‘Everyone is coming for us’ - Sean Long expects the second half of the Championship season to get harder for Featherstone Rovers
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The runaway leaders are eight points clear ahead of nearest challengers Sheffield Eagles and Batley Bulldogs, who are level on 18 points apiece, and are on the charge for promotion to Super League for the first time.
Asked if he would have believed that his side could have been in this promising position ahead of the new season, Long admitted:
“I wouldn’t have believed you. If you’d have said we were eight points clear at the halfway stage I’d have said you’re lying.
“But I know it is going to get harder. I know it is going to get harder in the second half of the season because everyone is coming for us. And there are so many shocks in the league.
“It is an old cliche but we have just got to look after our own backyard and keep doing what we are doing here and away from home and keep winning and keep the standards up.
“I think performances are the key. If you keep speaking about winning too much it just doesn’t work out. But if everyone keeps chipping in with a 7, 8, 9 out of 10 performance then we won’t be far away.”
Long’s table-toppers welcome fourth-placed Toulouse to the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, June 10 (kick off 6pm), on the back of the French side ending a three-match losing streak courtesy of a 28-22 victory over Halifax Panthers last weekend.
And the former St Helens legend believes it will be a “tough” encounter.
He said: “It will be a tough game. It is always a tough game against Toulouse. They had a good win against Halifax so they will have a spring in their step, so we are expecting a tough game.
“Fingers crossed we can hopefully get a big crowd and they get behind us and hopefully they see a good performance.”