Featherstone reaping the rewards of Ridyard’s timely return to the fray

Martyn Ridyard.  Picture Tony Johnson.
Martyn Ridyard. Picture Tony Johnson.
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POINTS MACHINE Martyn Ridyard’s return has handed Featherstone Rovers a timely boost, boss John Duffy reckons.

Rovers’ vice-captain suffered a shoulder injury in June and underwent surgery the following month.

Featherstone Rovers coach John Duffy.

Featherstone Rovers coach John Duffy.

He made his comeback as a substitute in the 40-28 Betfred Championship Shield win over Dewsbury Rams two days ago, scoring a try and three goals.

That took him past 2,000 points for his career.

And Duffy said: “He has been chomping at the bit for weeks, but we had to get the all-clear from the surgeon. He is a big player for us and you can tell when he has his hands on the ball he is just a different class. I am glad he got out there and got some minutes in.”

Ridyard came on at full-back in place of the injured Ian Hardman.

Ian Hardman.

Ian Hardman.

“We didn’t want to give him that many minutes to be fair, but he put his hand up to play,” Duffy added.

“He was superb out the back for us and his talk from the back was good for us as well.

“We didn’t want to throw him into the defensive line because he hasn’t had too much on that side of the game, but I thought he was exceptional.”

Of Hardman, the coach said: “Like most of our players at this point in the season, he was carrying an injury.

“Underneath his foot has been sore for a few weeks and he knocked it in that first collision.”

Despite the result, Duffy described Rovers’ performance as “scrappy”.

“We had a little bit of disruption before the game trying to get players over with the [M62] motorway closed,” he revealed.

“Some players only got here halfway through the warm up.

Duffy added: “I only got here late myself, but that shouldn’t hinder us in any way; we are professional enough to deal with stuff like that.”