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Match thread: Championship Round 27. Featherstone Rovers v Widnes Vikings. Saturday 23rd September 2023.

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Right, so here it is then. The final league game of the year.

It's been a hugely successful one with just one defeat and one defeat on the road all season long.

After Saturday, it's time for the playoffs. One week's rest, then anything can and will happen.

I'm sure everyone will be pushing for a good win and a solid performance to round off the regular fixtures.

Rovers will also receive the League Leaders Shield, just 20 days after they won it.

As well as the 17 that performed so well against Toulouse in France, with Bussey making his comeback, there are eight more squad players looking for a way back in before the playoffs: Chisholm, Aekins, Longstaff, Hau and Kopczak, as well as the injured Briscoe, Yei and Springer.

Selection headaches for James Ford, but all good.

With Sheffield, London, Bradford already qualified and with and Halifax favourites for the final playoff spot, (York and Batley are still in the mix (just)) it's impossible to say who'll be playing who in the playoffs at this stage.

All to play for.

Up The Rovers

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1 hour ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

So...we're celebrating winning the League Leaders' Shield at a game against Widnes. This must mean Widnes are getting promoted, right?

NO. After the game they are going to change their name to Winless.

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11 minutes ago, elppaxr2i said:

Expect Widnes to rest many - another hammering incoming

   Yes you can't blame them if they are not 100% at it.Considering how they were playing under Kear since he left the team have improved quite a bit.Expect a victory by 40 ish points.

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Some useful updates from James Ford on James Deighton's show on a couple of our players who have been out injured...

Briscoe will be doing runnng prep this week, running next week and they'll see how he goes in those sessions with a return for the semi in mind.

Hau had to have longer out than usual for the concussion protocol because of his youthful age, was available at Toulouse but not selected.

Mackenzie is back running and Ford said he had asked him if he was ready to play and he replied "ready to kill".

No mention of Springer.



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15 hours ago, lingaro said:

Play our best team we need to be firing only 3 games left 

Interesting take L  Best Team I would imagine there's hundreds of different  Best Teams if you ask the fans :kolobok_grin:

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2 hours ago, Monkeymagic22 said:

Not for me, I’d definitely leave out Ford, Moors and MK to ensure that none of them get injuries, so close to the playoffs. 

We all know  the problems we've had so I think Fordy should decide who is  his 6 and 7 for the playoff's and have them sat in the stand saturday

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I can go with resting Moors but we've been searching for some continuity in the halves all season and if Ford is fit I think we need to play him so he can find his best form.  Whats the point in wrapping him in cotton wool and playing him for the final and getting another hit and miss performance from him as we did on Saturday.

Great news on the injury front.  We may all have different 'best 17's' but I reckon having either Springer or Yei in there is a must. 

What could possibly go wrong.......... 

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For me I'm not sure there's a right or wrong answer to whether we play our best team or rest a few against Widnes. I think there's a lot of merit in both arguments. For instance, with Johnno Ford, we can't deny the injury risk, and we can't deny the importance of game time given we have 2 weeks until our next game, especially as he has only played one and a half games since his bad injury.

For that reason I'm happy with whatever James Ford decides, he sees them training and knows where they are in terms of attacking and defensive schemes etc.

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Just now, Wolfey Rovers said:

In James ford we trust! I do feel more confident under his management. He'll know what's best to get us in the right frame for the playoffs 

I totally agree. I wasn’t convinced at first, but he talks really well and has appeared to have improved things on the field. He gives an air of confidence and that he knows what he is doing. It also can’t have been easy taking over from Sean Long.

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37 minutes ago, marklaspalmas said:

Interesting. As others have said, James Ford knows best. Jono will now have a 21 day rest between the Toulouse match and the semifinal 

Jono looks like a player who would just fit back into the team with no issues. I think it’s the right decision, given his injury problems.

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