Rovers boss: There were promising signs

Andy Hay: 'I thought all the players put their hand up and had a go."
Andy Hay: 'I thought all the players put their hand up and had a go."

Featherstone Rovers coach Andy Hay felt his players “had a really good dig” in Sunday’s pre-season match at Castleford Tigers which the Championship team lost 18-0.

“There were some promising signs. There is a little bit to work on but we expected that. It was our first pre-season game and we’ll be better for it,” said Hay.

“We haven’t done a lot of work in attack but we defended well and there was some good attitude from the players.

“I thought all the players put their hand up and had a go.

“We can look at the video and see things we need to work on in the next four or five weeks before the season starts.

“It gives us a good base to say this is what we are doing okay and this is what we need to fix up. It’s been a good exercise for us.”

Hay picked out Jamie Cording, Jack Bussey Matt James, Nathan Chappell, Jordan Baldwinson, Kyran Johnson and Sam Irwin for praise.

“I thought Jamie Cording had a very good game. I brought him off for a rest in the first-half but he didn’t need it,” he said.

“Kyran Johnson played on the wing before finishing the game at full-back and he showed he is a tough player. He plays with his heart and looked good.

“I was pleased with Sam Irwin. I thought he showed some good glimpses and he looks very sharp.

“Everyone who played deserved a game and young Jack Coventry and Luke Cooper played okay when they went on and didn’t look out of place.

Ian Hardman (wrist), Liam Walmsley (head) and Andy Ellis (head) sustained knocks but Hay said they were not serious.

“Liam Walmsley got a whack and he was a bit dizzy at the time but he’s okay now,” he added.

“It was good to see him play because he was out nearly all last season with a broken arm.

“Will Sharp and Tim Spears missed the game with niggly injuries. It wasn’t worth the risk playing them although they were both desperate to play.”