Important double-bill looming for Featherstone Rovers

Featherstone captain Misi Taulapapa runs into trouble against Leeds Rhinos. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Featherstone captain Misi Taulapapa runs into trouble against Leeds Rhinos. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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THE LADBROKES Challenge Cup run was a great adventure, but winger Misi Taulapapa reckons the next two games are more important for Featherstone Rovers.

Rovers, the last Kingstone Press Championship team in the competition, were beaten 58-0 at Leeds Rhinos in last Friday’s quarter-final.

Featherstone Rovers captain Misi Taulapapa. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Featherstone Rovers captain Misi Taulapapa. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

They back up at home to Swinton Lions tomorrow and visit London Broncos for a vital second versus fourth showdown four days later.

Two wins would be a major step towards securing a top-four finish and a return to the middle-eights qualifiers.

Taulapapa said: “Someone said the Cup tie was the biggest game, but I don’t think so.

“I think the biggest one is Wednesday – Swinton are a great team, one of the best attacking teams in the competition.

Ian Hardman.
 PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Ian Hardman. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

“We have got to play well and we can’t look ahead to Sunday until after we’ve played on Wednesday.

“We have got to take one game at a time.”

Taulapapa insisted Rovers have learned lessons from their loss at Headingley.

“It’s about patience and smartness and our kicking game needs to be better,” he said.

“We have to be smarter and play to our strengths. We always knew it was going to be tough.

“They were pretty quick for us and we struggled with that, but we can take some positives.

“This is going to be a tough week for us, with three tough games.

“Other teams will be looking at that and thinking they can take advantage, but we knew this was coming.

“We are confident about Wednesday and we pulled up all right (injury-wise).

“Getting to the quarter-finals is a great achievement and we can take something from that.”

Meanwhile, full-back Ian Hardman has signed a new one-year contract keeping him at Rovers until the end of next season.

Forward James Lockwood will face no further action after the RFL’s match review panel decided his yellow card for alleged dangerous contact on Rhinos’ Adam Cuthbertson was sufficient punishment.

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