Rochdale Hornets v Featherstone Rovers
Monday 2nd April 2018, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 9
Stats over last 8 encounters
HORNETS LOOKING FOR RESPONSE AGAINST ROVERS
Rochdale Hornets will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat when they welcome Featherstone Rovers to the Crown Oil Arena on Easter Monday.
Alan Kilshaw’s men go into this game off the back of a poor result away to Sheffield Eagles on Good Friday, as they went down 38-20. It was a tough afternoon at the Olympic Legacy Park, as three tries in the final 10 minutes of the first half saw the hosts go into the break with a 28-16 lead. An improved second half showing wasn’t enough, as the Eagles picked up their first win of the season. Danny Yates, Rob Massam, Ben Moores and Deon Cross were all on the scoresheet in the defeat.
Featherstone were also beaten on Friday evening, as they left it too late to come from behind against Toronto Wolfpack at the LD Nutrition Stadium. With the Canadian side leading by 16 points, John Duffy’s men rallied to score two unconverted tries through Harry Newman and Luke Briscoe. It wasn’t enough though as they were defeated 24-16, with Martyn Ridyard scoring their other try along with a pair of penalty goals.
Last season these sides met twice during the 2017 Championship campaign, sharing the spoils with a win each. The first meeting saw Hornets pull of one of their biggest victories if the season, defeating Rovers on their own patch against the odds. In terrible conditions they managed to fight their way to a 10-9 triumph thanks to Lewis Palfrey’s late penalty goal. Palfrey kicked a further four points earlier in the game, while Danny Bridge scored the visitor’s only try of the game.
In the return fixture, Featherstone gained their revenge with an emphatic 38-8 victory at the Crown Oil Arena. Ian Hardman and Scott Turner both raced in for braces, on an afternoon to forget for Rochdale. Miles Greenwood and Massam scored the points for Hornets.
Alan Kilshaw is without Joe Taira, Danny Yates and Dec Kay for the visit of Featherstone. Lewis Hatton is set to make his first appearance since picking up a hand injury against Dewsbury Rams, with his return a welcome boost. Ryan Maneely and Callum Mulkeen also come into the squad.
Hornets 18-man squad: Callum Mulkeen, Earl Hurst, Deon Cross, Billy Brickhill, Rob Massam, Richard Lepori, Lewis Palfrey, Toby Adamson, Ben Moores, Lee Mitchell, Dave Allen, Gary Middlehurst, Luke Adamson, Ryan Maneely, Lewis Hatton, Pat Moran, Dec Gregory, Seta Tala.
Duffy has made just one change to his squad ahead of Easter Monday’s clash, as Richard Moore drops out with an injury and is replaced by Danny Maskill. Featherstone are also with injury quartet Scott Wheeldon, Anthony Thackeray, Jason Walton and Chris Ulugia.
Rovers 19-man squad: Ian Hardman, Shaun Robinson, Misi Taulapapa, Luke Briscoe, Martyn Ridyard, Keal Carlile, Connor Farrell, John Davies, James Lockwood, Matty Wildie, Gareth Hock, Frankie Mariano, Luke Cooper, Tom Holmes, Josh Hardcastle, Brad Knowles, Sam Brooks, Danny Maskill, Harry Newman.
ONES TO WATCH
Luke Briscoe will be looking to set a new club record on Monday for a try scoring run, as his effort against Toronto equalled Paul Newlove’s record of scoring in 10 consecutive games during the 1993 season. The winger already has 17 tries to his name this campaign, however in his only appearance against Hornets last season he failed to score. Martyn Ridyard has found a new lease of life with Rovers, as the halfback is back to his best and will cause problems both with his kicking game and with ball in hand. Gareth Hock has an abundance of top flight experience, and will be tough to contain in the middle.
“We’ve got to lick our wounds and get back on the horse because we are in on Monday and Featherstone won’t be feeling sorry for us at all.
“The only concern is the amount of bodies we might have out, we picked up a couple of knocks.
“We do get up for these big side, but we need to be putting points on the board now, we’re six games in and we’ve only won one game now. It’s up to me, the players and all the staff involved to get that formula and get those things right.”
For Kilshaw’s full post-match interview from Good Friday, click here.
Prior to our Championship fixture, local junior side Rochdale Mayfield under 11’s will be taking on Warrington based club Crosfields under 11’s in a curtain raiser. The game will kick-off at 1pm, with gates open from 12:30pm so that supporters are able to take in the action and watch the stars of tomorrow.
Ticket prices are: £16 – Adult, £13 – Concession, £5 – Kids.
Super League season ticket holders can gain access to this game for a discounted price of £13 with our Super£13 scheme. Just present your season ticket at the point of purchase, either at the ticket office or on the gate.
All of these ticket offers for this game are available for purchase from the club ticket office, situated at the Crown Oil Arena main reception. Alternatively you can call the office on 01706 648 004 or pay on the gate.