“Fragile” Featherstone fearing long Kheirallah lay off

Mark Kheirallah Featherstone Rovers SWpix
Mark Kheirallah in action for Featherstone | Photo: John Clifton/SWpix

Featherstone boss Brian McDermott fears star full-back Mark Kheirallah suffered a serious knee injury in a victory over Newcastle he described as “not good enough”.

The France international was carried off before half-time in a 58-22 Championship win, appearing to twist his knee after tripping while passing the ball. He left the ground in a knee brace and crutches as promotion-chasing Rovers bounced back from defeats to Leigh and Batley.

“Attack-wise we looked a different team without him in there,” McDermott said.

“I don’t know how he is yet. Let’s hope it’s not an eight-monther. But I think we are staring down the barrel of something like a six-week type of injury.”

Kheirallah had been in electric form before the injury and the setback is expected to see Brandon Pickersgill get a run in the side after losing his place to the former Toulouse man. 

Rovers also saw Junior Moors pick up a shoulder injury. Johnathon Ford was ruled out with a tight groin in the warm up having been set to make his first start for the club.

Despite the victory, McDermott was not impressed to see his side concede four tries to the Thunder.

Featherstone boss unimpressed despite win

“Brutally honestly, it was not good enough,” McDermott added. 

“I think Denis Betts will look at some of the stuff they did and will be smart enough to realise we dropped off. They have some enthusiasm but there were too many soft tries. 

“We have a fragility about us at the moment near the try line that we haven’t had. We have got it and we need to get rid of it.”

New signing Jack Broadbent scored four tries on his second Featherstone start since signing from Leeds and now has six tries in two games.

“Jack has been good but there are bits in his game that need to improve,” McDermott added.

“I know I’m Mr Negative at the moment but that is where we are as a team. We are not good as a team. I thought Jack was involved in one or two errors and some hesitancy which is not him at all. He is better than that.”

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