Sean Long on Featherstone Rovers’ demolition of Halifax Panthers, McKenzie Yei’s yellow card and the Championship club’s fans

FEATHERSTONE ROVERS continued their superb start to the 2023 Championship season with a 46-22 demolition of promotion rivals Halifax Panthers at the Millennium Stadium this afternoon.

Featherstone set the tone in the first-half, running out 24-4 leaders before adding another four tries in the second forty minutes to continue their dominance at the top of the Championship.

For head coach Sean Long, he was pleased with the attacking side of things but called for improvements to be made in defence.

“I was really pleased with the first-half, we came out and set the tone with our forwards,” Long told League Express.

“I was quite pleased with how we defended in the first-half because we went down to 12 men. We defended three sets on our try line and then we went up the other end and scored.

“I was a bit disappointed with how we conceded a couple of late tries but credit to Fax they just don’t go away and that’s just how they play.

“To keep them to four tries, it’s ok but I think we will meet them later again down the line and we need to be better.

“It’s pleasing with the 46 and we scored 50 last week, I’m more concerned with the 22.”

Why Halifax were able to score points, Long addressed.

“I just think Fax played some good stuff. We spoke about them throwing the ball about. It was a different proposition from last week and we had to concentrate more because they throw a lot of shapes at you and challenge you in different ways.

“They are a good team, they are well drilled and they caught us off guard a couple of times so we’ve got a few things to work on.

“If you go off the field and you’re happy then there is something wrong.”

McKenzie Yei already has a burgeoning reputation at the Millennium Stadium following some metre-eating runs, but the PNG international was yellow carded for a high shot. In response, Long said: “It is what it is whether it’s a high shot or not I didn’t see it.

“If I’m being honest, we’ve got to get our tackle technique right. We’re not blaming the referee or anyone else but ourselves. You’ve got to sort your tackle technique out.”

Long also had a few special words reserved for the Featherstone fans, who were once again in fine voice throughout.

“They were fantastic, when we had our backs against the wall they helped us through.

“They are noisy all the time and they get behind you. If they see that effort that we put on the field it reflects on the fans.

“They can see we are really working hard for each other. After the game all the players celebrated and went round to all the fans throughout the stadium.

“I hope they turn out in their droves next week too.”