Rovers coach Sharp looks for big improvement

Featherstone head coach Jon Sharp: "We need a different attitude in every department."
Featherstone head coach Jon Sharp: "We need a different attitude in every department."

Coach Jon Sharp wants a response from Featherstone’s players in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship game against Hull Kingston Rovers at LD Nutrition Stadium.

Sharp was bitterly disappointed with the display in last Saturday’s 42-16 Summer Bash defeat against London Broncos and he is looking for a big improvement this weekend.

Table-toppers Hull KR, relegated from Super League last season, have won 14 of their 15 league games so far and are six points clear of Featherstone.

Sharp’s men are level on points with London and Toulouyse but have now slipped to fourth place in the table on points difference.

“I am looking for a response this Sunday. We need a different attitude in every department,” said Sharp.

“Hull KR are the best team in the competition and we’ve got to rise to that challenge.

“On their day, Hull KR are the stand-out team. They are setting the standard, everyone is trying to knock them off and it’s not proving easy.”

Featherstone can take confidence from their battling display in a 30-22 defeat at Hull KR on Good Friday when a badly depleted team went close to pulling off a surprise win.

Lacking numerous key players, Featherstone were 22-18 ahead with 16 minutes remaining but were pipped by two late tries.

“I thought we were unlucky in that game - I thought we should have won,” said Sharp.

“We just lacked a little bit of composure at the end.

“There was a kick out on the full and then we didn’t react to a a scratchy kick and they scored in the last five minutes to win it.”

Featherstone lost two of their first three home matches this season but since then they have won six successive home fixtures including Challenge Cup ties against Oldham and Halifax.

“We had a couple of blips at home early on but I think the weather and the conditions affected how we wanted to play and we didn’t handle it well,” added Sharp who had no inkling that his team would perform so poorly against London last weekend.

“We’d won six out of six going into the game and we were playing really well. There was no sign of that performance whatsoever in what we’d done before” he said.

“We’d been really clinical in our play before Saturday and then we just didn’t look like the team we’d been watching for the previous six weeks.”

Featherstone were 12-0 down after just 10 minutes against London and Sharp felt the bad start proved very costly.

“We got off to a really poor start and I thought that affected how we played the rest of the game,” he said.

“It looked like we were nervous because we’d gone behind so early. I just thought we overplayed at times and never really gave ourselves a chance of getting back into the game.

“It was a very poor performance and a bad day at the office for us.

“We had a 50 per cent completion rate and didn’t respect the ball.

“London played well but we allowed them to and didn’t put them under any pressure.”