Rovers aim to build on win in Cumbria

London's Jack Bussey is set to face his old club Featherstone on Sunday.
London's Jack Bussey is set to face his old club Featherstone on Sunday.

Featherstone will aim to consolidate their Championship top-four place when they take on London Broncos for the third time this season at Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday.

Last Saturday’s win at Whitehaven put Rovers in the top four for the first time this year. They climbed above Batley and Halifax who face each other at Mount Pleasant this Sunday.

In-form London are second, just one point behind leaders Leigh, but Featherstone will be greatly encouraged by their two performances against the Broncos at West Ealing in March.

Rovers won 48-26 in the Challenge Cup and were then pipped 20-12 in a league match after being 12-4 ahead before they were badly disrupted by the loss of three injured players.

“We are coming up against a really good London side this weekend and they are certainly a team in form” said Rovers coach Jon Sharp.

“It is one apiece on the ledger so far and it’s really important we win on Sunday

“We’ve already had two really good tussles with them and this one will be no different. London have recuited really well and the ex Featherstone players have done well for them. Alex Foster and Jack Bussey have added to the group.”

Sharp is pleased that Featherstone’s injury problems have now eased.

“We’ve made the top-four with a team that has been cobbled together due to a lot of injuries. We’ve managed to get in the top-four and we now have an opportunity to kick on,” he added.

“All the players seem to be coming back at once. I had been having sleepness nights thinking who is going to play and now they have all put their hands up all at once.

“It’s come at the right time. We are half way through the way the season and now we have our first choice players coming back.”

Bradley Tagg and Luke Cooper both missed out on selection at Whitehaven as Sharp welcomed back five players.

He said: “It was the strongest team I’ve been able to pick since I’ve been at the club.

“Going into the Whitehaven game was the first time I’ve had a selection issue with people being fit and having to tell players they were not selected.

“Bradley Tagg and Luke Cooper have both been really good. I just went with the experience of Darrell Griffin and Tim Spears which proved to be the right call.”

Sharp was delighted with the way his side bounced back from two narrow league defeats.

“I thought attacking wise we probably looked as good as we have all season. We scored some great tries and there were lots of good individual performances,” he added.

“The work we had done during the week was very much focused around sharpening our attack and I thought we did that.

“We played a Whitehaven team that only lost 16-12 at home to London so they are no mugs.

“Jordan Abdull was very good. He was excellent at six and then we moved him to nine and he was outstanding. He had put his hand up at training and said he could play nine as well.

“Colton Roche gave us a big lift when he came off the bench. He proved a handful.

“We were a bit nervous to start with. In the first-half, we just felt our way into the game - we were a bit apprehensive and a bit scratchy - but we had five players coming back in. When a big group of your players haven’t played for a while you are bound to be a bit rusty.

“We just need to improve defensively which we will. We were scratchy because we had people on the edges who hadn’t played together before.

“Hopefully, we can build on some of the things we did in the Whitehaven game. We need to be better defensively and attacking wise I think we need to be up another level this Sunday.”