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The Phantom Horseman

Match Thread: Batley v Featherstone Rovers Sunday 2nd February 2020

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Yay, the Championship is back!

We open with an always-popular visit to the Mount. Batley struggled quite badly in the Diskin era and Mount Pleasant wasn't the fortress it had become under Kear (though we had usually done ok there). They have a new (or returning) coach now in their record try-scorer Craig Lingard, with Shaun Lunt their standout signing in the off-season.

Think we have a reasonable idea of what our line-up might be, assuming there is no injury/suspension fallout from last Friday's game. Presumably Hall will be at full back, Blackmore one of the wings, Worthington and Hardcastle the centres, and with Leeds seemingly set on switching Newman to the wing there must be a chance we will have Luke Briscoe available. Either way, with Gareth Gale looking great and Conor Carey fully fit again, we aren't short of options for that other wing spot.

At half back, I'd say all the indications are that we'll continue with the Chisholm/McLelland combo that worked so well at the end of last season, given the number of times McLelland's name has been mentioned in interviews by people at the club. Jouffret has played very well in pre-season but will be sure to get his chances, indeed it wouldn't be a surprise if he were on the bench on Sunday as a back-up hooker/pivot.

Parata has looked really sharp at hooker in pre-season and most of the other forwards pretty much pick themselves assuming they are all fit, with possibly space for one Leeds DR player depending on who is available.

We were very good in patches in the 1st half against Leeds' youngsters, less so in the 2nd half, perhaps with the foot taken off the gas a bit. Webster has commented several times on how late in many of his squad were due to injuries etc and we may go into the 1st game a bit undercooked in terms of work done with ball in hand. We'll still start favourites to pick up the 2 points on Sunday.

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Great record at Batley not lost in the league there in years looking on their forum its a lot of gloom and doom - only the weather can hold us back making an immediate statement for me - id be extremely suprised to see us not come away with a win

Edited by elppaxr2i

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2 hours ago, marklaspalmas said:

Sunday will be our 100th Opening Day fixture. Only the second time ever we have started the season away to Batley. When was your first Opening Day game?

Hunslet at home, 1965, and we won!

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1 hour ago, marklaspalmas said:

Rovers opened that season against York in August 1939 Colin.

Thanks for that Mark. I had my face pressed to the barrier as I tried to see the length of the pitch. Kids used to go on the pitch at half time in those days and have a kick around.  Later because of the war years and most of our players were exempt from call up being miners we loaned quite a few players out to other clubs. Forerunner of DR?

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This will test my memory. I think it was 31st August 1963 v  Warrington and we lost 31-24 if I recall correctly. Im not sure whether that was the season opener or not. I didnt go again until Fev played Stanningley in the challenge cup in 1964. Fev scored a record 60 points at that time for the club. In the early years I worked at Kingswells department store and so was unable to attend matches regularly with them being played on Saturdays. But from 1965 Ive attended regularly home and away and will continue as long as I can.

Prediction

Batley 16 Fev 28

Att........1398

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I can remember that Stanningley game Phil. If I recall it was 60-2, and they scored first with a penalty goal from wide out on the left to the post at the P.O.R. end, and didn't Don Fox break a window with one of his conversions?

If you're there Mark, my first opening game was the 1960-61 season. If it was a home game I would have been there, but I can't remember going to an away game until Christmas eve 1960 when we lost away to Hunslet I believe? 

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2 hours ago, J Phil Loxton said:

This will test my memory. I think it was 31st August 1963 v  Warrington and we lost 31-24 if I recall correctly. Im not sure whether that was the season opener or not. I didnt go again until Fev played Stanningley in the challenge cup in 1964. Fev scored a record 60 points at that time for the club. In the early years I worked at Kingswells department store and so was unable to attend matches regularly with them being played on Saturdays. But from 1965 Ive attended regularly home and away and will continue as long as I can.

Prediction

Batley 16 Fev 28

Att........1398

Your lot only bringing 1300 then

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1 hour ago, Steve Slater said:

I can remember that Stanningley game Phil. If I recall it was 60-2, and they scored first with a penalty goal from wide out on the left to the post at the P.O.R. end, and didn't Don Fox break a window with one of his conversions?

If you're there Mark, my first opening game was the 1960-61 season. If it was a home game I would have been there, but I can't remember going to an away game until Christmas eve 1960 when we lost away to Hunslet I believe? 

Yeah youve jogged my memory about the window Steve. Fans used to always look behind to see if he could hit one. It was 60- 4 Steve they actually scored two goaIs I  believe. I think our previous record was 48. How times change.

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Don't think we'll worry you much this Sunday, poor defence so far from pre season.

Fev should be right up there this year, good luck but not too much this Sunday !!!

