FEATHERSTONE coach Daryl Powell praised scrum-half Liam Finn and winger Tommy Saxton after Sunday’s magnificent 40-4 win over Sheffield Eagles in the Co-operative Championship Grand Final at Warrington.
Finn won the Tom Bergin Trophy as man of the match after scoring two tries and landed six goals from seven kicks. He was also a vital contributor with his excellent kicking game.
Saxton, who was man of the match in last year’s 23-22 defeat against Halifax in the final, was again in outstanding form and rounded off Featherstone’s seven-try win with a superb long-range solo effort two minutes from time.
Powell said: “Liam Finn controlled the game. I know he’s been disappointed himself in a couple of big games he’s played in and he still thinks he can be better, which is great for us.
“His kicking game when he got a grip of it in the second-half was a real strong factor in us being able to get away from them in the way that we did.
“Tommy Saxton’s ability to off load was again a key ingredient. It really broke the game up and I thought we took our opportunities really well.”
Powell was delighted with his side’s defensive performance.
“I thought we were great defensively. It was aggressive and determined and when we had to scramble we worked hard for each other,” he said.
“In big games you need that type of defence because Sheffield were on our line a fair bit and we were just so determined to keep them out. There was some good last ditch stuff from Ian Hardman and the whole team was outstanding defensively.
“It was a really solid effort and there was some quality in there in difficult conditions. It was just fantastic for us to win a big match and get a monkey off our back. We’ve done that now and I’m delighted for the whole club we’ve won a massive game.
“We played the conditions well apart from a period in the second-half when both teams just couldn’t get to grips with the wet conditions.
“The way we play is to move the ball a fair bit and we had to reel that in. When we did reel it in and got our kicking game sorted and finished our sets a lot better then that was the key, especially after we had built up a lead either side of half-time.”