Late kick off designed to “intimidate”, say Rovers

Featherstone Rovers have released a statement outlining their reasons to hold their Championship play-off semi-final with Sheffield Eagles on Sunday at 6.30pm.

Rovers chairman Mark Campbell said: “There has been some positive feedback following the announcement but we are also aware that not everyone is happy and some criticism about the match kicking off later than our traditional time of 3pm. We want to create an intimidating atmosphere at the Stadium and feel an evening fixture under lights will add to this.

“I thought by finishing second place in the league and being the home club we would be able to determine when the fixture was played but baffling to me that was not the case. Our preferred option would have been Saturday evening but a pre-booked function bringing in vital revenue in the Cappers Bar prevented this. Our second option was Friday but this was turned down by both the RFL and Sheffield Eagles despite us tipping off all potential opponents last week that this was our intention.

“We want an intimidating atmosphere for what promises to be an absolute cracking knock-out cup tie to give us the best possible chance of reaching Headingley. We’ve had some special nights under the lights at the Big Fellas Stadium and we are hoping Sunday will be another one of those nights. Unfortunately we can’t please everyone all of the time and playing at different times will be something we might have to get used to with Sky TV requirements next season.”