Powell looks for ‘big effort’

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COACH Daryl Powell believes Featherstone can cope with the difficulty of playing two Championship matches in four days.

After thrashing Widnes Vikings 56-16 on Wednesday, Rovers will play their 500th competitive game in the summer era when they take on relegation-threatened Dewsbury Rams at Bigfellas Stadium on Sunday (3pm).

Powell (pictured) is expecting a tough challenge against the Rams who improved their chances of avoiding the drop by beating Hunslet Hawks last weekend.

However, Dewsbury’s relegation worries increased when fellow strugglers York climbed back above them by defeating Halifax on Thursday night.

The Rams have a tough run in because after visiting Featherstone on Sunday they host Leigh Centurions in their final fixture.

Said Powell: “You’d expect Dewsbury to be fighting for their lives. We played Widnes this week who were a team near the top of the table who are going into Super League next year and have players playing for contracts so there was a fair bit of motivation there.

“The motivation for Dewsbury is a little bit different. They are looking to stay in the Championship and they are battling hard for that.

“Dewsbury are one of those teams who don’t go away and are pretty physical and you’ve got to deal with the threat they pose round the ruck area.

“Obviously they’ve got people like Dominic Brambani who is a sharp player and pretty dangerous. He’s good on his feet and can cause you a lot of trouble.

“We know enough about Dewsbury and where the threats are. It’s about going out and delivering our game. We’ve got to do that twice in a week and that’s always tough but I think we can do it

“Most teams have to deal with playing two games in a week during the season and it’s our time this week.

“We’ve known it’s been coming for a while so it’s not a major issue, we just need to get on with it and deal with it.

“They are all important games for us now and we are just focusing on one at a time and just trying to chalk them off as we go along.

“It’s an important time for us leading into the play-offs. We want to stay where we’ve been most of the season at the top of the table and it’s going to take a big effort to do that.”

“It’s in our hands. If we win our remaining games we finish top of the table and if we win three from four it will be in the balance. We know what we’ve got do and it’s pretty clear what is in front of us.”

Rovers are still without Andy Kain (groin injury) for Sunday’s game.

Prop Ben Gledhill, signed on a dual registration from Wakefield Wildcats, missed Wednesday night’s match against Widnes after playing for Wakefield in their 66-12 defeat at Warrington Wolves last weekend.

Powell was unsure earlier this week whether Gledhill will be available to play for Rovers on Sunday .

He said: “I think he will be playing for Wakefield but I’m not certain at the moment.”

Dual-registered Zak Hardaker is set to stay with Leeds Rhinos for the remainder of the season.

Powell said: “It’s looked that way for a while and I don’t envisage him coming back. We’ve dealt without him all year and I don’t see any point in bringing him back now.”

Featherstone pair Iain Morrison and Tom Hemingway are both out for the rest of the season because of broken jaws.

Powell said: “It looks like Iain might need another operation on his jaw.

“They decided not to operate on Tom and it’s not done him any good to be honest. It has been really frustrating for Tom because he has not been available to us.”

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