THE MESSAGE from new boss Neil Kelly to his Dewsbury Rams players today is “roll your sleeves up and let’s go again”.
Kelly’s return – 21 years after he was first appointed coach – inspired Rams to a 20-4 home win over Batley Bulldogs on Good Friday.
That was Dewsbury’s first Kingstone Press Championship success of the season, at the eighth attempt and they will aim to make it an Easter double against Sheffield Eagles at Wakefield’s Beaumont Legal Stadium, Belle Vue, tonight (7.30pm).
“It’s good to get off the mark,” admitted Kelly, who was handed the role less than 48 hours before Friday’s game.
“Everybody in the league has some nerves at the start of the year until they get their first win.
“We’ve had to wait eight games to get that out of the way.
“We were confident when we got one win we could build on it, but we’ve still got to make that happen.
“We are up and running, but we need to get the next one.”
Kelly reckons Rams have shown what they are capable of, but played down his own role.
“I could not have asked for a better first game,” he admitted.
“I was never going to be in a position to totally influence what happened and a lot of credit goes to [assistant-coaches] Jonathan Schofield and Karl Pryce and the players for doing it.
“I had a bit of input, mainly verbal, before and during the game, but they did really well. When they were under pressure in the second half, which is traditionally when they’ve been collapsing, they showed great resilience to withstand repeat sets on our line and they got their rewards.”
Kelly described tonight’s game as “winnable”, but said his focus is on his own team rather than what Sheffield will throw at them.
“I will watch them in whatever game I can get a tape of, but because of the time constraints the main thing we are doing is concentrating on ourselves,” he said.
“The players have shown they can do it, against a side that’s a good mid-to-top-table team in this division. There’s no reason in my mind why we can’t do it against any opposition in this division, but we have to start all over again – we can’t pick up from where we left off.”