Duffy keen for Featherstone Rovers to earn home Shield final

John Duffy.
John Duffy.

They may not have achieved the Qualifiers spot they craved, but Featherstone Rovers head coach John Duffy believes there is still plenty to play for this season.

Due to their points tally being carried over from the regular season Featherstone already know they will be in the Betfred Championship Shield final before a pass has been made in the competition so on the face of it there is little to get motivated for in the seven more league games to come.

But with the top of the Shield table earning home advantage for the final Duffy has emphasised the importance of securing the game at the LD Nutrition Stadium.

To do that they must better or match the results achieved by Leigh Centurions over the next seven matches with both teams going into the next phase of the season level on points.

Duffy said: “We need to keep our momentum going. We need to go and win this shield.

“It would be great to host the final. We’ve not achieved what we wanted to achieve, but we’ve got a good group and we’re determined to lift a trophy in front of our fans.

“The fans have been phenomenal all season. I couldn’t believe how many travelled out to Toronto last week.”

Rovers will be looking to back up their fantastic 30-12 victory against Betfred Championship leaders Toronto Wolfpack, on the club’s first trip to Canada.

“I thought we were superb. Defensively outstanding,” said Duffy.

“It was a really good experience. I understand clubs have had negatives with various issues, but we were looked after once we got there.

“With only 16 men, it was a really good achievement, but obviously not getting in that top four is really gutting.

“I’m gutted for everyone at the club, the fans and obviously the players.

“The players have had the weekend off to spend some time with their families. Obviously we rip back in now to get ready for the match against Batley, who had a good game last time out against Swinton.”

Rovers kick-off their Shield fixtures against Batley Bulldogs at the LD Nutrition Stadium on Sunday (3pm).

Prices for the matches are: Season ticket holders (pre-bought with Super 8s vouchers only): Adults £10, concessions/juniors £5; non-season ticket holders £15, concessions £10, juniors £5 (£2 off adult and concessions if pre-bought).

The club has also come up with an offer as the first 100 Rovers fans to secure tickets for all four Championship Shield home fixtures in one purchase will also receive a free Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final ticket.

Rovers general manager Davide Longo, meanwhile, said the trip to Toronto had proved a “fantastic” experience.

He explained: “The large number of fans who travelled all seemed to enjoy the trip and in particular, the matchday experience.

“It was clear to see the enthusiasm for the game held by the Wolfpack fans and support staff.

“We’re used to rugby league fanatics in Featherstone and these Canadians wouldn’t have looked out of place at the LD Nutrition Stadium.

“They were very helpful and accommodating, even in defeat.

“Toronto is a sports mad city and their appetite for a truly competitive game showed me that Rugby League can really take off there.”

He added: “We now enter the Championship Shield and if the rest of the club’s supporters can match the passion of those who made the trip to Toronto, then we will be set for an end to the year filled with victories, starting with Batley on Sunday.”