With Warrington Wolves and Hull KR having just booked their places in Super League 2018, all attention turned to the south of France and the battle for the remaining spot, and the two places in the Million Pound game, as a winless Featherstone Rovers made the trip to the South of France to take on a so-far disappointing Catalans Dragons.
The Dragons were without the services of the suspended Greg Bird as they went into the game desperate for the two points against the side from West Yorkshire who have struggled in the qualifiers.
A massive points win for the Dragons would incredibly see them above Widnes into third spot but a win of any description would see them go fourth and into the home berth for the Million Pound game.
The Dragons opened the scoring on five minutes to settle the nerves when Krisnan Inu was the fourth man in a left to right passing move to go through a gap and drop to the ground to score. Luke Walsh added the two pointer.
Benjamin Garcia was sin-binned on eight minutes for a dangerous tackle on Featherstoneís Scott Turner and Rivers took full advantage two minutes later when Sam Brooks did well to pick up a looping offload from James Lockwood to go over from close. Kryan Johnson added the conversion to level the scores.
A Dragons penalty on fifteen minutes was kicked by Walsh to regain a narrow lead but the Dragons were far from convincing.
On twenty-four Brayden Wiliame picked up a kick through and despite the best efforts of Luke Briscoe the Dragons centre managed to roll over the line and ground the ball. Luke Walsh failed to add the conversion.
Garcia further settled the Dragons nerves on twenty-seven when he dove over from acting half-back to ground from a metre out from the Featherstone line. Krisnan Inu kicked the conversion between the uprights for 18-6 to the home side.
On thirty-two Scott Turner went ninety metres before passing to Anthony Thackeray under the tackle from Richie Myler, to round behind the sticks for Fevís second of the evening. Johnson converted from in front of the uprights to narrow the deficit to six points.
There was some dumb football from both sides up until the interval but no change to the score line.
Both sides had a number of opportunities to open the second half scoring but the first notable action came on fifty-nine when Louie Anderson and Luke Briscoe were picked out by referee Moore after a brief fracas involving most of the players. The two offenders were shown yellows to cool their heels for ten minutes.
On sixty-four Keal Carlile was also shown the games fourth yellow card for a late tackle on the kicker Dragons kicker and Inu kicked a penalty from thirty metres for an eight point home lead at 20-12.
The Featherstone dam finally burst on sixty-eight when Sam Moa took a crash ball from Walsh to storm eight metres and drop over the line. Inu kicked the goal for a fourteen point lead to secure the two points and lift the Dragons above the Leigh Centurions into fourth place.
This was far from a classic, a game played out between two poor sides who on this showing wouldnít be out of place plying their trade in the Championship in 2018. The Catalans will be delighted for the points which lift them into fourth place but they know that they will need two more massive games, and possibly a third to see them back in Super League next season. This result signifies the end of the dream for Featherstone and despite putting in one-hundred percent effort they didnít have the skill or stamina to spring the upset and snatch the points.
Dragons: Tierney, Duport, Inu (T, 3G), Wiliame (T), Yaha, Walsh (2G), Myler, Moa (T), Da Costa, Casty, Anderson (SB), Horo, Garcia (SB, T). Subs: Bosquet, Albert, Baitieri, Margalet.
Rovers: Johnson (2G), Briscoe (SB), Hardcastle, Taulapapa, Turner, Thackeray (T), Wildie, Brooks (T), Carlile (SB), Mariano, Farrell, Davies, Lockwood. Subs: Tagg, Cooper, Walters, Igbinedion.
Referee: Liam Moore.