Hardman: Centurions will be a tough test

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FEATHERSTONE Rovers full-back Ian Hardman expects a “very tough game” against Leigh in tonight’s play-off match at Big Fellas Stadium.

Rovers have beaten Leigh three times this season but but Hardman (pictured) says they are taking nothing for granted against the Centurions.

“Obviously, it would be great for us to get to a third successive Grand Final but we know there is a very tough game against Leigh to get through first,” he said.

“They’ve been in a great run of form towards the end of the season and they’ll be confident going into the match so it’s certainly not a foregone conclusion.

“We’ve beaten them three times and that gives us a bit of a boost but there wasn’t much in any of those games and they’ve improved a lot since we last played so it will be a totally different game.

“We beat them in the Northern Rail semi-final but we were all massively disappointed with the NRC final result against Halifax and that really gave us a kick to make sure we make it to the Grand Final. We’ve been playing well and we’re keen to right some of the things that went wrong that day.”

It could be the last match played in the stadium under its current guise as the club’s famous Railway End terracing is set to be replaced by a stand during the off-season but Hardman says they aren’t focusing on anything other than the on-field action.

“It will be a special occasion for the fans to be at the ground for what could be the last game there as it currently is,” he said. “But we need to put that out of our minds and concentrate on our job. There’s always pressure on us to do well.

“The fans have seen us play in a lot of finals recently and they’re expecting us to get through again this year but we set high standards for ourselves as players as well so we just have to focus on ensuring we deliver on those goals.”