Powell unhappy with NRC decider being played at the Shay

Favourites Featherstone will have home advantage in the opening round of the Northern Rail Cup but coach Daryl Powell has criticised the decision which means main rivals Halifax could be at home in the final.

The decider, traditionally held at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road, will this year be held at The Shay on Saturday, July 20, even if Halifax get there.

Powell, whose side lost to Halifax in the 2012 final, said: “I don’t think that is fair, to be honest.

“I think it should be a neutral venue and I think there are enough good quality and neutral venues in rugby league to host the finals.

“But it is what it is. There’s not a lot we can do about it so we might as well get on with it.”