Coach Andy Hay believes Featherstone Rovers are in good shape mentally and physically to make an impact in the Kingstone Press Championship play-offs.
Rovers start their quest to reach the Grand Final for the fourth time in five seasons with a home tie on Sunday against Halifax who they pipped for second place after winning 20-4 at the Shay four weeks ago.
Sunday’s winners will have a bye in the second week of the play-offs and the losers will be have a home tie against the winners of one of the two elimination play-offs.
“Over the last five to six weeks, we’ve probably been playing finals every week because we know we needed to win games for that second position,” said Hay.
“We’ve been tested and it has toughened us up mentally and physically and we should be ready for Halifax and ready to have a good crack at the play-offs.”
“The remit when I came in was to finish second. I probably haven’t done it the way I wanted to and we have scraped through a few games and lost a couple we didn’t need to but we got there.
“Now we’ve got the play-offs and we are going look at that as a new competition. We can get together as a team and hopefully play a bit of football.
“We are guaranteed two home games so that’s big for us because we are in front of our own crowd. Hopefully, we can get plenty of people down here for the first game on Sunday and they can get behind the team.”
Caretaker player-coach Scott Murrell will be in charge of Halifax on Sunday.
Since their recent defeat against Featherstone, Fax have parted company with coach Karl Harrison.
“The win at Halifax was our best performance in the last two months. We’ve got to repeat that and Halifax will be coming here to not let us do it,” added Hay.
“They will have picked the video to pieces. I know they got a lot of stick over that defeat.
“They’ve had a tough year the same as we have. They are a big club with big aspirations and they probably think they should have finished second so I’d have thought they’ll be coming here to prove a point from the last game.
“If we can get over Halifax on Sunday, we get a week off and that will be a big bonus for us. It will freshen us up a bit.
“There are a lot of sore bodies and it might give us a chance to get someone back or if someone takes a knock on Sunday it will give them another week’s rest so we are looking at getting a win and some time off to recover.”