Thackeray up for Fev challenge

Fax on the burst during their 50-18 success over Whitehaven
Fax on the burst during their 50-18 success over Whitehaven

Scrum half Anthony Thackeray knows that Fax are going to need to step up to the plate again on Thursday when they take on Featherstone in a televised Kingstone Press Championship clash at the Shay (7.30).

Thackeray scored two first half tries in last Sunday’s 50-18 success over Whitehaven on Karl Harrison side’s return to the Shay following extensive work on the pitch.

Those scores proved important in keeping in touch with the Cumbrian side who had twice taken the lead through Jesse Joe Parker and Adam Swift tries converted by Jamie Rooney.

Fax went on to take an 18-12 lead at the break before, in energy-sapping conditions, finally overcoming Whitehaven’s considerable challenge late in the second period.

Thackeray was one of the home side’s main players - a fact endorsed by Harrison who said: “The conditions suited Thacks.

“He’s light on his feet, he’s smart and he takes the correct options and will cause any team problems.”

The former Castleford player accepted that Fax had been in a game and expects Thursday’s encounter to be no less intense.

“We made hard work of it, but we ran away with the game at the back end when we started completing our sets,” said Thackeray “We knew we had to do that in the conditions. Once we got that right then the scoreboard starting ticking over in our favour

“But credit to Whitehaven, they are a good outfit and they made things difficult for us, particularly for the first hour.

“In the end it was the right result. Once we managed to kick on we produced the display and the tries we wanted.”

While pleased with his contribution, Thackeray pointed to the team spirit that helps to keep producing results

“Obviously the team is the main concern, but you also have to look after yourself first and foremost,” added Thackeray.

“If you stick to the game plan that is when you get results. Also, at this stage of the season you have to stick together.

“We are a close knit bunch and we have that spirit which can bring us through tough games like Whitehaven.”

The gruelling conditions took their toll on the players but Thackeray is confident that everybody will be raring to go against Featherstone

“It is a quick turnaround so we will all have to look after ourselves between now and Thursday,” he said.

“Fev are a class team and we are going into it on the back of a hard game so it is going to be tough.

“The conditions were difficult on Sunday. You feel the heat worse when you are going back to back - defending a set; giving the ball away and defending a set; getting the ball back then giving them it back cheaply.

“But we came through it and on Thursday we will again be playing in front of our own fans which is important because they always spur us on.”