Sharp – We deserved to win

Featherstone head coach Jon Sharp believed his side had “earned the right” to move into the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup.

The Rovers defeated Championship rivals Halifax 24-12 to enter the last eight, with Josh Hardcastle’s late try securing the contest after an efficient display from the home side.

Featherstone enjoyed large spells of dominance but struggled to shake off a Halifax side equipped with a resolute line defence.

But Sharp believed Featherstone deserved it overall.

“We earned the right,” Sharp said.

“I think we slightly edged it. It was a tough game. We knew we had to be at our best today and I thought first-half we had it set up nicely, we had a couple of opportunities where we couldn’t get it over the line but that’s credit to Halifax, then in the second-half it was a real dogged, mentally tough performance that got us over.

“They came back at us and we knew they would do. They were never going to go away and it was never going to be easy, but physically I thought we’d done enough in the first half. We knew they’d come back into it in the second-half going down the slope.”

One negative for Featherstone were injuries picked up by Chris Ulugia and Luke Briscoe, who will both miss four to six weeks of action.

“Ulugia is off for an x-ray on his ankle, it looks like a fracture, and Luke Briscoe has some ligament damage in his ankle. Both are looking at four to six weeks so that’s a big blow for us, but we’ll get them back at the back end of the season and they’ll be fit and fresh.”