 14. Andy Ackers, 10. Mark Ioane, 36. Sam Wilde, 13. Jay Pitts, 22. Matt Davis
Interchange: 34. John Boudebza, 23. Matt Gee, 15. Eddie Battye, 31. Lewis Bienek
Tries: Pitts (11), Kear (15), Barthau (17), Sammut (54), Ioane (57), Ackers (65)
Goals: Sammut 4/6
1. Ian Hardman, 5. Luke Briscoe, 23. Joshua Hardcastle, 3. Chris Ulugia, 4. Misi Taulapapa, 6. Kyle Briggs, 7. Anthony Thackeray, 8. Darrell Griffin, 9. Keal Carlile, 13. Richard Moore, 29. Connor Farrell, 12. John Davies, 32. Jordan Baldwinson
Interchange: 19. Matthew Wildie, 10. Andrew Bostock, 14. Frankie Mariano, 28. Samuel Brooks
Tries: Farrell (24), Davies (47, 50), Briscoe (50, 69), Ulugia (78)