Hornets stirred by chance of final glory
By Liam Williams
Rochdale will discover the identity of their Kingstone Press Championship One Grand Final opponents on Sunday when Oldham take on London Skolars in the final play-off eliminator, but Hornets half-back Steve Roper says his side will be confident whoever they face.
The Hornets made the final in dramatic fashion with a 23-22 victory over local rivals Oldham last week, a win which means they have already beaten both potential opponents in their play-offs, and Roper is in confident spirits ahead of the final.
“We put in a good effort to beat London and Oldham, so we’re not bothered who we play. Obviously getting those results gives you confidence,” said Roper.
“Anything can happen in a final, but form is definitely important. You want to be going into these games in the best frame of mind possible with momentum behind you which we will be.
“We made the semi-finals last year and the year before, so it’s nice to get over that hurdle and make it to the final. Now that we’ve got to this stage we know we can win, it’s just about going out there on the day and doing it.
“Winning promotion would be massive for us. I’ve been here over five years now, so I’ve got to know the fans really well, and I know how much promotion will mean to them, especially considering how close we are to it.”
Victory over Oldham earned the Hornets a week off from competition but Roper insists the squad will not be relaxing too much ahead of finals day on September 29.
“We’re all going out for a meal at the weekend with our wives and girlfriends as a bit of a team bonding session which we’re looking forward to,” he said.
“But we’ll still be training, doing a bit of rehab and watching some videos and we’ll be fully focused again next week on preparing for the game and we’ll be ready for it.”
The 2013 Kingstone Press Championships Finals Day at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday September 29 features a feast of first class Rugby League action with three matches kicking off with the Rugby League Conference Challenge Trophy Final, Leigh Miners v Wigan St Patricks, followed by the Championship One Play-off Final and Championship Grand Final. Tickets cost from just £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and can be purchased by visiting; www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113.
For people with any form of disability the RFL offers a free assistant place when booking tickets. For people with a visual impairment or non-sighted disability we also offer audio visual descriptive commentary for all our events.