Featherstone Rovers boss Sean Long delighted with "courageous" effort in overcoming adversity at York

Head coach Sean Long spoke of his players “courage” and team ethic as ​Featherstone Rovers overcame the loss of several key players to injury during the game to win 24-8 at York Knights.
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​During the game Jack Bussey suffered a serious-looking leg injury while fellow first team regulars Josh Hardcastle and Brad Day also picked up knocks that saw them have to leave the field.

It left Featherstone short of interchanges in the second half, but they still finished strongly to make it 15 wins from 16 Betfred Championship games in 2023.

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"It was courageous, outstanding and they worked hard for one another,” said Rovers boss Long.

Connor Jones gets the ball down for the try that sealed Featherstone Rovers' victory at York Knights. Picture: Rob HareConnor Jones gets the ball down for the try that sealed Featherstone Rovers' victory at York Knights. Picture: Rob Hare
Connor Jones gets the ball down for the try that sealed Featherstone Rovers' victory at York Knights. Picture: Rob Hare

“We lost Jack Bussey, Josh Hardcastle and lost Brad Day, we were down to bare bones and had lads playing out of position.

"But we just kept finding a way of turning them over.

"We said before the game we had to play for 80 minutes and we certainly did that.

"York are a good team, they’ve got some real class players and we did well to keep them to zero in the second half.”

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Long praised all his players, but was especially pleased with his middle men, some of who had to play bigger minutes than they usually do because Fev were so down on numbers.

"I said to them that I am so proud of them. The middles had do all that defending on the try-line and they kept turning them away.

"They had three sets on our try-line, we kept turning them away, turning them away and then we go up the other end of the field and score.

"It just shows how tight knit we are as a group. They are working hard for each other and I can’t ask for anything more.

"I think it was one of our best performances of the year.”

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Featherstone are back eight points clear after Batley Bulldogs lost and now set their sights on a long travel as they are away to Whitehaven this Sunday (3pm).

The Cumbrians will be looking to make amends for their first meeting with the leaders back in February when Rovers romped to a 76-4 victory.