Featherstone boss happy to finish season on a high

Featherstone Rovers win the Betfred Championship Shield. Picture: Rob Hare
Featherstone Rovers win the Betfred Championship Shield. Picture: Rob Hare

Featherstone Rovers boss John Duffy admitted he was grateful to finish the 2018 season on a high after his side clinched the Championship Shield on Sunday afternoon.

Rovers produced a stunning second-half performance to score 34 points after the break with Leigh only crossing on one occasion after Featherstone had led 8-6 at the interval.

The win stretched Featherstone’s winning run to nine games with their last defeat coming during the regular season against London Broncos.

“It is good to finish the season with a positive after not getting the top four,” said Duffy.

“We are still gutted about that but I am glad we were able to bring something to the fans. They were absolutely phenomenal, it is fantastic to give the supporters something back because it has been a long tough season.”

Duffy also paid tribute to the retiring Ian Hardman, who kicked seven goals in Sunday’s triumph.

Duffy added: “He has been a fantastic captain and player for this club and he has broke records. Not only that, he is a champion bloke, whoever he meets that is what everyone says about him. I wish him all the best for the future, he has been an absolute star.

“Today, he was superb for us. He led from the front, he was tough and he was all over the park for us.”

Rovers were forced to draft in three players from the Leeds Rhinos academy due to injuries and suspensions. Leigh and Featherstone were both granted special permission to sign additional players ahead of the fixture and Duffy says the rules need to be changed next season.

He said: “They have been absolutely fantastic all week. You can tell each one of them is going to be a superstar.

“I don’t think the game at our level looks to good at the minute, so the cut-off date needs to be addressed. It is not good going to a game with 13 or 14 men but I think our lads have been superb and so were Leigh.”