Featherstone Rovers coach John Duffy hands out praise for on-and-off-field support

Featherstone boss John Duffy.
Featherstone boss John Duffy.
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THEY WERE signed on emergency loan, but Featherstone Rovers boss John Duffy is hoping to see more of his Leeds Rhinos debutants next year.

Forwards Muizz Mustapha, James Barraclough and Tyler Dupree joined Rovers from Leeds’ under-19s to ensure Duffy could field 17 players in the Betfred Championship Shield final against Leigh Centurions two days ago.

Featherstone's 'Muizz Mustapha takes on Leigh's Sam Grant in Sunday's Betfred Championship Shield Final at The LD Nutrition Stadium. PIC: John Clifton

Featherstone's 'Muizz Mustapha takes on Leigh's Sam Grant in Sunday's Betfred Championship Shield Final at The LD Nutrition Stadium. PIC: John Clifton

They – and dual-registered Leeds centre Harry Newman, who was man of the match – all played a big role in Rovers’ 42-10 success and Duffy said: “They have been absolutely fantastic all week.

“I just want to say thanks to [Rhinos academy coach] Rob Burrow who got on the phone and offered us these players to put in our squad this week.

“I think you can tell each one of them is going to be a superstar.

“Harry, we know about.

Star turn, Harry Newman. PIC: John Clifton

Star turn, Harry Newman. PIC: John Clifton

“He was again unbelievable for us after half-time.

“We had a good chat with Harry about his running lines at half-time and he was outstanding.

“Their attitudes, the way they approach training and look after themselves is obviously Super League standard.

“I wish them all the best for the future and hopefully they can come back to Fev a few times next season.”

A trophy-winning send-off for Featherstone's Ian Hardman.

A trophy-winning send-off for Featherstone's Ian Hardman.

The Shield win ended a difficult year for Rovers who missed out on the Qualifiers after finishing fifth in the Championship.

“It was good to finish the season with a positive after not getting into the top-four,” Duffy said.

“We are still gutted about that, but just glad we brought something to the fans.

“It is fantastic to give the supporters something back and everyone at the club because it has been a long, tough season.”

Duffy paid tribute to long-serving full-back Ian Hardman who kicked seven goals in his final game for Rovers.

He said: “He has been an absolutely phenomenal captain and player for this club.

“He has broken records, but not only that, he is a champion bloke and I wish him all the best in the future.

“He has been an absolute star.”

Winger Shaun Robinson, who scored two tries in the Shield final, has left Rovers to join Championship rivals Halifax on a one-year contract.