Fev seek Fax revenge

Featherstone Rovers coach Daryl Powell admits his side will not be short of motivation ahead of Thursday’s Co-operative Championship Grand Final re-match with Halifax RLFC.

Rovers were winning last year’s Grand Final 22-4 after 53 minutes, but Halifax staged a remarkable comeback and snatched glory through Ben Black’s drop goal and six months on it is a defeat that still hurts Featherstone fans.

Speaking after Featherstone’s 36-6 victory over Batley on Sunday, Powell said: “Halifax haven’t played this weekend so they’ll be feeling good about themselves, but we’ve got plenty of motivation to play against Halifax.

“We’ll be looking to use all of that while at the same time being focused on playing our game in the right way.”

On that famous Grand Final defeat, he said: “You never forget things like that, do you?

“We were disappointed, but we had a fantastic year last year. It’s now about moving on and concentrating on this season.”

Tim Spears and Sam Smeaton both played against Batley with ankle injuries and are likely to be assessed before Powell finalises his line up for Thursday’s clash.

Dual-registered signing Zak Hardaker is unavailable for Rovers after breaking his thumb in a non-rugby accident.

Halifax haven’t played since last Wednesday’s 60-6 Northern Rail Cup victory at Whitehaven and head coach Matt Calland dropped seven players for that match, but was impressed by what he saw.

“We are not going to get carried away,” he said. “But in those conditions and on that pitch we played some really good rugby.”

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