Rovers aim to turn tables on Broncos

Rovers will be checking on the fitness of prop Jordan Baldwinson ahead of Sunday's game. Picture: Bob Nunn.
Rovers will be checking on the fitness of prop Jordan Baldwinson ahead of Sunday's game. Picture: Bob Nunn.

Featherstone Rovers aim to make amends for a surprise home defeat against London Broncos when they visit The Hive for Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash.

The Broncos, who are vying with Featherstone for a top-four place, won 24-8 at Big Fellas Stadium on Good Friday but Rovers coach Andy Hay is confident his side can turn the tables this weekend.

“We’ve kicked on since Easter and we’ve improved every week. We just need to keep doing that,” said Hay.

“There is no reason why we can’t go to London and be confident of coming away with a win.

“I think we let ourselves down badly when we played them at home. The boys didn’t perform and we want to make up for that.

“London are one of our rivals for the top four and that’s what made it so disappointing when we played them on Good Friday. We just didn’t turn up. They were there for the taking and we had an opportunity to take two points from them but we didn’t.

“The Broncos are a decent side and I think they’ve changed quite a few players since we played them here but so have we. We are expecting a good game this Sunday. It’s a good field and it’s good for open rugby.”

Featherstone have a 100 per cent away record this season after winning at Whitehaven (twice), Doncaster, Halifax, Batley and North Wales.

They regained fourth place in the table last Sunday by climbing above Dewsbury who lost to leaders Leigh.

“It’s good to be in the top four but it is who is in there at the end of the year that counts,” added Hay.

“London are going to be in the mix at the end and we want to be in the top four so it’s a big game for us this Sunday. The two points this weekend could probably make a difference to the top-four at the end of the year.”

Apart from long-term casualties Matt Nicholson and Liam Walmsley, Rovers are close to full strength for the first time this season.

Reni Maitua is fit after missing last Sunday’s 72-0 win against Workington and Hay will also check on Will Sharp and Jordan Baldwinson.

“We didn’t pick of any new injuries last Sunday and Gaz Carvell and Paul Wood both came through all right,” said Hay.

“We are just waiting to see how Baldwinson recovers from his knock the previous week and we are looking for Sharp to get back to 100 per cent after a back niggle.

“Baldwinson got a bang on his neck, shoulder and arm. I don’t think the rest will do him any harm. He had played in every game for us so far and he deserved a week off.

“It was touch and go whether Maitua played last Sunday with a slight ankle injury. It wasn’t worth the risk because it could have made it a lot longer injury than it was.”