Rovers coach will not take Lions lightly

Rovers coach Ryan Sheridan. PICTURE: BOB NUNN.
Rovers coach Ryan Sheridan. PICTURE: BOB NUNN.

Featherstone coach Ryan Sheridan will not underestimate bottom side Swinton Lions in tomorrow’s (Sunday) Kingstone Press Championship game at Leigh Sports Village Stadium.

Rovers, who regained top spot in the table with a 30-16 win at Halifax two weeks ago, will be strong favourites to complete a league double over the Lions after beating them 38-18 at Big Fellas Stadium earlier this season.

But Sheridan will be wary of slipping up tomorrow, especially after Featherstone’s shock defeats against York and Doncaster this year.

“We know we can’t take anyone lightly when we play so-called lower teams. There’s another side out there that wants to beat you,” he said.

“There are always different circumstances in games and it’s up to us to make sure we keep performing.

“There are likely to be many twists and turns over the next month or two and for us it’s a case of making sure our application and attitude is spot on. We have to apply a big-game mentality to every game regardless of who the opponents are.”

After Sunday’s match, Featherstone’s remaining league fixtures are against Dewsbury, Whitehaven and Sheffield at home and Workington, Keighley and Hunslet away.

The home game against Sheffield has been re-arranged for Wednesday, August 28 (7.30 kick-off). It will be televised live on Premier Sports.

It was was scheduled to be played last Sunday but was postponed because Sheffield met Leigh in the Northern Rail Cup final last weekend.

“We’ve been involved in these run ins for a number of years now and we know what what needs to be done ,” added Sheridan.

“We have had a well-earned break with last Sunday’s postponement and the players will hopefully be refreshed.

“We need to get straight back on the horse and build on our performances over the last month which have been great.

“Sunday’s game is at Leigh Sports Village which is a nice pitch for us but the key thing is taking care of our own game. We know what threats Swinton pose.

“We have a focused and tough group of players that are working extremely hard in training and during games.

“We’ll treat every game from now on as a big game and we can’t look at it any other way.”

Sheridan is pleased with Featherstone’s recent form in victories against Halifax, Batley, Workington and Barrow.

He said: “The players are applying a lot of things we’ve been working on in our training over the last six weeks and it’s paying dividends.

“We are back to something like we were and I think we’ve got a bit of snarl back. We are defending on the front foot which is great to see.

“We have a really tough, hard-working group of blokes in our pack. If we keep them on top of their game it will be a key for us this year.

“We are looking pretty healthy at the moment but we know in the course of a week or two that could change. It’s a case of looking at it week to week and making sure we put the best team out on the park we possibly can.”

Prop James Green, signed on a month’s loan from Hull Kingston Rovers, will be in contention to face Swinton.

Second-rower Charlie Martin has not figured in Featherstone’s first-team since he joined them on loan from Castleford last month.

Sheridan said: “It’s just unfortunate that with the breaks we’ve had without a game and obviously the blokes in front of him playing well it’s been difficult to fit Charlie in.”