Leigh Centurions are nailed on for Super League, with Halifax now looking more likely to challenge them for promotion than stumbling Featherstone.
That’s the view of Salford boss Paul Rowley, who says we are now seeing a clear gulf in class between his former club Leigh and Rovers at the top of the Championship.
“I’m Leigh through and through and they are by far the best team,” Rowley tells Love Rugby League.
“I would say Halifax are ahead of Fev at the minute from what I have seen. I guess that will be taken as an insult but I don’t mean it to be.
“At first I thought Featherstone were streetwise with the camaraderie built from being together a long time. But I think they have messed with the team and it looks unsettled.”
Ambitious Featherstone were unbeaten at the top of the table until their defeat to Leigh at Tottenham in the 1895 Cup final at the end of May. Since then they have struggled defensively, lost to Leigh again in the Championship, while suffering a shock home defeat against Batley.
“In the final one looked like a professional team and one looked part-time,” Rowley adds on the new Love Rugby League podcast. “They were streets apart.”
“I hope they find their form again as it would be a shame for them to peter out on this journey with a great fanbase but I can’t see anything or anybody challenging my old team Leigh and I’m looking forward to seeing the Centurions in Super League.”
So presuming Leigh go up, can they stay there this time?
“I absolutely think they can sustain Super League. Last time they were there by default and put their hand up to step in admirably but were on the back foot. They played the long game which is sometimes hard to take but if it means them getting up this time with a more strategic recruitment plan then absolutely they can stay there.
“Derek Beaumont is passionate and challenging. Anybody who puts their money into this great sport you have to respect that.”