COACH John Duffy is looking for further improvement from Featherstone Rovers in Sunday’s third Super 8s Qualifier at Widnes Vikings.
Rovers collected their first Qualifiers point with last weekend’s 32-32 draw at London Broncos in Duffy’s third game in charge but he believes there are still areas they need to work on.
He wants players to concentrate harder and for longer periods especially in defence.
“We just need to focus on ourselves. It’s a Super League team again this weekend so the intensity will rise,” Duffy told the Express.
“We will be going out to enjoy it as well. It will be another fast track at Widnes with it being a 3G pitch.
“We’ve just got to try to concentrate for longer periods in the game and just keep getting better at what we’ve been doing.
“I’m looking for a bit more consistency, especially in defence.
“It’s not a team thing, it’s just lapses in concentration from individuals.
“It’s something we will have to change in training.
“We changed our error stuff last week and that seemed to work so we’ll have to do something about our concentration. I think once we’ve boxed that off we’ll be hard to score against.”
Duffy is pleased with the way the attacking play is shaping up in the short period he has been at the club.
“We’ve come in and tried to change things round in attack a little bit but it does take time,” he added.
“The lads are all buying into it and they all understand why we are doing it. It’s just part of a learning curve and that’s why we’ve got to focus on ourselves.
“It was still a bit frustrating at London and we’ve still a lot of work to do but we are getting there.
“The effort from the boys was superb in red hot conditions.
“We fought to get back in the game and came up with some lovely skills to score our points. Hopefully, we can just keep better each week.
“We looked after the ball a little bit better and we started a bit better than the previous week.
“We played for the full 80 and came up with some good skill at the end to score a nice try but we still conceded some soft points.”
Duffy is pleased with the form of prop Sam Brooks who is set to face his former club on Sunday. He joined Rovers after being released by Widnes.
“I think Sam’s performances have got better each week,” he said.
“He has been phenomenal in the last two games and he can only get better because he’s only played six games all season.
“He’s a handful when he’s on his game and he just needs a bit of game time. He absolutely loves the club and he’s enjoying his experience.”
Centre Chris Ulugia is set to miss the remaining Qualifiers after he damaged his shoulder scoring the late try that earned Rovers a draw at London.
Said Duffy: “We are all gutted for Chris.
“He came up with a big play with less than a minute remaining and was on the end of a big collision when he put the ball down. One of the pins has popped out of his shoulder so it looks like he’ll need to have surgery again. “
Prop Andy Bostock will undergo a scan after he sustained a knee injury at London.
James Lockwood is available for this Sunday’s game after completing a one-match ban.
Said Duffy: “Lockwood will be back in contention and there are some other lads chomping at the bit as well so hopefully we’ll have a good week and come up with a good a squad.”
Latest £500 Rovers lottery winners: G Munden (I0090), D Caddick (B0063), S Hirst (Y1023), E Wheatley (C4475), Friday (no winner, £2,750 rollover). £5 consolation prizes: T King (V1931), R Speight (V0813), M Ross (W1131).