Brian McDermott reacts to Featherstone’s 1895 Cup final defeat

Drew Darbyshire
Brian McDermott Featherstone Rovers

Featherstone coach Brian McDermott believes his side will learn lessons from their defeat to Leigh in the 1895 Cup semi-final.

The Rovers lost 30-16 to the Centurions in a battle of the promotion-chasing Championship heavyweights at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Speaking after the game, McDermott said: “It stopped becoming a contest for the final 15. Up to that point we were well in  the contest but we never had a grip of it.

“They’ve got some strengths and some really big boys. We handled them for a while but not for the final 15.

“It is disappointing but we will play them another few times this year and it gives us real clarity where we need to be better.

“It is a learning experience but I’m not sure its a good one.

“Without getting too romantic about it, we put a lot of effort into that and we desperately wanted to win so there are some upset people in the changing rooms but the reaction could be valuable.

“If there is a reaction, not just in what we did physically but how we knock our next plan together, a loss like that can be really helpful.”

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Brian McDermott on Mark Kheirallah blow

France international Mar Kheirallah had an impressive game at full-back for Featherstone but had to be helped off the field at full-time after picking up a knock on his knee.

McDermott added: “He got a bang on his knee. He has got a bruised leg so let’s just hope thats all it is.

“There were another couple of guys on the field where we thought ‘what on earth are you doing?’ and that happens sometimes. You are playing in a game where the intensity cranks up a bit. You end up giving high shots away.

“It is a horrible stage not to nail your own game, I wouldn’t say anyone played poorly in that team but we had a few guys who didn’t nail their own performance and you do feel for them because it is on the highest stage. When I’m talking about guys who didn’t nail their own performance I’m not talking about Mark Kheirallah, I thought he was great today.”

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