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The Phantom Horseman

Match Thread: Bradford Bulls v Featherstone Rovers Sunday 16th February 2020

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Well, Storm Ciara has gone but after last week's abandonment we won't seem any nearer to summer rugby with Storm Dennis set to arrive on Saturday.

I watched a replay of Bradford's game against London from the weekend before at the Tetley Stadium and the pitch was quite churned up even then, not helped by having staged Dewsbury v Leigh less than 48 hours earlier. With the deluge last weekend and more to come this weekend, and that narrow pitch, I doubt it's going to be ideal conditions for open rugby. At least Dewsbury aren't at home this weekend and the pitch might have had some time to recover.

That's not really in our favour, as I thought Bradford stuck at it against London but lacked much penetration. It wasn't a very high-quality game but conditions probably had something to do with that.

We will have a new half back combination, presumably McLelland and Jouffret, and it remains to be seen which of our forwards are ready to go, as we seemed quite banged up in the pack prior to last week.

I think we have more quality than they do and would have been fairly confident on a dry track, but think it's less predictable if underfoot conditions are poor again...think discipline and the kicking game will have a big say if that's the case.

 

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10 minutes ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Well, Storm Ciara has gone but after last week's abandonment we won't seem any nearer to summer rugby with Storm Dennis set to arrive on Saturday.

I watched a replay of Bradford's game against London from the weekend before at the Tetley Stadium and the pitch was quite churned up even then, not helped by having staged Dewsbury v Leigh less than 48 hours earlier. With the deluge last weekend and more to come this weekend, and that narrow pitch, I doubt it's going to be ideal conditions for open rugby. At least Dewsbury aren't at home this weekend and the pitch might have had some time to recover.

That's not really in our favour, as I thought Bradford stuck at it against London but lacked much penetration. It wasn't a very high-quality game but conditions probably had something to do with that.

We will have a new half back combination, presumably McLelland and Jouffret, and it remains to be seen which of our forwards are ready to go, as we seemed quite banged up in the pack prior to last week.

I think we have more quality than they do and would have been fairly confident on a dry track, but think it's less predictable if underfoot conditions are poor again...think discipline and the kicking game will have a big say if that's the case.

 

Think Dennis will have a big say as to whether we will have a game.

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Looking at a more detailed forecast , it shows rain on Saturday but some sunshine on Sunday with a maximum wind of 26 mph. I think there is hope yet of us playing. Depends on the state of the pitch.

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21-man squad named via Twitter https://twitter.com/FevRoversRLFC/status/1228283216441888769

No Luke Briscoe and no Ferguson the main points of interest. McLelland, Holroyd and O'Connor in on DR.

Presumably either Carey or Gale in for Briscoe, with Carey favourite having been on the bench at Batley. I'd guess any four from Richardson, Ottewell, Gale, Sweeting and O'Connor the ones to miss out, but that might depend on whether any of the others in the 21 are injured (rumours Susino had picked up a knock).

Of course all this is presuming the game survives the weather. The forecast now is for the rain to have eased off by around midday on Sunday, but whether the damage has been done by then remains to be seen.

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49 minutes ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

21-man squad named via Twitter https://twitter.com/FevRoversRLFC/status/1228283216441888769

No Luke Briscoe and no Ferguson the main points of interest. McLelland, Holroyd and O'Connor in on DR.

Presumably either Carey or Gale in for Briscoe, with Carey favourite having been on the bench at Batley. I'd guess any four from Richardson, Ottewell, Gale, Sweeting and O'Connor the ones to miss out, but that might depend on whether any of the others in the 21 are injured (rumours Susino had picked up a knock).

Of course all this is presuming the game survives the weather. The forecast now is for the rain to have eased off by around midday on Sunday, but whether the damage has been done by then remains to be seen.

O'Connor won't miss out. A DR player in the squad not making the 17 didn't happen once last year.

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25 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

O'Connor won't miss out. A DR player in the squad not making the 17 didn't happen once last year.

