FEATHERSTONE Rovers assistant coach Paul March has praised his side for keeping their composure in the face of an unexpected York City Knights fightback at Wembley.

Betfred Championship high-flyers Fev led the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup final 22-10 at half-time but within 10 minutes of the second-half kicking off, that advantage had been wiped out.

Converted tries from Kriss Brining and Jason Bass sent Knights fans into raptures and threatened to undo Fev's first-half domination.

But the pendulum swung again and Featherstone regained the upper hand with tries from Jacob Doyle, James Harrison and the ever-impressive Craig Hall.

Those three scores put the game just out of the reach of York, who battled gamely but could not quite close the gap and ended up falling seven points short in a 41-34 defeat.

"It's happened the last couple of weeks that we've not started the second halves as well as we finished the first half," said March, who was told on Thursday he would take charge of the final after head coach James Webster was ruled out of the game with Covid.

"It was important that we just stuck to the game plan.

"We've got a lot of experience in the team, in game management and the big-game players stood up.

"We got back to playing how we wanted to, move the ball around, take the space and hit them through the middles.

"Them quick tries certainly got us back into the game after York had put a massive push on.

"I think it told on the energy battle from York's point of view that (James Ford) used his last sub with 20 minutes to go, which was a bit strange.

"Obviously the game, the weather and the occasion, and us keeping hold of the ball sapped that energy and took us over the line.

"A lot of our players are dead on their feet."

The final was briefly put in doubt towards the back end of last week when a number of Featherstone players recorded positive Covid tests.

A second round of examination of those who tested negative found Rovers free to contest the final, and still put out a very strong side with well-weathered players like Nu Brown and Hall offsetting the inexperience of debutant Joe Summers and Doyle, who was making just his second appearance for Fev.

"I don't think he's going to want to play anywhere else," quipped March of Summers. "He's just made his professional debut at Wembley Stadium."