If history is anything to go by, Sunday’s Summer Bash finale could be as intense as anything we have seen all season.
Featherstone and Halifax bring a close to the weekend’s action, with the end result set to have huge implications in the race for the top four.
But regardless of that, Sunday’s match is massive for both sets of supporters, given the fierce rivalry the two clubs have shared since the beginning of 2010.
Both clubs have battled it out in the upper echelons of the Championship for a number of years, but it was Halifax’s dramatic Golden Point victory in the 2010 Grand Final that really sparked the rivalry between the two teams, and it has shown no signs of petering out since.
On the whole, it has been Halifax who have won the big games between these two teams; Fax won the 2012 Northern Rail Cup at Bloomfield
Road, the venue for Sunday’s showdown, while they have also won a number of games by one point in the previous six years.
Fev have had their own triumphs too, making it one of the most unpredictable games in the annual Championship calendar.
With the two teams set to lock horns again, Featherstone star Jamie Cording did nothing to talk down the occasion.
“It is a rivalry, no doubt,” Cording said.
“It’s literally like a battle every time we play Halifax. It’s always a tough encounter and they have a mix of big, physical players and also skillful players. They’re going to be a challenge for us and I’m really looking forward to it.”
While the latest instalment of their blossoming rivalry will be shown in front of a national audience, Cording stressed the importance of the game for both teams in their search of a Qualifiers spot.
“In the context, it is a really big game,” said Cording.
“If we can do the job we go third and two points clear of Bradford. There’s still a long way to go in the season, but going into the closing stages it’s going to be big for us to have a bit more of a foothold in the top four.
“Every game is must win, because the results in the Championship have been so close. There’s been a load of upsets; we went to Oldham and they turned us over.”
The former Huddersfield star also paid testament to the Championship, which continues to thrive under the current Super 8s system.
“The standard seems to increase year on year.
“We’ve got a couple more full-time teams which means they’re well conditioned, and I think the new system has ramped everyone’s performance up because there is always something to play for, whether it be to make Super League, make the top four or fighting for survival to League One. The calibre of players the Championship is attracting is getting better and upping the standards.”