Rovers coach Sharp: Our destiny is in our hands

John Davies returns to face his former club Sheffield. Picture: Bob Nunn.
John Davies returns to face his former club Sheffield. Picture: Bob Nunn.

Featherstone coach Jon Sharp believes the formbook can be thrown out of the window for tomorrow night’s Championship clash at Sheffield Eagles.

Rovers will climb above Batley and Halifax to fourth place if they complete a league double over Sheffield who lost 28-16 at Big Fellas Stadium on Good Friday.

The Eagles have slipped to third bottom in the table after losing their last six matches but Sharp still expects another tough test.

“You can throw out the formbook when Sheffield play Featherstone because it’s like a cup final for them,” he said.

“We’ve got to be ready for that and we are. The team will be prepared to expect Sheffield at their very best.

“It’s another game we’ve got to win and that’s what we are focusing on.

“With regard to the top-four, it’s like knock-out football now for three or four teams so it was important we won against Whitehaven last Sunday. We now move on to the next game.

“The competition is wide open. The teams can all beat each other and if you don’t turn up ready to play you get beaten.

“It’s a fantastic competition because you never know what you are going to get from one week to the next.

“We’ve got to stay composed. We know what we need to do and our destiny is on our hands.

“We are not relying on anyone else. We just need to keep a balanced approach.”

Sharp felt that injuries, including late withdrawals, contributed to a disjointed display in last weekend’s 30-18 win against Whitehaven

“There were a lot of changes and it made things a lot tougher than they needed to be,” he said.

“We had some disruption in the team and it didn’t helped at all but the key for us was that we won.

“That was the aim and that was absolutely crucial to us.

“We’d take a bad performance and a win every day of the week because we are a stage now where every two points is crucial. We played great the previous week at Leigh and we got nothing for it.”

Sharp thought debutant winger James Duckworth, signed on loan from Hunslet Hawks, was unlucky to have two efforts ruled out against Whitehaven.

“In my opinion, Duckworth had two tries wrongly disallowed,” said Sharp.

“The referee said he was held up for one try and on the video footage you can see the ball clearly on the line. On the video there is no foot in touch for his second effort which was disallowed because they said he was in touch.”

Sharp welcomes back John Davies, Ian Hardman, Colton Roche, Misi Talapapa and Anthony Thackeray to his squad for tomorrow’s game but Rovers are without Danny Craven who was injured against Whitehaven.

The squad also includes Leeds Rhinos dual registered pair Jordan Baldwinson and Jordan Lilley.

The Rovers squad for tomorrow’s game is:

Channing, Taulapapa, Briggs, Thackeray, Griffin, Bostock, Davies, Spears, Hardman, Roche, Oromondroyd, Cording, Cooper, Tagg, Ellis, Foster, Baldwinson, Duckworth and Lilley.