Sean Long explains Featherstone’s shock defeat

Featherstone Rovers were beaten for the first time in 2023 yesterday.

After being run close on Monday in the league, Halifax Panthers arrived at Post Office Road to defeat the Rovers and progress to the next round of the Challenge Cup.

It was a late Louis Jouffret try that won the game live on the Sportsman in a game that also saw Josh Hardcastle sent off late on as the Rovers spent most of the game pegging the Panthers back as they took the lead routinely leading 10-6 at the break.

Former Warrington Wolves man Tom Inman scored as did former Wigan Warriors target Lachlan Walmsley also got a try.

Jouffret kicked three goals as the Rovers were beaten for the first time this season with Gadwin Springer, Lacans and Hardcastle getting their tries.

After the game, Sean Long reflected on his side’s first defeat of his tenure and explained what went wrong.

He said on the Rovers Twitter page: “I thought Halifax turned up and stuck to their game plan.

“We came out there and started pretty well actually, completed most of our sets and then we just handed the ball over for the next four or five sets.

“You can’t do that against a quality team like Halifax. We couldn’t get any flow in the game and the set for set mentality that we have just went out of the video and then we got frustrated and lads were coming up with uncharacteristic errors that they wouldn’t normally do.

“It kind of boiled over from Bradford and sometimes they lost their heads. It is disappointing to be out of the Challenge Cup because we wanted a real crack at it but we weren’t good enough.

“Lessons to learn for me as a coach, players and staff. If you don’t turn up with the right attitude and play to the standards we have set you’re going to lose.

“Even if we had nicked it at the end there I wouldn’t think we’d have deserved it.

“I’m disappointed I felt like we didn’t learn from the Bradford game and we lacked composure. That red card summed it up there – we lost all composure.

“We were frustrated and I think the lads were playing frustrated.”

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