Rovers aiming to bounce back

Kirk Netherton is set to return to the Rovers side after missing the St Helens game because he was cup tied.
Kirk Netherton is set to return to the Rovers side after missing the St Helens game because he was cup tied.

FEATHERSTONE coach Daryl Powell is looking for a vastly improved performance in Sunday’s Co-operative Championship game at Dewsbury Rams.

Powell was unhappy with Featherstone’s second-half show in last Sunday’s trouncing at St Helens in the Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth round.

Rovers lost 70-0 after conceding 52 points in the last 36 minutes.

“We need to get back on track. It’s going to be a difficult game for us at Dewsbury and it’s important we bounce straight back and get a winning performance, “ said Powell.

“It will be a tough challenge for us. We’ve got to get ourselves back into a place where we’ve been consistent and everybody is on the money and we are tough and aggressive and we don’t get broken down because we work hard for each other.

“We’ve got some areas we have to quickly tidy up and make sure we get back to our standards and usual level of performance which in the second-half against St Helens we were a long, long way away from.”

Dewsbury are without a win in their last six league matches but they have improved this month.They followed up a 34-34 home draw with Widnes Vikings by collecting a bonus point from an 18-14 defeat at Barrow Raiders.

“Dewsbury are going okay and they are always a pretty difficult side to play against. They are pretty physical and aggressive round the ruck area, “ said Powell.

“Dominic Brambani is a smart player and his kicking game is excellent and they can put you under a lot of pressure with their physicality and we certainly need to improve in that performance area. Our mentality has to be stronger. They will come at us and we will have to deal with it.”

Second-placed Featherstone are now six points behind table-toppers Leigh Centurions who beat Hunslet Hawks 56-18 last weekend. Leigh have played one more match than Rovers.

Powell said: “Leigh are in the driving seat but there’s no point us looking at that.

“It’s about us and we’ve just got keep winning games.

“As we saw last year we were pretty consistent but there were a couple of games where we dropped off. It’s just about being consistent and not looking too far ahead of us.”

Andy Kain and and Kirk Netherton are set to return after missing the match against St Helens.

Netherton, signed on loan from Widnes for the rest of the season, was cup tied and Kain was rested because of a groin injury.

Powell is hoping Iain Morrison will be back after being out with a calf injury.

There is also better news on winger Tommy Saxton’s broken thumb which will not keep out as long as first feared.

Said Powell: “Tommy has now had a different diagnosis which has put him at being out for five to six weeks instead of 12 which is pretty handy but he’s still a couple of weeks away from returning.”

The Rovers boss believes his side need to learn from their 12-try drubbing against St Helens.

He said: “Saints are dangerous and they’ve got some quality players round the middle of the field. At times it got quick for us but I thought we were a bit unlucky in the first-half.

“We conceded a try from a kick and another one from close to the try line that was a bit soft. Then we got opened up down the middle of the field just before half-time.

“I was a little disappointed to go in at 18-0 down - we nearly scored shortly before half-time - but I thought we had competed pretty well in the first-half.

“However, we fell away in a big way in the second-half and it is massively disappointing to get beaten by that kind of score.

“It’s not a good experience from anyone’s point of view. We are used to winning and we are used to competing pretty favourably and it was disappointing we fell away the way we did.

“These things can happen. Warrington touched Castleford up 62-0 not so long ago and it can blow out pretty quickly and that’s what happened to us in the second-half.

“We lost our way in the game and they played quick and aggressive and they’ve certainly got high quality players who can hurt you.

“Ultimately, we’ve got to learn from it and move on.”

Featherstone Rovers reserves host Dewsbury reserves tomorrow evening (Friday). The game kicks off at 8pm and admission is £3 adults and £1 concessions.

On Saturday, June 11 (8pm), the Passion of Presley tribute show will be staged in the clubhouse in aid of the Rovers youth development programme. Tickets cost £10 and include a cold buffet. A table of 10 costs £90.

Latest £500 winners in the Rovers lottery are J Birkitt (V1387), I Hall (I4564), S Lewis (S1991), M Rana (C6987), n Parker (L5488). Travellers rest meal voucher: R Blackburn (V0135).