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On The Pitch

Sheens: They’re all important

Head coach Tim Sheens says Sunday’s game against London Broncos at KCOM Craven Park is no more important than any other match in the Qualifiers – and insists the result will come down to hard work as always.

Rovers head into this weekend’s match with two wins from two in the opening rounds of the Super 8’s and can strengthen their push for promotion with a victory over the Broncos ahead of a weekend off for the Challenge Cup final.

However, Sheens believes the circumstances of this match do not make it any more important than the others his team will face over the coming weeks.

He told “It’s obvious in everybody’s minds that we’ve won two matches and that would be wasted with a loss at this stage, but it’s not something we’ve focused on or that concerns me.

“This match this weekend is just as important as any other match in this competition. They’re all important, none of them more or less so.

“We need to back ourselves and we need to be confident, which we are because London have got to travel and play us in our house, but it comes down to the effort we put in. We had a disappointing loss here to Toulouse which hurt and we beat London here in the Championship, but this is a different kettle of fish.

“We’re nowhere near having our best side out on the field but we’ve put ourselves in a good position. Just achieving another win is what’s at the forefront of our mind and we’ve got to be prepared to put the effort in to do that.”

London will arrive at KCOM Craven Park in search of their first victory in the Qualifiers, with Andrew Henderson’s men coming up just short in an opening round defeat to Catalans Dragons and then in a draw with Featherstone last week.

Sheens added: “The draw last week just makes them more desperate. We know we’re in for an 80-minute game.

“Their full back can play, they give their outside backs a lot of ball and they’ve got a lot of rugby in them. Their half backs are always busy and a threat, their hooker is a very good player and they’ve got a strong pack of forwards, so they’re pretty well balanced.

“They’re not where they are for no reason, they’ve played very well all season on a limited budget and they keep turning up ready to play. They took Catalans to the wall in game one which was a big effort so we’re in for a tough game.

“Our defence won us the match against Leigh last week and I give credit to James Webster for the structures he put in place. It’s quite an Australian thing to say, but defence is the most important thing in these big matches.

“I’m sure the supporters would like to see us score 40 points every week, but the key is not to concede 40. If you’re tight in defence, then you’re always in the game and you give yourselves a chance to win it. As a coach, my philosophy has always been to try to score points as well but we need to be good defensively.”

Photo: Sheens: They’re all important