Rugby League: Brutal Newlove proves his worth at the double: Wigan fail in their bid for a grand slam but Featherstone complete a double

 

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The Independent Online

Featherstone Rovers. . .20

Workington Town. . . . .16

THE BRUTE power of Paul Newlove saw the Second Division champions Featherstone add the Divisional Premiership to their season's achievements, despite a determined and resourceful effort from Workington, writes Dave Hadfield.

There was nothing spectacular about either Newlove's 51st try of the season in the first half or his 52nd, to put Featherstone ahead 13 minutes from time but both involved tremendous strength and showed why Rovers will be able to quote a figure like pounds 750,000 if Newlove decides this summer that he wants to leave.

Newlove ran on to Brendon Tuuta's pass and barged through four defenders for the first try, but Workington, defending ferociously and employing a sensible kicking game, had at least their share of the first half.

Phil McKenzie gave them a half-time lead by swooping on to the ball after Martin Pearson had dropped Dean Marwood's high kick.

An exchange of penalties early in the second half left that two-point lead intact and even after Newlove ploughed his way over after taking Brett Daunt's pass in an apparently unthreatening position, they had plenty of fight left in them.

But Newlove got within inches of the line after once more taking the ball in an unpromising spot. Workington managed to stop him by sheer weight of numbers. Two passes later, Francis Maloney was able to go over unimpeded by the posts.

Pearson's conversion and a penalty soon after seemed to put Featherstone in control, but Workington, second in the Third Division after a season of West Cumbrian revival, came back.

In injury time, Ged Byrne's pass allowed Martin Oglanby to battle his way over, but they could not find another opening.

Featherstone Rovers: Pearson; Butt, Manning, Newlove, Simpson (Roebuck, 31) (Simpson, h-t); Maloney, Daunt; Casey (Gunn, 77), Wilson, Taekata (Roebuck, 59), Price (Taekata, 74), Smales, Tuuta.

Workington: Mulligan; Drummond, Kay, Hepi, Smith; Byrne, Marwood; Pickering, McKenzie, Riley (Schubert, 39), Scott (Riley, 57), Armstrong (Kitchin, 74), Kitchin (Oglanby, h-t).

Referee: J Connolly (Wigan).

Warrington beat Hull 19-12 in the Academy Challenge Cup final to start the triple header at Old Trafford.

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