Playing against Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and St Helens in the Betfred Super League is the pinnacle for every club but yet again Featherstone Rovers have been denied their place at the top table.
This came after they were shockingly defeated by London Broncos at home in the semi-finals setting up a final between London and Toulouse Olympique.
After the game, coach James Ford explained the defeat:
“Giving away penalties away on play five, closest of penalties, making really basic errors playing the ball.
“Well listen, congratulations to London, Mike’s done a tremendous job there, good luck to him next week. But no issues from all of us, we weren’t good enough.
“And why is that do you think? I know you’ve come into this club part way through the season but this seems to be sort of rinse and repeat this this happens nearly every year to Featherstone what do you think it is?”
Asked about their continual disappointment, he added:
“I don’t know obviously I can’t comment on previous seasons we we came into the game today on good form we had a good week of prep lots of clarity about what’s coming and how we were going to set out to play we just didn’t play well.
“We had him on the ropes, I thought it was 18-12 down and 2 or 3 20 traps and physically getting on top and then to come up with a play 5 penalty. I know it’s been a bit hard, but it’s hard. You had the right call, I’ll take it back with the right call.
“It’s really not singling anybody out because it’s a team sport and probably we all could do our jobs a little bit better. But yeah, congratulations London.”
They were blown away by London from the first minute. They got off to an electric start with Alex Walker scoring from an inside ball before a lovely move down the left wing allowed former Super League star and Catalans Dragons centre Dean Whare to score.
Featherstone gave themselves a chance with a try for Chris Hankinson on his 200th appearance.
It was well and truly game on when Joey Leilua crossed six minutes before the break and it looked set to be level at the interval but the away side notched another try and a second for Alex Walker as he fired the Broncos back in front.
Featherstone needed a reaction but it didn’t come with the Broncos crossing again in the 52nd way with Whare setting up Iliess Macani finishing off the move and giving them a 24-12 lead.
At that scoreline, Featherstone still had hope but the Broncos made it two tries in three minutes through Dalton Grant after a sublime move down the left edge.
Around this time things got worse for Fev with Brad Day sin binned for a tackle that went above the horizontal.
A sixth try followed from Henry Raiwalui scored next as former Super League and NRL star Corey Norman pulled the strings.
Hankinson notched a second try but by now the game was all but gone especially as the conversion was missed.
With 15 minutes to go, London had a 20 point lead and had one foot in the Grand Final against Toulouse Olympique.
The Rovers gave themselves half a chance with 10 minutes to go when Luke Briscoe crossed to make it 36-20 with Mark Kheirallah converting.
10 to go and there was 14 points in it, half a chance for the Rovers. They had more of a chance when Joey Leilua scored a second to make it 36-26.