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Thursday, 30 July 2015

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Whitehaven coach Dave Woods not looking for 'quick fix' solution

Dave Woods is not prepared to look for a “quick fix” solution and ask St Helens’ superstars to bale out Whitehaven against league leaders Featherstone Rovers on Sunday.

Dave Woods photo
Dave Woods

The Haven coach has the option of turning to the Super League giants, their partner club, but is determined to show faith in his own squad, in their toughest test of the season to date.

He said: “It would be easy for me as coach to ask for Tommy Makinson, if he’s not playing this week, or Gary Wheeler, but it would send out the wrong message.

“I don’t think that’s a long term fix. It’s a quick fix. We have to look to Whitehaven Rugby League, rather than expect help from others, though there will be times we need to use Saints’ players. We need a reaction from our boys.”

Woods reckons Featherstone, who have topped the table for the past three seasons, are the ideal opponents to face after last week’s second-half debacle at Dewsbury, as many outside the club are writing off their chances.

“It’s a good thing that it’s Featherstone, because no one expects us to do anything,” he said. “But I expect to win every game, and if we do everything right, we can beat anyone on our day.

“They have been the top side for three years and it’s a difficult ask. It’s a very, very difficult assignment, but we have faith in our boys.”

Woods has only looked to Saints once this term, Ade Gardner and Anthony Walker both turning in fine performances in the win at Keighley.

Back-rower Matty Dale, who had a short loan stint at the Recre in 2007 when with Hull FC, is available for Rovers after missing the win against Hunslet last weekend with a shoulder injury, but Jack Bussey (shoulder) is still doubtful.

Second-row Tim Spears is ready to make his first-team comeback following shoulder surgery.

Rovers coach Daryl Powell said: “We’ve a short turn round next week, playing Whitehaven on Sunday and Keighley next Thursday, so I will looking to utilise the full squad for those two games and Tim Spears will probably play in one of the two matches.”



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