PREVIEW: Featherstone Rovers v Batley

Featherstone Roves coach Jon Sharp was really encouraged by his side’s performance against Bradford Bulls last week. “I thought we acquitted ourselves well,” he said.

“We came up against a really good team. There was a big gap between both sides last year, hopefully, over the season, that gap will shrink. I was really pleased with many parts of the game but disappointed with the penalty count, which put us under a lot of pressure, and we made too many errors.”

Looking ahead to the visit of Batley he said: “John Kear is a great coach and gets his teams up for the big games. They played really well against Leigh and deserved the victory. Historically Featherstone and Batley games are always tight; the game last season was won after the hooter went. I would imagine it to be a very similar type of game this year. They will be coming here full of confidence following a brilliant victory and we need to be at our best and improve on what we put up last week.”

John Kear’s Batley side made headlines in beating Leigh Centurions at home last week. “They were tremendous; it wasn’t a fluke they deserved it,” he said.

“We know it will be very difficult at Featherstone. I think they are a better team than last year and they’ve got the dual-registration with Leeds. When you’ve got access to Ash Handley and Mitch Achurch it certainly doesn’t do your cause any harm. They’ll want to play well in front of their own fans so it’s going to be difficult but last week was difficult as well so we’re happy to embrace that.”

Brad Day suffered a concussion in the Leigh game and will be missing this week. Loose forward Sam Scott ruptured his ACL and is likely to be out for six months while hooker James Davey is out with a hamstring problem.