 

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21 hours ago, Steve Slater said:

I can remember that Stanningley game Phil. If I recall it was 60-2, and they scored first with a penalty goal from wide out on the left to the post at the P.O.R. end, and didn't Don Fox break a window with one of his conversions?

If you're there Mark, my first opening game was the 1960-61 season. If it was a home game I would have been there, but I can't remember going to an away game until Christmas eve 1960 when we lost away to Hunslet I believe? 

Dewsbury at home. We won 22-9 and Cyril Woolford scored two tries.

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I have been asked by frank the dj at the wellington.if any fev fans are planning to go to the welly for a sing song like last year.if so any idea on numbers and the time so frank can be available.

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2 hours ago, cally said:

I have been asked by frank the dj at the wellington.if any fev fans are planning to go to the welly for a sing song like last year.if so any idea on numbers and the time so frank can be available.

Posted this on fev fans facebook page as most of supporters are on that page than on TRL

There has been a reply from the supporters bus organiser he says between 11:45 - 12 he does not know exact numbers but says to get some extra staff on! 

Edited by elppaxr2i

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On 28/01/2020 at 12:49, marklaspalmas said:

Sunday will be our 100th Opening Day fixture. Only the second time ever we have started the season away to Batley. When was your first Opening Day game?

17th October, 1970. Beat Warrington 21-16 with 2 tries for Sammy Windmill and 1 for John Newlove. Harold Box kicked 6 goals. I went along because Charlie Stone was making his home début and I knew Charlie from Pontefract RU. I quickly realised that League was a much better sport than union and soon became hooked!

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Squads named
https://www.featherstonerovers.co.uk/news/squad-named-for-season-opener-5qa4m

Don't think there are too many surprises in our line-up at first glance. McLelland & Briscoe included as expected as is Jarrod O'Connor.

From a fans' point of view I think the 21-man squad is going to be a pain as it's going to make it much harder narrowing down the final 17. Maybe Gale, Carey, Sweeting and O'Connor to miss out, but who knows.

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37 minutes ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Squads named
https://www.featherstonerovers.co.uk/news/squad-named-for-season-opener-5qa4m

Don't think there are too many surprises in our line-up at first glance. McLelland & Briscoe included as expected as is Jarrod O'Connor.

From a fans' point of view I think the 21-man squad is going to be a pain as it's going to make it much harder narrowing down the final 17. Maybe Gale, Carey, Sweeting and O'Connor to miss out, but who knows.

Worth pointing out that McLellers and Luke are both in the Leeds squad and with Tom Briscoe crocked, Luke could well be playing.

Also worth noting that DR squad picks rarely seem to miss out on the 17. So, O'Connor??

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9 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

Worth pointing out that McLellers and Luke are both in the Leeds squad and with Tom Briscoe crocked, Luke could well be playing.

Also worth noting that DR squad picks rarely seem to miss out on the 17. So, O'Connor??

true but luke has only played against us pre season agar seems to prefer newman and can't see them dropping gale 

yes dr regularly got picked but they were needed at the time not just picked willy nilly  

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22 minutes ago, POR said:

true but luke has only played against us pre season agar seems to prefer newman and can't see them dropping gale 

yes dr regularly got picked but they were needed at the time not just picked willy nilly  

Looking at Leeds 21, I can only see 3 other 3/4ers apart from Luke.

I think McLelland will be with us, which is useful given Chizz's ban.

I don't think anything happens willy nilly with our team selection, but generally DR players in our Friday squad play on Sunday unless Leeds need them. Perhaps that'll change now it's 21 man squads. I wouldn't be shocked to see O'Connor in over 'one-of-our-own'.

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11 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

Looking at Leeds 21, I can only see 3 other 3/4ers apart from Luke.

I think McLelland will be with us, which is useful given Chizz's ban.

 

Leeds threequarters all through pre-season have been Newman and Handley on the wings and Liam Sutcliffe and Hurrell in the centre. Rhys Evans is in their squad and also a threequarter.

I think Briscoe and McLelland will be in Leeds' 21 regularly as you can't make late changes barring drastic situations to the 21 and given their lack of backs they will need to include them as a precaution in case of late injury/illness.

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1 hour ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Squads named
https://www.featherstonerovers.co.uk/news/squad-named-for-season-opener-5qa4m

Don't think there are too many surprises in our line-up at first glance. McLelland & Briscoe included as expected as is Jarrod O'Connor.

From a fans' point of view I think the 21-man squad is going to be a pain as it's going to make it much harder narrowing down the final 17. Maybe Gale, Carey, Sweeting and O'Connor to miss out, but who knows.

Also good to see that the RFL website appears to have started listing Championship squads again - although they are calling them 19 Man Squads.......

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