Featherstone Rovers acting-boss Paul March hails skipper James Lockwood after 1895 Cup win at Wembley
Acting-coach Paul March paid tribute to Featherstone Rovers’ captain James Lockwood after a dramatic 24 hours ended with him lifting the 1895 Cup triumph.
An understrength Rovers beat York City Knights 41-34 at Wembley this afternoon, with Lockwood producing a remarkable personal performance against the odds.
Lockwood got off the team bus in London the day before the game and straight on to a tube to Kings Cross to catch a train back to Wakefield.
It was believed his wife had gone into labour, but that proved to be a false alarm so the forward caught a 5.30am train back to London on Saturday, rejoining the team at 8.30am.
“To put a shift in like he did, he certainly led from the front,” March said.
“He put a massive performance in.”
Man of the match Craig Hall who only completed isolation on the day of the game and also joined up with the team on the morning of the match.
March said: “He put a massive shift in as well.”
With some senior men unavailable because of coronavirus and injuries, March had to turn to several rookies.
Young winger Jacob Doyle scored two tries in only his second senior game, another Castleford Tigers academy product Joe Summers came off the bench for his professional debut and Jake Sweeting put in a huge shift as starting hooker.
March said: “Big occasions mean big time players come out.
“Jacob did well on his debut when we played Sheffield and for him to come in and score two tries at Wembley is really good.
“Joe Summers isn’t going to want to play anywhere else, after making his debut at Wembley.
“When he plays at Fev he’ll be wondering what all the hype is about.
“I am chuffed for him.
“I wanted to give him a bit more time, but the game was still in the balance.
“Jake Sweeting has been out on loan, he has bided his time and the plan wasn’t to play him for 40 minutes, but he was going all right so we left him out there.”
March, Rovers’ assistant-boss, took charge of the team after coach James Webster tested positive for coronavirus.
“It is an honour,” he said of coaching Rovers on the biggest stage.
“A famous club like Featherstone, leading them out at Wembley is what dreams are made of.
“I am really chuffed, for myself, my family, all the supporters and [chairman] Mark Campbell.”