CLAIMING A place in the First Utility Qualifiers has given Featherstone Rovers a “massive shot in the arm”, coach Jon Sharp says.
Rovers won their final three games of the Kingstone Press Championship season, all against teams above them in the table, to grab fourth spot and set up home meetings with Leeds Rhinos, Hull KR and Leigh in the middle-eights.
Rovers have had financial problems this term and Sharp said: “It has come at the right time. It is not just about what happens on the field, the club is also about the fans and the business and it is a really big lift for the community. The rewards for clubs who do well in the Championship are enormous.”
Rovers and Batley Bulldogs, who finished third, will be the only part-time sides in the Qualifiers and Sharp reckons they can enjoy the rest of the season.
“The pressure comes from within,” he added. “We want to represent the club and ourselves really well and whatever happens after that is a bonus.
“I think that gives us a bit of an advantage because the pressure and the challenge for us was making the middle-eights. Now we are here we can have a crack at it. That will be my message to the players – we’ve done something really special, now let’s give it our best shot.”