There has definitely been at least one occasion when a DR player ended up as water carrier, but I only remember it as it was so unusual! So yes am sure you are right. And looking at the squad anyway, the other four I mentioned are all backs and although Carey was on the bench last time you'd think we will go with four forwards on the bench on Sunday.

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Sounds like Luke Briscoe had a great game for Leeds last night, top metre maker in the game with 189m, three clean breaks, two good try assists. Must be doubtful we'll see much of him going forward now of course but he deserves a shot at holding down that wing spot at Leeds. Chance for Carey and maybe Gale at some point to step up.

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33 minutes ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Sounds like Luke Briscoe had a great game for Leeds last night, top metre maker in the game with 189m, three clean breaks, two good try assists. Must be doubtful we'll see much of him going forward now of course but he deserves a shot at holding down that wing spot at Leeds. Chance for Carey and maybe Gale at some point to step up.

Good lad. I had wrongly assumed it was Tom playing.

I watched first half of the Salford match and Barrie Mac, secret Fev fan, was once again talking us up in his references to Salford's starting hooker Connor Jones. Tbh I didn't think he did much. Distribution ok and one bad knock-on. I didn't see the 2nd half. It'll take him time to find his feet at SL level.

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2 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

 

I watched first half of the Salford match and Barrie Mac, secret Fev fan, was once again talking us up in his references to Salford's starting hooker Connor Jones. Tbh I didn't think he did much. Distribution ok and one bad knock-on. I didn't see the 2nd half. It'll take him time to find his feet at SL level.

One thing I did like, when Jones made his debut last week there were photos on social media of some of his old team mates from Fev who went over to Salford to watch him. Think it makes the team easier to get behind when the players clearly get on with and like each other and that does seem to have been the case at Fev for the last couple of years.

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1 hour ago, rhinos78 said:

Tony Smith mentioned Briscoe especially as the player Hull KR couldnt handle.

Why has Luke not been able to keep a starting spot so far ? Because what I have seen of Tom and Luke (obviously just Tom on Tv and more of Luke in real life ) Luke is the better player . 

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45 minutes ago, Gareth hock said:

Why has Luke not been able to keep a starting spot so far ? Because what I have seen of Tom and Luke (obviously just Tom on Tv and more of Luke in real life ) Luke is the better player . 

Not sure to be honest. He finished last season pretty well i thought, was suprised he wasnt picked for our opening game, Agars mentioned he didnt get much work in pre season because of a niggle so thats maybe why. Deffinatly think he's capable of being a good super league winger if given a run of games. 

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2 hours ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

Sounds like Luke Briscoe had a great game for Leeds last night, top metre maker in the game with 189m, three clean breaks, two good try assists. Must be doubtful we'll see much of him going forward now of course but he deserves a shot at holding down that wing spot at Leeds. Chance for Carey and maybe Gale at some point to step up.

Thank god. Good luck to him  

Gaz Gale  Now hopefully gets his chance now of holding down that wing spot something he deserved over Briscoe in the first place 

Edited by elppaxr2i
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  I know he is injured but Render has never let us down when picked.And he was always the first to be left out to accomodate others,young players need to play regular Rugby fo improve.Downpour forecast Sunday up to mid morning then reasonably fine for the game.Hope the pitch is not too boggy as the cramped playing area makes it difficult to play expansive Rugby.The playing area for our school side was bigger than Dewsbury's and it once hosted a R.L.Cup first round tie between Wakefield Loco and Doncaster.

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2 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

  I know he is injured but Render has never let us down when picked.And he was always the first to be left out to accomodate others,young players need to play regular Rugby fo improve.Downpour forecast Sunday up to mid morning then reasonably fine for the game.Hope the pitch is not too boggy as the cramped playing area makes it difficult to play expansive Rugby.The playing area for our school side was bigger than Dewsbury's and it once hosted a R.L.Cup first round tie between Wakefield Loco and Doncaster.

