New Rovers coach looks for improvement

Rovers coach Andy Hay.
Rovers coach Andy Hay.

Featherstone’s new head coach Andy Hay is looking for an improved display when Rovers host Cumbrian opponents for the second successive week.

In-form Whitehaven, who have won their last three Kingstone Press Championship games, visit Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday and Hay wants Featherstone to eliminate the errors that blighted their performance in last weekend’s 32-20 home win against Workington in his first match in charge.

“I need to get some confidence back into the boys and get them bouncing again,” he said.

“We trained brilliantly last Thursday and Saturday and all the boys were really up for it against Workington but when it came to game day there was a little bit of nerves and then some old habits crept in.

“The spectacle wasn’t brilliant and they did it tough. It was a relief for me at the end to get the win.”

Hay was disappointed with several aspects of Featherstone’s performance but he was pleased with the second-half defensive effort when they conceded just one try.

“They gave up a lot of ball, didn’t play really smart and didn’t take opportunities when they did have them,” he added.

“In the end it was a tough win and I thought they defended brilliantly in the second-half. The boys really had a dig and the team spirit is there so there is a lot to work with.

“Our defence on our own try line was outstanding in the second period. Even the try we conceded at the end was a bit of a farce with the tap when he didn’t tap and then he did and scored.

“They just dug in for each other but it’s not how we want to play. Obviously, we want to get the ball up the other end of the field which we didn’t seem to do often enough.

“We will be working on ways to advance us up the field better than we did and hold onto the ball a lot better.

“It will take a while to change things and get the structures in place that I want. It’s not a straightfoward process when you are trying to get wins and trying to change structures at the same time.

“I think we’ll get an improvement this Sunday.

“Even some senior players were making fundamental errors against Workington which I wouldn’t expect from them.

“The players were disappointed with the performance after the game and rightly so but we got the win and they were happy with that.”