Cougars chairman Fawcett: Our biggest game for two decades

FAWCETT: Massive fixture as Cougars bid to avoid the dreaded drop

FAWCETT: Massive fixture as Cougars bid to avoid the dreaded drop

First published in Sport
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COUGARS chairman Gary Fawcett believes Sunday’s visit of Featherstone Rovers is the biggest game at Cougar Park for 20 years.

Paul March’s men are desperate for the victory that would ensure their Championship status and seal a play-off berth.

The bottom five teams in the division will be relegated and Cougars, Whitehaven and Batley are all battling to avoid the drop, while Workington are not mathematically safe either.

Fawcett is urging fans to turn out in force as March’s team bid to end their regular league campaign on a massive high.

The Cougars chief said: “Sunday’s visit of Featherstone will be the biggest game at Cougar Park for 20 years.

“We will be fighting for the right to play in next season's hugely re-structured league system and to secure mouth-watering derby games against the Bradford Bulls.

“However, five teams are being relegated on Sunday as part of the re-structure and, as things stand, we are only one point above the drop zone and themselves, Batley, Whitehaven and Workington are trying to avoid being in the final relegation place.

“Featherstone who are fighting their own battle for a second-placed finish and, although they are favourites to finish second, Doncaster could steal that spot from them if they beat Batley and we beat Featherstone.

“The cash difference between second and third place next season is £250k so both teams will be highly incentivised to defeat their opponents and, on the flip side, Batley and Cougars will be desperate to avoid the drop.

“All of this makes 3pm at Cougar Park next Sunday the biggest game in 20 years.

“I’m sure Featherstone will be bringing a huge following given what's at stake for them and I am sure that the Cougars supporters will turn out in force for what is going to be a thrilling nail-biting afternoon.

“All chairmen of sports clubs hope it's not going to be quite in this way as they seek a nice safe spot away from relegation trouble. Unfortunately we haven't got that at the moment!”

Batley and Doncaster had three points deducted for fielding an ineligible player in the dual registration row – but then had the points reinstated by the RFL last week.

Fawcett added: “In terms of the Batley and Doncaster rule infringement, I’m currently seeking clarification from the RFL whether or not both teams were punished at all for breaking the rule.

“The PR that was put out was inconclusive and seems to suggest that no sanction was applied.

“Obviously, in the light of general acceptance that they did break the rules I would have anticipated some form of punishment or else there would be no point in having the rule if it can't be enforced.”

Cougars will be asking supporters to vote for their player of the year at Sunday’s game.

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