Mixed emotions for Sharp after cup exit

Featherstone head coach Jon Sharp admitted he had mixed emotions after his side were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Leeds on Friday.

The Rhinos sealed their place in the last four with a 58-0 victory, but Sharp felt his team hadn’t performed to their capabilities.

“It’s mixed emotions really,” he said. “A bit of frustration because we know we can play better, but at the moment I am really pleased for the attitude of the players.

“The Middle 8s last year was really good for us and that has had a good influence on how we played this year – being in the top four all year has certainly been a by-product of being in the Middle 8 games against really good Super League teams and I think today will also help.

“There’s lessons to learn certainly. Leeds were patient and kicked out of the set and kicked out really well on last plays. We felt we were a little erratic at times.

“At one point we were at 40/45 percent set completion rate whilst Leeds were up in the high 80s and I think knocked us around a bit more than what the (James) Lockwood sin-binning did.

“That’s part and parcel of the occasion. That’s part and parcel of coming up against a good team that put you under the pump and I think that is where we let ourselves down a little bit.”

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