Featherstone Rovers braced for tough test against 'expectational' Halifax Panthers

Featherstone Rovers head coach James Webster believes Halifax Panthers will prove “hard to beat” as the West Yorkshire rivals prepare for a derby clash on Sunday.

By Ben McKenna
Friday, 3rd September 2021, 6:00 am
James Webster. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.
James Webster. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.

Rovers host their rivals a week after ensuring a home game in the Championship play-off semi-finals with a comprehensive win at Oldham.

Halifax were their closest challengers but following last week’s results, it will be pride and bragging rights on the line at Post Office Road on Sunday.

“Halifax have been an outstanding team this year. We played them a long time ago and they have been expectational,” said Webster, as his side won the reverse fixture 16-8 earlier this season.

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“They are a big, strong, experienced team. They have got plenty of experience in key positions. They fully deserve the position they are in the table and they are hard to beat.

“When you look at their squad there are some great players in there. Adam Tangata has been instrumental for them since he came from Wakefield.”

With Featherstone set to finish in the top two, Webster admitted he had used the last two outings to rest players ahead of the play-offs.

Rovers have three games remaining this season as they travel to London Broncos following the visit of Halifax before hosting Sheffield Eagles on the final day of the regular season.

“We have kind of done that the last two weeks, that is when we saw our chance to rest people,” he added.

“We won’t play anyone who is carrying an injury, we will save them for the play-offs.

“With the week off, you don’t want too many people missing much rugby before the play-offs. We will probably pick our strongest team for the majority of the games.”