Featherstone boss pleased with battle hardening hit-out

Jon Sharp.
Jon Sharp.

Featherstone Rovers head coach Jon Sharp was pleased with the workout his side was given by London Broncos ahead of their Kingstone Press Championship Shield semi-final.

Although there was little for either team to play for in the game the tough nature of the match was just what Rovers needed ahead of their knockout game against Workington Town.

Sharp said: “We went into the game knowing it didn’t really matter externally whether we won or lost, but internally it was very important that we wanted to finish off with a win and make it six out of seven.

“It was important we had a really good hit-out. I was hoping London would rock up and have a good crack at us because I think it gets you battle hardened and gets you ready for semi-final football.

“It was a bit of a preview I suppose of how you need to play in semi-finals.

“We were resolute, tough and patient. We had to battle against a team who were throwing stuff at us and we defended our line really well.

“The stats were telling us and the key indicators were telling us that at half-time we were doing okay even though we were 4-0 behind.

“In the second-half you could see what we had done in the first-half taking its toll on London. I thought they looked shattered after 60 minutes. They had thrown everything at us and we defended really well and finished off extremely strong.”

Sharp praised his players’ composure: “We handled half-time well. We were very composed. We likened it to the performance at Workington when we were 10-4 behind at half-time and won 24-10.

“We were in a situation where we had been before and we handled that second-half extremely well and with some smarts as well.

“I thought Cooke and Moore played extremely well and Jack Bussey was absolutely outstanding. “

Sharp praised the team’s youngsters.

He added: “They have shown good attitude and worked extremely hard. They’ve been really enjoyable to coach. I’ve seen them come on leaps and bounds in such a short space of time.

“There are blokes there who have played two or three first grade games and they look really, really comfortable, so it augurs well for the future.”