Rovers coach Sharp hails ‘massive step forward’

Rovers coach Jon Sharp: " 'We need to learn that when we make an error we've got to able to defend it."
Rovers coach Jon Sharp: " 'We need to learn that when we make an error we've got to able to defend it."

Coach Jon Sharp felt Featherstone took a “massive step forward” with Sunday’s performance against Leigh Centurions.

After conceding 62 points in their first two Super 8s Qualifiers against Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants, Rovers went close pulling off an upset against the unbeaten Centurions who scrapped a 30-18 win after scoring eight points in the last four minutes.

“The thing for me is that on Sunday I saw a team that worked really hard. I thought the effort, the endeavour and the performance was really good,” said Sharp.

“We were a bit tougher, more resolute and showed a bit more determination and belief.

“It wasn’t two points but it was a massive step forward from the last two weeks.

“The effort and the performance gives us something to build on and gives us an opportunity to get our confidence back and our belief in one another.”

Sharp was pleased with the way Rovers responded after conceding two converted tries in the first six minutes.

“We started slowly and the rucks were too quick for us and before you know it, a team like Leigh can do that to you and that’s a lesson we need to learn but after the first six minutes I thought we played well,” he added.

“I thought we got a bit more composure into our defence and attacking-wise I thought we grew in confidence as the game went on.

“I thought we grew stronger and created some really good opportunities that ultimately we didn’t take enough of.”

Featherstone were punished for mistakes, which led to several Leigh tries.

Said Sharp: “We need to learn that when we make an error we’ve got to able to defend it.

“In this competition teams can quickly put scores on you and we’ve got to be able to handle that and deal with it and at the minute these errors are coming in and hurting us big time.

“Individuals are killing us and its the same individuals that have killed us for the last three weeks so it’s my job to do something about that but on the whole, as a team and a group of people, I thought they worked so hard for each other last Sunday.

“They made everyone really proud and the fans got behind the team at the end even though we’d been beaten.

“It was our third loss but I think it’s a really good journey the club as as whole is going on and there’s lots of positives to come from it.”

Rovers have a break this weekend before visiting Batley Bulldogs on Sunday, September 4, when both teams will be looking to achieve their first win in the Qualifiers.

The Bulldogs have lost to Hull KR, London and Huddersfield Giants.

Sharp said: “We know Batley will be really tough.

“Both sides are probably earmarking this is a victory.

“We will need look where we are at bodies-wise. We had 14 blokes training on Thursday. Sammy Day played last Sunday and he hadn’t trained all week and that’s the situation we are in as a team.

“We’ll freshen them up this week because we’ve got some busted bodies after a really tough game against Leigh and then we’ll get them ready to go against Batley.”