Kingstone Press Championship: Round 14 Previews

18th May 2017, 13:15

championship

Kingstone Press Championship: Round 14 Previews

A look ahead to this weekend's action in the Kingstone Press Championship, with the final round of fixtures before Summer Bash.

Last weekend, Halifax came head to head with Kingstone Press Championship rivals Featherstone Rovers in the sixth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup but suffered a 24-12 defeat.

Reflecting on the game, coach Richard Marshall said, “I was pleased overall that we competed for large parts of the game. I did think Featherstone deserved to go through on the day, they played a little bit smarter and a little bit faster than ourselves.

“Our discipline let us down at times but we battled for 80 minutes and I was really proud of the effort we put in to the game."

In the Kingstone Press Championship, Halifax are currently unbeaten in six games and are hoping to continue their impressive form this weekend against Rochdale Hornets. Marshall continued, “We’d like to think we can continue but we know every game in the Championship is a difficult game.

“You can’t assume anything in Rugby League and certainly not against Rochdale. I know they haven’t got form at the moment but they’ve certainly got some key players that offer real threats.

“They’re a strong team that have beaten Featherstone and Bradford this season and if they have been losing they’ve not been losing by huge score lines.

“They’ll be looking to ruffle our feathers and get under our skin, we must be better than we were last week in that department, with our discipline and defensively.

“We’ve had a good week so far, it’ll have been 10 days since we last played and we’ll hopefully bring a couple of players back in the team that’ll add something to us.

“Our motivator is to be better than we were last week, we put the opposition out of the equations. We know if we can play to our strengths, be organised and work as a team we can beat anyone in the competition.

“It’s our last home game for a while due to our pitch being re-laid so it’d be good to get a final win at home before we go on our travels.”

Rochdale Hornets are currently without a win in their last nine matches. In Round 13, they fell to a 38-8 defeat against Featherstone Rovers. Coach Alan Kilshaw said, “Featherstone  are a good side, we’d played Hull KR the week before and it was tough backing up against first and second in the table.

“We were pretty off and made too many errors in the first half but the second half it got to 38-4 with half an hour left and the lads worked for each other and didn’t concede any points in that last period, so we can take some positives from that.

Looking ahead to the game against Halifax, Kilshaw continued, “Halifax are on a really good run and they went well against Featherstone last week so we’re under no illusions it’ll be a difficult game.

“They’re a good defensive side and they’re hard to break down so it’ll be a tough challenge but we’re looking forward to it.

“The games we’ve completed well and not made many errors are the games we’ve won or competed with top sides. We need to get that consistency and give ourselves a chance, on the back of that we’ll have energy to defend.

“We’re probably a little bit low on confidence at the minuted, we’re not on the best run ourselves but a win would change that. We haven’t been that fary away and a good run is just around the corner so hopefully it can start this weekend.”

Across the rest of the weekend’s fixtures, Featherstone Rovers will be looking to build on their sixth-round Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win when they welcome Dewsbury Rams on Saturday (6.00pm).

Also in action on Saturday are Sheffield Eagles who travel to France to face Toulouse Olympique (6.30pm CET).

League leaders Hull Kingston Rovers take on Swinton Lions at the KCOM Craven Park, Bradford Bulls welcome London Broncos and Oldham come head to head with Batley Bulldogs (all 3.00pm).

All Kingstone Press Championship teams will be in action at this year’s Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Rugby League Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugby-league.com/tickets.