FEATHERSTONE ROVERS coach Jon Sharp urged his side to be more “hard-nosed” as they suffered another heavy defeat against Super League opposition in the Qualifiers.
The Championship outfit conceded 10 tries at his former club Huddersfield Giants having also lost by some margin in their opener against champions Leeds Rhinos.
Once more, though, Featherstone were competitive early on – they trailed just 12-6 on the half-hour mark – and they never capitulated, on-loan Leeds winger Luke Briscoe and impressive full-back Ian Hardman scoring tries in the last quarter when the game was effectively over.
Sharp admitted: “There was phases in the game where it’d have been quite easy to roll over and play dead.
“But we scored a couple of tries in the second half that showed skill and determination; we came up with a few chasing lost causes, pushing the effort button a little bit harder than we had done, so there’s some positives in there.
“There’s been phases where we played well – we were only 10-6 down against Leeds, too, after half-an-hour – that shows we’re capable.
“But we need to be a bit more hard-nosed and learn how to play a bit differently as we can’t keep turning the ball over and making low completion rates against two really good sides.”
The part-timers best spell was when stand-off Kyle Briggs earned back-to-back drop-outs with two well-placed grubber kicks in the first period.
That eventually saw him usher over second-row John Davies for a neat try in the 25th minute, Briggs adding the first of his two conversions for 12-6.
Giants winger Gene Ormsby quickly responded in the 32nd minute but two swift tries just before the break was the real killer blow for former Huddersfield boss Sharp’s side who, for all their endeavour, suddenly went in 28-6 down.
“We only completed one out of our first five sets and, though we defended that well, that effort eventually gets you energy-wise and it showed as Huddersfield executed really well,” he added.
“What we need to do as individuals, more than a team, is look where we’re at and ask if we’re happy to make the top-four or are determined to kick-on, challenge and play much better than we have over these last two weeks.”
For Huddersfield – who had lost their last four games – Oliver Roberts, Ryan Brierley, Kyle Wood and Ukuma Ta’ai all got braces after Michael Lawrence opened the scoring on 14 minutes, captain Ryan Hinchcliffe rounding it off in the 77th.
Jamie Ellis finished with nine goals with Featherstone not aided by Davies’ yellow card for dissent in the 64th minute as he contested Wood’s second try with referee Gareth Hewer.
Loose forward Josh Walters impressed for Rovers having made his debut on loan from Leeds but their task does not get any easier – they host Leigh Centurions next weekend, their Championship rivals who beat Super League Salford Red Devils on Saturday to give their hopes of promotion to the top flight a massive lift.
Huddersfield Giants: Connor; Ormsby, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Brierley, Ellis; Crabtree, Hinchcliffe, Huby, Ta’ai, Lawrence, Ikahihifo. Subs: Wood, Rapira, Mason, Roberts.
Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Duckworth, Tagg, Taulapapa, Briscoe; Briggs, Craven; Baldwinson, Thackery, Bostock, Snitch, Davies, Walters. Subs: Ellis, Griffin, Cooper, Ormondroyd.
Referee: Gareth Hewer (Whitehaven).