Rovers aim to bounce back

Rovers coach Andy Hay: "We can't afford to be dropping points."
Rovers coach Andy Hay: "We can't afford to be dropping points."

Featherstone coach Andy Hay says there is “no panic” after last Sunday’s surprise 38-34 defeat at lowly Rochdale Hornets.

Rovers are on the road again in the Kingstone Press Championship this Sunday when they visit Swinton Lions and Hay is looking for a big improvement in attitude.

“We’ve got to find out why some people are turning up and not putting in their 100 per cent effort on game day. We’ll get to the bottom of that this week,” he said.

“There’s no panic. The players need to perform and we’ll finish up where we finish up at the end of the season. We just need to get a better performance out of the team because it wasn’t good enough really last Sunday.

“None of the players were happy with the performance. In the changing room afterwards that’s all they were talking about. It wasn’t so much the loss but more about how they are playing.

“There wasn’t many who could put their hand up and say they had played to the best of their ability. We need that to be nearly every player putting his hand up and we had probably got five or six at Rochdale. It stands out a mile and that’s why you lose a game.”

Rovers recovered from 18-0 down after 15 minutes to be on level terms at half-time at Spotland.

They then trailed 32-22 early in the second period but hit back to lead 34-32 before Rochdale snatch victory with their seventh try five minutes from time.

“It was very disappointing. We probably didn’t do ourselves justice at the start of either half,” added Hay.

“We showed some good stuff in attack but at the end of the day our defence was pretty poor all round and let us down.

“To concede that many points in a game is not good enough and not where we want to be. We shouldn’t need to outscore opponents by over 30 points.

“I also think we’ve got a bit of a discipline issue. Some of our players are giving away penalties at poor times in the game.”

One bright spot for Rovers was the performance of young back-rower Shaun Pick who went as a substitute.

“I thought Shaun Pick had a really good game for us. He got about 55 minutes and did a good job in the back row,” said Hay.

Sunday’s game against Swinton has been switched to Sedgley Park RUFC because of pitch repairs at Leigh Sports Village where the Lions usually play their home fixtures.

Rovers are seeking a league double over lowly Swinton who were beaten 48-6 at Dewsbury Rams last Friday.

“Swinton are a similar team to Rochdale,” said Hay.

“They have dual registration players from Warrington which we’ll not be sure of.

“They are a side we should beat but if we turn up like we did last Sunday with that attitude we’ll make it very tough for ourselves again.

“We’ve got to have a look at ourselves. There’s been a lot going on at the club but we need to get through that now. It all comes down to the performance on the field on game day and that’s what we will be looking at.

“The background stuff we’ve got to take out of our heads and the players have got to be focused to do their job on match day.

“We are still hanging in there in second place but Halifax and Doncaster are creeping up.

“We can’t afford to be dropping points.”