‘Big-match mentality’ is the key for Rovers

Half-backs Andy Kain (pictured) and Liam Finn are "playing out of their skin" says Rovers coach Ryan Sheridan.
Half-backs Andy Kain (pictured) and Liam Finn are "playing out of their skin" says Rovers coach Ryan Sheridan.

Coach Ryan Sheridan wants table-toppers Featherstone Rovers to apply a “big-game mentality” to all their remaining matches this season.

Rovers regained top spot in the Kingstone Press Championship with Thursday’s impressive 30-16 win at Halifax.

They are two points clear of closest rivals Sheffield whose scheduled visit to Featherstone this Sunday has been postponed because the Eagles play Leigh in Saturday’s Northern Rail Cup final.

Sheridan believes the free weekend will benefit his players after two victories in five days against Halifax and Batley.

“It has dropped all right. We’ve had a tough period and it will allow us to give a bit of time back to the players,” he said.

“Over the last few years we haven’t had much in terms of time off. Now and again it’s good for the players to have time to spend with their families so it’s probably come at a good time and obviously we can then refocus and look forward to the next game at Swinton which will be another tough match.

“It’s has been a bit of rocky road getting back to the top of the table but performances have been building and we’ve worked hard to get there.

“The key for us now is applying a big-game mentality to each match we play from now on.”

Sheridan was delighted with his side’s display at Halifax.

“It was a great performance. There’s nothing too flashy about us at present but we are working extremely hard and there are a lot of quality performances in there from 1 to 17,” he said.

“There are still quite a few areas we can definitely improve on but the thing is that we are working really hard and we are back to something like the Featherstone of old defensively.

“I think how the players have managed themselves over this recent period has been a key factor and the things we’ve done in training as well.

“We have some great leaders. Liam Finn and Andy Kain are playing out of their skin, our two number nines have been outstanding and our pack has been immense.

“As a half-back you’d love to play behind a pack like that and we’ve also got lots of quality in our outside backs.”