Championship: Local rivals facing tests against top four sides

Glenn Morrison.

Glenn Morrison.

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DEWSBURY RAMS and Batley Bulldogs face tough games tomorrow against sides chasing a place in the Kingstone Press Championship’s top-four.

A win for Rams over visitors London Broncos (3pm) would complete a notable double after their 20-16 victory at the former Super League side in April.

“We beat them in the friendly up at our place in pre-season as well, so we will take some positives out of those,” said Rams coach Glenn Morrison. “We know it is going to be tough, but this game – like last week – is one we really need to win if we are going to get into the top-six.”

That is the target for Rams now after last month’s loss to Halifax ended their hopes of qualifying for the middle-eights. Morrison added: “We probably needed to win against Halifax, Featherstone and London to get into the top-four. We knew those games would make or break our season. We lost the Halifax game, but if we can beat London it puts us in a good chance of being where we want to be, which is the top-six – then we can push on from there.

“We have got a chance to get up there and stay there, but we need to win this week.”

Rams are full of confidence following their 32-30 win at Featherstone, which led to the departure of Rovers coach Andy Hay. They hit back from 20-8 down at half-time and Morrison said: “The boys realise when we are on our game and we do what we are supposed to do, we are a good side. We’ve had some good results this year, but we’ve not put an 80-minute performance in. If we can kick on from the second half last week and put 80 minutes in like that, we will give ourselves a good shot.”

Batley – who have signed Samoan back Chris Ulugia on loan from Bradford Bulls until the end of the season – ended a run of seven straight defeats with a win over bottom club Doncaster last week, but face a tougher test away to Halifax (3pm). Coach John Kear said: “The big thing about last week was winning. It wasn’t so much about the performance, but we played really well in the first half and we need to take that into the Halifax game. They are probably the form team in the Championship and it is a fair old challenge, especially on their ground, but we need to build on last week and continue that form.”

Neil Kelly.

Dewsbury/Batley: Arch-rivals both need to start picking up victories