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Keighley Cougars thrashed but play-offs the priority
Featherstone Rovers 46 Keighley Cougars 4 Jason Demetriou refused to be too downbeat after Cougars crashed to a heavy defeat at Featherstone Rovers today.
Daryl Powell’s men retained the Championship league leaders shield with a powerful display at the Big Fellas Stadium. Cougars will now face Halifax in the play-offs in a match which will be televised by Premier Sports on Thursday (7.30pm).
Demetriou is confident there is plenty of improvement in his side as they look to welcome back a host of players for the end-of-season lottery.
The departing player-coach admitted his side were a distinct second-best but he said: “Yes, it was a tough one today but I rested six of our most experienced players.
“Myself, Sam Obst, Andy Shickell, Craig Moss, Brendon Rawlins and Semi Tadulala were all out of the team.
“To put it in perspective, if you took players of their ability out of the Feather-stone team then it would have been a completely different game.”
Liam Finn kicked seven goals as last year’s Grand Final winners shared the tries about as Greg Worth-ington, Ian Hardman, Nathan Chappel, Jon Grayshon, Stuart Dickens, Sam Smeaton, Andy Kain and Tangi Ropati all touched down.
The home side led 18-4 at half-time, with the visitors only getting on the scoreboard with a Gavin Duffy try, to set up a qualifying semi-final meeting with second-placed Leigh in two weeks.
Demetriou is now looking forward to crossing swords with Karl Harrison’s side and added: “We’ve got to put it into context because the last few weeks haven’t been our main focus.
“Our main focus is on Halifax this week and we’ve been building towards that for a month now.”
Halifax will face Cougars in the elimination play-off after beating Batley 26-20 in the final game of the regular season today.
They came from 14-6 down at the break as Luke Ambler (2), Makali Aizue and Ryan Fieldhouse got the tries, Steve Tyrer kicking five goals.
Sheffield will host Batley in the other elimination tie. The Eagles won their last match 30-20 at Dewsbury today.