Brett Ferres: Featherstone Rovers ready to spoil Toulouse Olympique's party in Championship Grand Final
Featherstone Rovers are happy to be underdogs in Sunday's Betfred Championship Grand Final at Toulouse Olympique, their former Leeds Rhinos forward Brett Ferres says.
Rovers have lost only twice in all competitions this year and are unbeaten away from home.
In most seasons, that would make them hot favourites for the title, but Toulouse are on an even more impressive run of form.
One of Rovers’ defeats was to this weekend's opponents, who have a 100 per cent winning record in 2021, securing top spot in the Championship and home advantage for the promotion decider.
They are widely expected to become the second French team in Super League, alongside Catalans Dragons, but Ferres reckons that means Rovers have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“They are the home team, they have a final in their own backyard, they are expected to go up and are probably wanted to go up by everyone else,” he said.
“All the pressure is on them – they have not been beaten, they are 100 per cent.
“They are a full-time team, they train every day and they have it all going for them.
“We’re a little mining village like everyone says. We’re working class people who work hard and that’s what it’s all about.
“We’ll go over there, work hard and see how they deal with that.”
According to Ferres, Rovers are focusing on themselves, rather than what Toulouse might do.
He stated: “Everyone else is worrying about Toulouse and how good they are.
“Whatever we do and whatever gameplan we come up with, we need to stick to it and go there and spoil that party.
“We’ve had a good year, we have some really good players and some good pro’s who have played a lot of Super League and international football and some really good Championship players who have been part-time players for a long time and know how to play in this division as well.
“We’ll be quietly confident – it’ll be about us and what we do.
“We’ve had a week’s prep, we’ve been building for a while for this and we’re looking forward to it.”
He has also featured for Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants and reckons Rovers have what it takes to compete at Super League level, on and off the pitch.
“I’ve really warmed to what they do here,” Ferres said.
“I’ve seen how they’ve progressed over the years and what they are trying to achieve and obviously that’s Super League.
“[Chairman] Mark Campbell has done a fantastic job, they’ve brought in some great players this year and the coaching staff as well.
“We’re well backed and we’re really really lucky with the fans here. They make a big difference for us and it’s a really good place to be.”
Toulouse Olympique: from Armitage, Bergal, Bretherton, Casty, Dixon, Ford, Garbutt, Gigot, Hansen, Hitchcox, Jussaume, Kheirallah, Navarret, Marion, Paulo, Pelissier, Peyroux, Sangare, Schaumkel.
Featherstone Rovers: from Beckett, Brown, Bussey, Chisholm, Davies, Doyle, Ferguson, Ferres, Field, Gale, Hall, Halton, Hardcastle, Holmes, Jones, Kopczak, Lockwood, Minns, Parata,
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham).
Kick-off: Sunday, 6pm.
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