Featherstone Rovers must treat London Broncos clash like a play-off says coach James Webster

Featherstone Rovers have been put into play-offs mode for Saturday's game at London Broncos in the Betfred Championship.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 6:00 am

Rovers secured a home semi-final with a thumping 54-22 win over Halifax last weekend, but Toulouse Olympique have been confirmed by the RFL as league leaders - despite playing only 13 games - so Featherstone will finish second.

After London, Rovers finish their league campaign at home to Sheffield Eagles next week.

They then have a week off before a sudden-death semi-final.

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James Webster. Picture by Dec Hayes.

That will be against the highest ranked winners from the opening round of play-offs, with a place in the Grand Final up for grabs.

There is nothing at stake for Rovers on the table this week, but coach James Webster insisted his players won’t be switching off.

“It is an important game,” Webster said.

“We need to play at a level we are going to face in the first play-off game.

“Play-offs are totally different from normal league games and we need to train and prepare as hard as we can.

“We’ll do that for the next couple of weeks.

“That might not be great preparation for the two games we play, but it will be good preparation for that play-off.”

Webster is not planning major changes to his team tomorrow, though London’s artificial pitch may have a bearing on his selection.

But two influential players could be back in contention for the semi-final after long-term injury layoffs.

“Thomas Minns and Jack Bussey are getting close,” he said.

“It won’t be this week, but they’ll probably be available for the play-offs, then we’ll have to see how we are going and if we pick them.”

Halifax could be back at Millennium Stadium, Post Office Road, for the semi-final, so last week’s win was important for Rovers’ confidence.

Webster’s men have lost only once in the league this year, to Toulouse and reflecting on last week, he said: “We did some really good things and some things I would be worried about should we be playing in a final.

“But we scored 54 points and could have scored a few more, which is encouraging.”