Coach Natalie Gilmour says Featherstone Rovers are ready to send skipper Andrea Dobson out on a high in Women's Super League Shield final against Huddersfield Giants

Coach Natalie Gilmour is confident Featherstone Rovers can send retiring captain Andrea Dobson out on a high this weekend.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 2:10 pm

Rovers take on Huddersfield Giants in the Betfred Women’s Super League Shield final at Leeds’ Emerald Headingley on Sunday (noon).

Dobson, England/Great Britain’s most-capped woman, will retire after the match and Gilmour said: “The service she has given to the game is tremendous.

“She has been a leading player on the pitch and it would be fitting for her to be able to lift a trophy at the end of her last season.”

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Na\talise Gilmour, fourth from left, makes a point to her Rovers players. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

Rovers are unbeaten in the Shield - which involved Super League’s bottom five teams - and defeated Huddersfield 16-14 in August.

That was Giants’ only loss after the competition split and Gilmour said: “I think both teams have improved throughout the season.

“The games we’ve played against them so far have been really close so it is going to be a really good, competitive game.”

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Rovers coach Natalise Gilmour.

Rovers were sixth in Super League before the Shield began, one place ahead of Giants.

Gilmour admitted: “The way the league is at the minute, the elite athletes from England all play for certain teams.

“That makes it harder for the other teams to win anything, so the Shield is an opportunity for those teams that aren’t quite at the level of Saints and Leeds.”

Rovers will go into the final as narrow favourites and victory would cap a season of progress, according to their coach.

“Due to the pandemic, pre-season was practically non-existent,” she recalled.

“A lot of the players hadn’t played together, so the first few games, we were finding out about each other and bonding.

“Week by week, we’ve been getting better, so to get into this final is thoroughly deserved.”

With Rovers’ men facing Toulouse Olympique in the Championship Grand Final in the evening, Sunday is a huge day for the club.

Gilmour added: “It’s just a pity they are having to play out in Toulouse.

“It would have been nice for it to maybe be a double-header.

“It would be absolutely fantastic if both teams could come away with a trophy this year.”