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Featherstone boss wants same intensity from players

Featherstone's Anthony Thackeray gets away from Hull's Bureta Faraimo to score his side's opening try in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Featherstone's Anthony Thackeray gets away from Hull's Bureta Faraimo to score his side's opening try in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Head coach John Duffy wants his players to carry the intensity they showed in the second half of the cup tie with Hull over into their return to the Betfred Championship this Saturday.

Rovers take on Leigh Centurions at the LD Nutrition Stadium (kick-off 6pm) in what is shaping up to be a “four-pointer” with defeat almost out of the question for the visitors if they are to achieve their top four aim.

Featherstone can go six points clear of the fifth-placed Centurions with only nine games remaining if they can complete a double over them.

Both sides showed they could mix it with Super League clubs in their sixth round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup ties so a heavyweight clash is in prospect and Rovers boss Duffy is hoping his players learned plenty from their game against Hull.

He said: “We caused them some problems in attacking areas which is pleasing.

“We probably didn’t need to force it as much as we did, but we were chasing the game.

“It’s a learning curve for us, but I’ll definitely take that second half into our next few games and we’ll look to play with that intensity into next Saturday then the Summer Bash.

“We’ve played a lot of games in a short amount of time in our league so we can have a bit of time off and regroup for a big two games against Leigh and Halifax.”

Duffy was pleased with the way his players gave Hull problems once they got over a poor start that saw them trailing in the first quarter.

He added: “I’m really proud of our boys in the second half.

“At half-time I just spoke about being us. I think we were a bit rabbits caught in the headlights in the first 15-20 minutes.

“Our error rate let us down and we need to be a lot more clinical than we have been.

“It was our own fault we were behind, our errors that gave them field position and there was some real sloppiness around the ruck for their tries early on. But once that had gone I thought we caused them some problems with the ball.

“We can take a lot from the second half performance going into our next two games.”

Rovers are set to be boosted by the return of dual-registered players from Leeds and loan man Mitch Clark. But they will be without forward Gareth Hock after he was banned for one game for punching in the match against Hull and Misi Taulapapa, suspended for two matches after being found guilty of a Grade B off-the-ball offence in the same game.