Long gives Rovers boost

Sean Long's first home match as Featherstone's new football manager is against Dewsbury on Sunday. Picture: Scott Merrylees.
Sean Long's first home match as Featherstone's new football manager is against Dewsbury on Sunday. Picture: Scott Merrylees.

Featherstone’s new interim coach Danny Evans believes the arrival of former Great Britain star Sean Long has given Rovers a big lift.

Long, who has joined Rovers as football manager until the end of the season, will aim to make it two wins from from two games in tomorrow’s (Sunday) Kingstone Press Championship clash against Dewsbury at Big Fellas Stadium.

Rovers ran in 11 tries in an impressive 62-6 win at Workington in Long’s first match last Sunday.

“Sean’s arrival has lifted everybody,” said Evans this week.

“He has played at the highest level and has arguably been one of the best players in the whole Super League era.

“It’s good for the lads to get a fresh face in and hopefully they can pick his brains. His big-game experience should also help us.”

Evans expects a tough test against Dewsbury, who are battling to clinch a play-off place.

“Dewsbury have some good players including ones with Super League experience,” he added.

“We’ve some former Dewsbury players in our team so it should make it an interesting game.

“We’ve had two away matches on the bounce and it will be nice to get back to own ground and play in front of our own spectators.”

Evans will check on the fitness of Ian Hardman and Ben Kaye. Hardman has missed the last two games with a knee injury while Kaye sustained an arm injury in the closing stages at Derwent Park last Sunday.

Leaders Sheffield Eagles are currently six points clear of Featherstone after last night’s (Friday) 20-12 winn against Leigh but Rovers will cut the gap to three points if they beat Dewsbury.

Rovers host Sheffield Eagles in a re-arranged game on Wednesday, August 28.

The outcome of that match could decide who finishes top.

“There is no getting away from the fact it could all come down to the Sheffield game but we’ve got some tough matches before then,” said Evans.

“We are just looking to build some momentum and hopefully stay healthy.”

Evans was delighted with Featherstone’s display at Workington when Rovers fielded an unchanged team from the one that surprisingly lost to lowly Swinton the previous week.

“We were obviously very disappointed with the display against Swinton and it was a really big response from the boys at Workington,” he said.

“It was an opportunity for them to show what they could really do because everybody was below par against Swinton. Workington were playing their third game in eight days but credit to our boys they were ruthless from start to finish.

“Our half-backs controlled the game and put some in smart kicks. Their execution was really good but there are always improvements that can be made.”

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