Sharp happy with win despite injury setbacks

Jon Sharp admitted he was delighted to see Featherstone reach the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup for the first time in 20 years, but says the result came at a cost to the Championship high-flyers.

Rovers’ 24-12 victory over Halifax on Thursday sealed their place in the last eight and was achieved despite serious injuries to two players.

“It’s not about performance it’s about winning, but it’s come at a price,” said Sharp.

“It looks like (Chris) Ulugia may have broken his ankle and (Luke) Briscoe’s damaged the ligaments in his ankle, so both could be 6-8 weeks so they’re big losses for us.

“I think it also shows how big an achievement tonight’s been with the disruption and injuries we’ve had. Playing with a 15-man bench on a four-day turnaround from Sunday to Thursday has been an absolutely unbelievable effort by everyone.

“Heart, endeavour, determination – those things were key and skill as well. I thought defensively we were very physical particularly the first half, and I thought that put a marker down for us.

“We managed to hang in there – late on we came up with smart plays, great pivots, (Anthony) Thackeray in particular was great – he got hold of the game along with Keal Carlile and I thought they were super leaders for us.”

Thursday’s tie was screened live on Sky Sports and Sharp believes it was a great advertisement for the Championship.

“It’s a good competition – there’s some good teams in there and some good individual players in there as well,” he added.

“It’s very competitive each week and I thought both teams demonstrated they’re good football teams.

“We came into it winning our last four, while they’ve won their last six. Featherstone versus Halifax games are always tough, but I thought we handled the occasion well.”

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