Featherstone captain Stu Dickens has called on the club’s passionate army of supporters to make their voices – and their flat caps – count in Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round tie at Warrington.
Rovers’ fans, many of whom will wear the traditional headgear in reference to their nickname as the ‘Cappers,’ will head for the Halliwell Jones Stadium looking to cause a major upset by sending the holders out of the Cup at the first hurdle.
Dickens said: “The fans will be very important for the game on Sunday. We have always had a good travelling support and hope that Sunday is no different.
“They are a vocal set of supporters and although the will be outnumbered on the day they will be crucial to our performance.”
Warrington completed a 56-8 victory over Featherstone in the fifth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup last year but on Sunday the outcome is far less uncertain given their opponents’ Co-operative Championship form.
Rovers are flying high at the top of the table with six straight wins and boast the best attacking and defensive records of all three professional divisions. Dickens, however, accepts that his team will head for Warrington as underdogs.
“Although most people expect us to lose, we are playing well in our division and this a good opportunity to see how far we have come since last year,” said Dickens.
“Warrington are a team full of internationals and are one of the form sides in Super League. We will have to play to the best of our ability – if we do that who knows what might happen on the day?”
Dickens admits that Sunday’s tie against Warrington is like a Cup final for Rovers and despite Featherstone’s strong Challenge Cup traditions, he believes he and his team-mates are under no pressure.
The prop said: “There’s no pressure on us, none whatsoever. We are playing a team who are second in Super League and we are all part time players so we are looking forward to testing ourselves against strong opposition.
“I think (coach) Daryl Powell will make sure we approach the game in a relaxed mood.
“We have been playing well and are very confident. We still have improvements to make, but it is still early on in the season.
“We have a good team spirit and togetherness which has shown in the six or seven good results this year, but we need to approach the game like any other and give a good account of ourselves.”