James Webster hails 'tenacious' effort from Featherstone Rovers in dramatic win over Bradford Bulls
Tenacious, tough and uncompromising - that is how James Webster described elements of Featherstone Rovers’ performance as they made it 13 wins in a row in the Championship on Sunday afternoon.
Rovers overturned a half-time deficit to claim victory over Bradford Bulls in a back-and-forth contest at Odsal.
The triumph comes ahead of their mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash with Toulouse Olympique this weekend.
Featherstone despite winning four more games than their French counterparts, sit second in the table and remain undefeated in league competition this year.
“I thought Bradford were really good. They completed really high and had a lot of energy,” reflected coach Webster, who missed the 1895 Cup final the previous week due to Covid-19.
“I think you could tell they had a week off and we had played last week in a final.
“There were elements of our game that were tenacious, tough and uncompromising and there were times when we shot ourselves in the foot.
“I won’t complain too much. I am really happy that we can come to such a hard place and win.”
Bradford enjoyed the better of the contest in the first half and took the lead after four minutes when Ben Evans scored underneath the posts.
Joe Keyes added the conversion and kicked two penalty goals soon after to open up a 10-point lead.
Jacob Doyle hit back for the visitors midway through the first half with a try out wide before Nu Brown scored a second Featherstone try two minutes later. It was Bradford who led at the interval, however, as David Foggin-Johnston and Brandon Pickersgill scored in quick succession to regain the lead.
It only took four second-half minutes for Rovers to muster a response when a thundering run from James Harrison saw him get over the line.
Five minutes later, Harrison barged his way over the line for his second try to retake the lead for Featherstone.
Featherstone would not relinquish their advantage again and Brown made it more comfortable for Webster’s side with a try just before the hour. Craig Hall added a penalty with 15 minutes to play to edge Featherstone 12 points ahead.
That proved decisive as Bradford threatened to mount a late comeback when tries from Rhys Evans and George Flanagan reduced Rovers’ lead to two points.
Former Bradford half-back Dane Chisholm made sure Featherstone’s winning run continued as he scored against his former club in the final minute to seal the win for Rovers. Webster praised the efforts of Harrison, whose two tries early in the second half turned the tide.
“I think he was on another level. If we didn’t have James out on that pitch we would have found it difficult,” he added.
“He has been outstanding. We missed him a lot at the start of the year with his ankle. Other than that, he has been first class for us.
“He plays big minutes and scores tries, which is amazing for a front rower.”