Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Featherstone hand out a lesson to Cougars
12:05am Thursday 21st June 2012 in Sport
Keighley Cougars 12 Featherstone Rovers 60
Liam Finn smashed Barry Eaton’s world goal-kicking record by claiming 24 points in a masterful display to leave Cougars’ Northern Rail Cup dream in tatters.
The Featherstone scrum half scored one of his side’s seven first-half tries and converted them all, taking him with level with Eaton’s world record of 38 successful conversions in succession.
He then landed three more conversions in the second half, giving him a perfect ten to establish a new world record of 41 goals from as many attempts and write his name into rugby league folklore.
That the Ireland international should achieve the feat at Cougar Park was apt as Eaton – who set the previous record while playing for Batley in 2003 – is Jason Demetriou’s predecessor as Keighley head coach.
The Australian’s side, well beaten by Halifax in their previous Championship outing on home soil, were outclassed again during a disastrous opening 40 minutes in which Rovers ran riot to book their semi-final spot.
Demetriou said: “I was very disappointed but, like I said to the lads afterwards, it happens.
“Featherstone have had 60 points put past them twice this year but we’ve got to learn from this.
“I’ve been saying recently that technically we’ve dropped off and because we’ve been getting away with it and getting results, we’ve kidded ourselves.
“I think we needed to realise that we’re not on the money.”
Featherstone, who have designs on a place in Super League when the next round of licences are awarded, were dominant up front, giving them a platform for Finn to guide them around the park.
Daryl Powell’s men led inside the seventh minute when Ben Kaye and Stuart Dickens combined to send Anthony England over the line from close range.
They soon doubled their advantage when some delightful handling saw the ball pass through Dickens, Finn, Andy Kain and Sam Smeaton before Jack Briscoe finished the move off.
Cougars struggled badly to stem the tide and conceded a third try in the 16th minute when Finn showed impressive footwork to dance through the statuesque home defence for a fine individual score.
In the 26th minute, Finn’s offload sent Tim Spears clear and five minutes later replacement Andy Bostock barrelled over from close range.
In the 33rd minute, another impressive handling sequence led to Kain crossing the line and two minutes before the break former St Helens full back Ian Hardman scampered clear.
Finn converted all seven tries to leave Featherstone 42-0 up at the break, but Jy-mel Coleman’s neat footwork took him over two minutes after the break.
Danny Lawton converted but Rovers struck again when James Lockwood powered over on the hour and Finn converted to break Eaton’s record.
The sizeable contingent of Rovers supporters behind the posts roared their approval and they were cheering again in the 69th minute when Finn and Hardman combined to send Kain over for his second.
Four minutes later, Rovers had their tenth try when Tommy Saxton sauntered over and Finn landed his tenth goal before Sam Obst touched down for a late consolation which Lawton converted.
Demetriou added: “The second half was much better and defensively we showed what we’ve been about this year.
“But in the first we just backed away and did things that we just don’t do. Lessons have been learnt and a lot of blokes have to look in the mirror and be honest with themselves.
“Like I say, I think we’ve been kidding ourselves that we’ve been doing better than we have.
“Featherstone just ripped straight through the heart of our defence and that hasn’t happened all year.
“At least in the second half, Featherstone had to earn their points whereas they didn’t have to in the first half. We just gave them to them.”
l Cougars reserves are at home to Oldham tonight (7.45pm).