Featherstone v Leeds Rhinos: Underdogs relishing chance to burst out of Championship bubble

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UNDERDOGS FEATHERSTONE Rovers are looking forward to stepping outside the Championship bubble.

Rovers begin their First Utility Qualifiers campaign today with a huge derby against fallen Super League giants Leeds Rhinos and boss Jon Sharp reckons facing last year’s treble winners is an opportunity to show outsiders – and themselves – how good they can be.

“I think it’s going to be a really good gauge of where we are at,” said Sharp, whose team finished fourth in the Kingstone Press Championship.

“It is almost like a bubble in the Championship, you don’t get the opportunity to play against some of the best in the country and it will be interesting to see how we measure up to some great players.”

Rhinos, who were ninth in Super League, are the highest-ranked team in the Qualifiers, and Sharp said: “I’ve been impressed with the players’ attitude towards the fixture.

“There’s been very little talk about Leeds.

“The focus is not on them, it is on maintaining the momentum and good form wem have shown over the last six weeks. We have set some standards and we don’t want to drop below those standards.

“Externally there’s not a great deal of expectation.

“But within the group we want to play the best we possibly can.”