Rowley ready for Rovers test

Rowley ready for Rovers test

Rowley ready for Rovers test

First published in Sport by

LEIGH Centurions head into Friday’s clash with Featherstone Rovers knowing a win would see them finish the season as league leaders.

Centurions welcome second place Featherstone to Leigh Sports Village for an 8pm kick off, and boss Paul Rowley has his side focused.

"Our result on Friday night not only has a big bearing on the two sides involved but for other teams as well,” he said. “Everyone is interested in Friday for various reasons.

"As always our sole objective is to meet our opposition on a week-by-week basis and try and come up with a win. This week is no different.

"We've beaten Featherstone twice this year and again they will be highly motivated. They are a confident set and before both of our last two meetings they have spoken openly about expecting to win – last time they spoke of denying us a bonus point.

"They are more than capable and since then they have had quite a bit of a change in personnel.

“They have brought some good duals in. (Chris) Annakin is a bit of a talisman for them; (Greg) Worthington is a consistent performer.

“(Andy) Ellis at nine is playing out of his skin at the moment, they have (Steve) Crossley who has just signed for Castleford Tigers and they have brought Jamie Rooney back, who is more than familiar with Featherstone and boasts many, many Super League appearances.

“If it were a computer game this week two sides with equal strengths and weaknesses would be playing.”

Centurions’ head coach is also anticipating a buzz in the town and is pleased to have earned support from the Players’ Association.

"It's going to be a really interesting game and the Leigh support is going to be immense,” added Rowley. “I can feel it buzzing already in the town."

"The past players are coming out in force and their support throughout the year has been phenomenal.

“They bring such a positive attitude to our club and our players really respond to their support.

"It's almost a sign of acceptance from a family member. When you get that from former players, it's the best type of praise you can get.

“To have that around and have them appreciate what we are doing and really applaud. They are key for our club.

“We are approaching the heritage day but it’s a genuine gratitude from me for the way they have gone about it.

"The main thing is we've achieved our objective of winning the money for being first or second.

“Anything from here is about pride and about players or staff having their own goals as sportsmen to achieve in wanting to be successful.”

Rowley has all his forwards available for selection, while Martyn Ridyard earned his second consecutive Kingstone Press Championship player of the week.

Rowley added: "Ridyard again showed that he is class. He is class all over. He isn't the only one but he is something special within a good team."

The Challenge Cup semi final between Widnes and Castleford at LSV is a sell-out. The stadium will be at its capacity 12,005 for the game on Sunday.

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