Former captain Dixon warns Rovers to be wary of Challenge Cup upset

Featherstone knocked out Bradford, Wakefield, Castleford and Leeds on their way to the 1967 Wembley final in which they beat Barrow.

Featherstone knocked out Bradford, Wakefield, Castleford and Leeds on their way to the 1967 Wembley final in which they beat Barrow.

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Malcolm Dixon, who captained Featherstone when they lifted the Challenge Cup for the first time in 1967, has warned Rovers not to take anything for granted in Sunday’s fifth round tie at North Wales Crusaders.

Three-times Challenge Cup winners Rovers will be strong favourites at Wrexham against their League One opponents but former prop forward Dixon believes they need to be wary of becoming giant-killing victims.

“As we know at Featherstone from my playing days and more recently when we beat Castleford Tigers three years ago, cup shocks do happen,” said Dixon who led Rovers to victory over Barrow at Wembley 48 years ago .

“We are in good form away from home but we have to be careful not to take anything for granted.

“North Wales will be looking to cause an upset and will come out of the traps strongly and put us on the back foot. It’s important our lads dig in and weather the storm at the start of the game. We need to be strong defensively and I’m sure this is something they will be working on this week.”

Rovers beat Bradford, Wakefield, Castleford and Leeds on their way to the 1967 final which they won 17-12.

Dixon added: “When I go to games at Post Office Road, people still take about it all these years later and now with the internet and computers people can do wonderful things bringing these memories back to life.

“When we competed in the cup it was a good distraction from the test of trying to get two points in league.

“Lose in the league and there is always another week to put it right, lose in the cup and you’re out.

“In fact, our league form dipped most weeks before a cup tie as players didn’t want to get injured and miss the tie. A good cup run can be a great boost for team spirit and I’m confident the lads will still think getting as far in the cup as possible is just as important as in my day.

“I’m confident the lads will do the business and then the big boys enter the cup. Hopefully a repeat draw and result as three years ago when nobody gave us a chance would be fantastic.”