TOMORROW’S VISIT of second-placed Toulouse Olympique (3pm) will be perfect preparation for the play-offs, but Featherstone Rovers have more to play for than that.
Rovers are fifth in the Betfred Championship, but will finish the regular season in fourth spot if they win tomorrow and the team immediately above them, Leigh Centurions, lose at leaders Toronto Wolfpack.
Rovers are already secure in the play-offs, three points clear of sixth-placed Bradford Bulls, but sit just two points behind Leigh and have a better for and against. The opening round of the play-offs will see fourth at home to fifth in an elimination tie.
“We’ve got a bit to play for and it is exciting,” Rovers coach Ryan Carr said.
“But regardless of whether we finish fourth or fifth we are treating every game from now on as a play-off game.
“We are at home, which for us is big, but Toulouse are in the same boat.
“If they win they stay second so both teams have a lot to play for.”
The pressure of needing to win is nothing new for Rovers who have a “fit and healthy” squad for the business end of the season, according to Carr.
He insisted: “We have been in play-off mode for the last few weeks.
“We have been treating every game as if we have to win, it is one week at a time for us and nothing has changed.”
Rovers had been expected to struggle this season following the break-up of last year’s squad, the sudden departure of coach John Duffy – to Leigh – at the start of pre-season and with Carr only arriving at the club a week before the campaign kicked off.
“We’ve gone through a lot of adversity, a lot of change,” Carr reflected.
“We’ve had players in, players out – it is a huge achievement [to be in the top-five] and we are looking to make the most of what they boys have done so far.
“We have been really good for the last four months and I’ve been pleased with how hard they have worked and the effort they’ve put in.
“A lot of teams had Challenge Cup final week off, but we trained – the boys have made a lot of sacrifices and they are getting rewarded for what they are putting in.”