Rovers boss confident of swift revenge against Leigh

Leigh take on Featherstone again this Sunday. Photo: Brian King
Leigh take on Featherstone again this Sunday. Photo: Brian King

Featherstone coach John Bastian is confident his side can turn the tables on Leigh when the sides meet for the second time in seven days.

After beating Rovers 26-16 at Leigh Sports Village in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup fifth round last weekend, the Centurions visit Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday for a Kingstone Press Championship top of the table clash.

Leigh, still unbeaten in all competitions this season, are four points clear of second-placed Rovers, who boast a 100 per cent home record this year.

“We don’t want Leigh to get too far away from us,” said Bastain. “If we close them out and they don’t get a bonus point we are only one point behind them.

“We want to fix things up from last Sunday and there’s no reason why we can’t come up with a performance and a positive outcome.

“We’ve been great on our own patch and the supporters get right behind us. It’s a great challenge for us to be the team to end Leigh’s winning run. Without a shadow of a doubt we can turn the tables.”

Bastian believes that last Sunday’s game would have drained Leigh and he hopes Featherstone can capitalise.

“Last Sunday’s game will have taken a lot of energy out of Leigh” he said. “They were pushed right to the edge in that game so I think we will be the slightly fresher team this weekend because we had better field territory and Leigh had to work a lot harder coming out of their own end. That is something we can take a big positive out of going into this Sunday’s game.

“There was nothing between the teams last weekend in terms of quality or the effort and commitment they both put in but there were some areas we need to be a lot stronger in. Finishing things off in the last third of the pitch is a key one but I also thought we missed too many one on one tackles.

“We need to finish off what we are creating and the pressure we are building. We need to execute and finish off plays and when we do that we are a great side to watch.”

Rovers were handicapped last Sunday with the loss of injured forwards Matty Dale and Andy Bostock.

Dale will be out for eight to 10 weeks with a broken hand and Bostock sustained a twisted ankle.

“The loss of those two players had an impact on our game plan and the fatigue it put certain players under throughout the game,” said Bastian who hopes prop Steve Crossley will be available this Sunday after being sidelined with a knee injury.

“We’ll monitor Andy Bostock this week and see how he’s going and hopefully we’ll have Steve Crossley back in contention.”