Rovers coach: We need to control the ball

Andy Hay: "Luckily we got away with it on Monday but we can't do it every week."  Picture: Matthew Merrick.
Andy Hay: "Luckily we got away with it on Monday but we can't do it every week." Picture: Matthew Merrick.

Andy Hay wants Featherstone Rovers to eliminate errors and penalties in Sunday’s tricky game against Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium (2pm).

The Rovers boss was pleased to make a winning start to the Kingstone Press Championship campaign with Monday’s 28-14 victory over promoted Hunslet Hawks but he felt his team made hard work of their task.

“We made it hard for ourselves against Hunslet,” he said.

“If you are going to control the ball like we did and turn over cheap possession and give penalties away at the back end of sets you are going to make every game hard.

“Luckily we got away with it on Monday but we can’t do it every week and we’ve got to learn from that very quickly because we have a good side to play this Sunday.

“I don’t think our discipline is normally that bad but I just think we can play very dumb at times.

“When you work hard and get to the end of sets there is no excuse for giving away a penalty.

“Tim Spears was sin-binned against Hunslet. I’m not sure whether he tripped the player or not but 10 minutes in the sin bin on a kick chase that is going to no one is just poor.

“Some of the players will have to take a long hard look at themselves about what they’ve done in the game.

“We showed some good stuff at times but it’s very hard when you are coming off the back of defending all the time, especially like we were in the first-half, to show what you are good at.”

Hay expects a tough test against Doncaster who lost their opening fixture 26-22 at London Broncos after trailing 20-0 at half-time.

Rovers failed to beat Doncaster last season. They lost 22-16 at the Keepmoat Stadium and the teams drew 22-22 at Featherstone.

“Doncaster have a good side and Paul Cooke plays well for them,” added Hay.

“They had two or three good Hull players in there last week as well so we are not sure who we will face but it’s always a tough game against Doncaster.

“They have smart players and if we turn over the amount of ball we did against Hunslet we will get punished.

“We need to have good look at the video and fix up what went wrong.

“Quite a bit of it is to do with focus and just avoiding errors and giving away penalties.

“The players need to realise the game can be a lot easier if you play a little bit smarter.”