Featherstone Rovers star Lockwood: Games against Leigh always feel like a derby

Featherstone Rovers' James Lockwood.
Featherstone Rovers' James Lockwood.

There are few easy games in the Championship this season, insists Featherstone Rovers captain James Lockwood.

Rovers travel to rivals Leigh Centurions this Sunday, with both sides having won once and lost once in their first two league outings.

Featherstone beat Batley Bulldogs 42-14 last weekend while Leigh were 33-26 losers at Halifax.

And despite the impressive margin of victory against Batley, Lockwood feels that Rovers will need to improve for their trip across the Pennines this weekend. “It is going to be another tough game against Leigh, I don’t think there are many easy games in this league now,” said Lockwood.

“We will be looking for a result going over there but I think we will need to be better than we were against Batley.”

Lockwood will be going up against former coach John Duffy, who left Featherstone in controversial circumstances at the end of last year.

Martyn Ridyard will turn out against his former club after he left the LD Nutrition Stadium to return to his hometown club in November.

But, even with the added elements of Sunday’s clash, the Rovers captain feels that playing Leigh has always felt like a derby clash.

He continued: “It is always a bit of a derby match against Leigh.

“They will be wanting to beat us and we will be wanting to beat them, so it is something we are looking forward to.”

Rovers’ win against Batley was Lockwood’s first since being appointed as captain.

The forward has been with Rovers since 2012 and is one of the longest-serving members of Ryan Carr’s squad.

“It felt good, it is always nice to get the win,” said Lockwood on his first win as Rovers skipper.

“It was a tough game, Batley really came and gave it in the first 20 minutes so it was nice to come out on top.

“We stuck at it, we spoke all week about getting our sets out and getting in the grind and I think it worked for us at the end of the game.

“They got tired and we came alive a bit more then.”

Featherstone boss Ryan Carr has echoed Lockwood’s sentiments ahead the trip to Leigh.

The Australian-born coach was delighted to claim his first win as boss but is refusing to get carried away ahead of this weekend’s clash.

He said: “It will be a tough match over at Leigh. They are a quality club with a quality squad.

“So, we are just going to go back to the drawing board and get back to work.

“We are just going to keep working and building as a squad because we are going over there on Sunday and it is going to be a good tough game for us.”

Carr added: “We need to make sure we work hard each week and keep getting better.

“Because I think we still have more improvement as a squad to come.”

Scott Wheeldon was absent for the Batley clash due to illness but Carr hopes to have the forward fit for this Sunday’s fixture.