Featherstone boss: Shield is next best thing for us to win

Featherstone Rovers will be hoping to have something to celebrate after the Shield final on Sunday. Picture: Dec Hayes.
Featherstone Rovers will be hoping to have something to celebrate after the Shield final on Sunday. Picture: Dec Hayes.

Featherstone Rovers boss John Duffy insists that winning the Championship Shield would be the “next best thing” for his side after missing out on the Qualifiers.

Seven wins from seven in the Super 8s has set up a home clash with Leigh Centurions in Sunday’s showpiece.

Rovers have struggled to name a full squad throughout their Shield campaign but have managed to stretch their winning run to eight games ahead of this weekend’s clash with the Centurions.

“We were bitterly disappointed not to get in the four and this was the next best thing and we have just got to go and take it now,” said Duffy.

“It is always a great game against Leigh, it is always a great atmosphere as well, so hopefully that will be the same on Sunday as well and hopefully we can come away with a win.”

Featherstone go into Sunday’s final as heavy favourites after Leigh were beaten 52-6 by Dewsbury Rams last weekend.

The Centurions named just 13 men on the teamsheet ahead of the defeat but Duffy insists he won’t be thinking about a possible lack of numbers for Leigh this weekend.

He said: “That doesn’t matter because we beat them here with 14 men. It doesn’t matter how many they have got or how many we have got, it is whoever wants it most on the day – like in any final.

“It is not going to be a super play that wins the game, it is going to be some tough rugby with completion that is error free. And we have got to be disciplined as well.”

Duffy admitted that he was disappointed that the season was coming to a close after his side beat Barrow Raiders 34-6 on Sunday afternoon.

Martyn Ridyard produced another sparkling performance as he continues to improve following his return from injury.

Duffy added: “Riddy (Martyn Ridyard) is just getting into his stride a little built, so I am disappointed the season is going to end next week.

“We scored some good tries today and worked together as a unit.

“We probably need to work on our error rate, there were lots of errors and we need to fix our discipline, but I am really happy with the win.

“Our shifts in good ball were a bit lazy and a bit lethargic and our lead runs were poor as well.

“I thought when Matty Wildie went to nine he sharpened everything up and we exposed them a bit more.”