Rovers coach: We won’t be phased by occasion at Blackpool

Rovers coach Jon Sharp: "It's not about setting the record straight this Sunday."
Rovers coach Jon Sharp: "It's not about setting the record straight this Sunday."

Coach Jon Sharp maintains revenge will not be on the agenda when Featherstone face Halifax in the final fixture of this year’s Championship Summer Bash at Blackpool Football Club’s Bloomfield Road ground on Sunday (5.15 kick-off).

Halifax snatched a dramatic 20-19 win with Steve Tyrer’s last minute penalty goal when the teams met at Big Fellas Stadium early last month but Sharp insists that is now in the past.

“We put that defeat to bed pretty quickly and moved on,” he said.

“We thought we played really well and thought possibly we should have come away with something but we didn’t.

“It’s not about setting the record straight this Sunday - it’s just about two good teams coming up against each other and may the best team win and not let it be decided by a referee’s or touch judge’s call in the last seconds.”

Sunday’s game will be shown live on Sky Sports, along with all the other five Summer Bash fixtures over the two days.

Rovers lost 28-10 at Batley Bulldogs in the Challenge Cup last month in their only previous appearance in front of the Sky cameras this season but Sharp felt there was mitigation that day.

“Having three players coming off injured didn’t help us at all at Batley,” he said.

“After 60 minutes there was still nothing in it but the injuries to a couple of the players eventually caught up with us.

“We’ve an experienced group of blokes who have played at the top level and they won’t be phased by the occasion at Blackpool this Sunday.

“The Summer Bash is a great concept. It’s a really good day out for everyone involved in the Championship and I think it creates that big game feel as well.

“We just need the fans to get behind the team this Sunday like they have done every week.

“There was a fantastic turn out of supporters at Dewsbury last weekend- it was very impressive.

“The guys show their appreciation afterwards because they know how expensive it is for fans to follow their team. We really appreciate what the fans do for us and we are working hard for them. It will be great to see them there in numbers on Sunday.

“The take up of tickets for Blackpool is encouraging. I think the club have sold about 500 or 600 and we are hoping for a few more to be sold.”

Fourth-placed Rovers are two points clear of Halifax.

Sharp’s men go into Sunday’s game in excellent form after successive victories against Whitehaven, London and Dewsbury.

Last weekend’s 31-0 win at Dewsbury put them level on points with third-placed Bradford Bulls who have yet to visit Big Fellas Stadium this season.

Featherstone’s other remaining home games are against Swinton, Whitehaven and Workington while they have tricky away matches to come at Leigh Centurions, Sheffield Eagles, Batley Bulldogs and Halifax at The Shay.

“We have to be at our best every week to win games,” said Sharp.

“We have to turn up and have a good attitude because teams are beating one another when you least expect it and that’s very much about attitude.

“We have some tough away games to come but it gives us an opportunity to get rid of these teams as well. If they steal a march on us and we don’t play them then we haven’t got that opportunity.”