Half-back Kyle Briggs believes Featherstone Rovers need to recapture the form they showed at the end of the Championship campaign if they are to make an impact in the Super 8s Qualifiers.
Rovers clinched a Championship top-four spot by winning their final three matches against Batley, Halifax and Bradford but they are still looking for their first win in the Qualifiers after conceding 62 points against both Leeds and Huddersfield and narrowly losing to Leigh last weekend.
“If we had played like we had in the last three games of the regular season, we would have narrowed the margins down by a lot or even come out with some wins but we are just off the pace a bit at the minute,” said Briggs.
“Against Leigh, it was an improvement from the last two weeks but it was still not good enough and we need to improve again.
“We are just not being clinical enough and completing our sets.
“We are turning over some cheap ball in our own half and letting teams off the hook.
“We are in a different league now so we now need to kick on and learn from what we are doing and hopefully improve again in the next game .
“We were a bit slow coming out of the blocks against Leigh but we managed to grip up and started controlling their middles a bit more.
“As soon as we got the ball in our hands, we were able to apply a bit of pressure ourselves and that’s what it comes down to really. You need to build some pressure and put teams under the pump in this league and we are not doing enough of that at the minute. That is what is really killing us and costing us games.”
Briggs notched his 1,000th career point with his third goal in Sunday’s game.
The 28-year-old has now scored 569 points for Featherstone after previously playing for Sheffield (2014-15), Dewsbury (2014, loan), Bradford (2011), Harlequins (2011, loan), Doncaster (2008-09) and Hunslet (2008).
“I think I’m playing all right but there’s still a bit more to come,” he added.
“The boys getting us on the front foot allows me to do my thing. We’ve been speaking a lot about just getting over our opposite opponent and if everyone does that right we’ve got a chance.
“Individually, I think we all need to bring our ‘A’ game to the party a bit more often than we are at the minute.”
Rovers coach Jon Sharp was pleased with Briggs’s display against Leigh and with the performances of the team’s younger players.
“Briggs got hold of the game and I thought Craven supported him extremely well,” said Sharp.
“Briggs had a lot of pressure piled on him but he handled it really well. He is playing some of the best football he has played for the last few years.”
“Sam Day came in and played extremely well. I thought he gave us some speed around the ruck and won some penalties for us.
“Luke Cooper has come on a bundle this year and that’s one of the shining lights that we’ve got some young players in the team who look comfortable. Day, Ormondroyd, Cooper and Tagg coming in are all young players we are trying to develop and improve. They will all benefit from the experience.”