Featherstone Rovers enjoy best-ever start to league campaign with emphatic win over Dewsbury Rams
JAMES WEBSTER expressed his delight as Featherstone Rovers enjoyed their best start to a league season in their 100-year history.
A ruthless 68-24 win over Dewsbury Rams on Sunday saw Rovers record their ninth-straight league win to keep the pressure on league leaders Toulouse Olympique, who top the division on points difference.
This year’s Championship table will be decided on win percentage meaning Featherstone sit second, despite playing and winning two more matches than Toulouse.
Head coach Webster feels his side may need to go the entire season undefeated with it likely that Rovers will play more league fixtures than the current table toppers.
“It is fantastic,” said Webster as his side made history in the club’s centenary year.
“It is not something we set out to do at the start of the year but you nearly have to go undefeated this year to win the league.
“Toulouse are only going to play 13 or 14 games and I can’t see them losing too many games. To get where we want to get to, we are going to have to be pretty good.
“Toulouse and Bradford and those types of teams are good also. We will worry about next week against Newcastle. That is our main focus and hopefully we will get one or two players back.”
Dean Parata grabbed four tries for Featherstone while Craig Hall added a hat-trick and kicked 24 points to take his points haul to 36 for the afternoon.
Rovers’ other tries came from Craig Kopczak, Gareth Gale and Luke Cooper.
“He played 80 minutes as well, with Connor Jones out injured,” said Webster of four-try man Parata.
“It is difficult for both of them because they are both good hookers, it is rare a team can have two. Last week he didn’t get a lot of time but this week he got a full game.
“We are going to keep rotating them. I thought he was really good, as he has been in the majority of games.”
Dewsbury’s tries came from Bayley Liu, Tom Garratt, Reiss Butterworth and Lewis Carr, with Liam Finn landing four conversions.
Webster wasn’t concerned by the number of points his side conceded, adding: “That is full credit to Dewsbury, they fought hard for that.
“Both of their tries from dummy half were strong efforts by them and we weren’t good enough physically. You can’t always blame yourselves, sometimes you have to credit the opposition.”