There was a time when Fev preferred the wet and boggy conditions. Going back in my memory think Fev got accused of saturating the pitch before our second round cup tie against Wakey in 1967 against a much quicker Trinity. If we did it worked cos we won 11-7 and went on to beat Cas and Leeds and I do believe in drier conditions. The rest is history.

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50 minutes ago, elppaxr2i said:

Thank god. Good luck to him  

Gaz Gale  Now hopefully gets his chance now of holding down that wing spot something he deserved over Briscoe in the first place 

It looks like Carey’s preferred to Gaz at the minute I can’t understand why though .

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1 minute ago, Gareth hock said:

It looks like Carey’s preferred to Gaz at the minute I can’t understand why though .

I rate them both but I do think Gale will excel in drier conditions. We seem to be well off in the backs just now especially when Minns gets fit but I do hope Gale gets an extended run. Hope its dry next week then it would be a good idea to play him.

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  Anyone remember when we played St Helens in a night Cup match,could have been the Floodlight Trophy.It was just playable at kick off but started freezing soon afterwards.We played up the slope in the first half and scored three or four tries .The Saints players were sliding all over the place and wanted to call the game off.Second half complete opposite our players couldn't keep their feet and Saints scored easily.Paul Wellens had just started in the Sains Team and he had a hand in a sixty yard move in the last minute when Saints scored a try to win the match.

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7 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

  Anyone remember when we played St Helens in a night Cup match,could have been the Floodlight Trophy.It was just playable at kick off but started freezing soon afterwards.We played up the slope in the first half and scored three or four tries .The Saints players were sliding all over the place and wanted to call the game off.Second half complete opposite our players couldn't keep their feet and Saints scored easily.Paul Wellens had just started in the Sains Team and he had a hand in a sixty yard move in the last minute when Saints scored a try to win the match.

Pretty sure it was a Sunday afternoon league game (we never entered the Floodlit trophy not having floodlights during the years of its existence) and Saints clearly didn't want to play the game even before kick off. They also stayed in the dressing room for ages at half time and by the time they did actually come out our players would have been absolutely frozen - hardly surprising that fortunes were reversed.

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5 minutes ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

Pretty sure it was a Sunday afternoon league game (we never entered the Floodlit trophy not having floodlights during the years of its existence) and Saints clearly didn't want to play the game even before kick off. They also stayed in the dressing room for ages at half time and by the time they did actually come out our players would have been absolutely frozen - hardly surprising that fortunes were reversed.

It was a night match because i went straight from work at Ferrybridge.I got there about 20 min after kick off and all the turnstiles were shut.So bright me decided to climb over the wall,i got over but my hands were cut as broken glass had been cemented into the top to stop idiots like me trying to get over.

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14 minutes ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

Pretty sure it was a Sunday afternoon league game (we never entered the Floodlit trophy not having floodlights during the years of its existence) and Saints clearly didn't want to play the game even before kick off. They also stayed in the dressing room for ages at half time and by the time they did actually come out our players would have been absolutely frozen - hardly surprising that fortunes were reversed.

Was that the game we dominated the first half.... they stayed in the dressing room in freezing conditions for ten mins after we came out?

Was it george mann who got them rolling?

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32 minutes ago, sentoffagain2 said:

  Anyone remember when we played St Helens in a night Cup match,could have been the Floodlight Trophy.It was just playable at kick off but started freezing soon afterwards.We played up the slope in the first half and scored three or four tries .The Saints players were sliding all over the place and wanted to call the game off.Second half complete opposite our players couldn't keep their feet and Saints scored easily.Paul Wellens had just started in the Sains Team and he had a hand in a sixty yard move in the last minute when Saints scored a try to win the match.

Suspect you might be getting your games mixed up, Wellens didn't make his debut until 1999, well into the summer era, and I'm not sure he ever played at Post Office Road.

My guess is people are referring to 1 of 2 games. Friday October 1st 1993, which would have been an evening game, when St Helens beat us 37-16 at our place (George Mann scored 2 tries)...or more likely, given the icy conditions Sunday January 31st 1993 when Saints beat us 24-22 in the 1st round of the Cup.

 

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