CHALLENGE CUP quarter-finalists Featherstone Rovers know they can ill-afford to under-estimate struggling Dewsbury Rams in Saturday night’s Championship game.
Rovers have won their last five matches, including last week’s cup win over Halifax to set up a last eight meeting at Super League giants Leeds Rhinos.
They are second in the league table but just two points ahead of Toulouse, London Broncos and Halifax.
Featherstone will aim to complete a league double over Dewsbury after winning 38-6 at Tetley’s Stadium last month but boss Jon Sharp will not take their opponents lightly.
Although Dewsbury have picked up just one win in 12 league games, they have improved since the vastly-experienced Neil Kelly returned as coach for a second spell.
“It’s back to reality this Saturday and back to what is equally, if not more, important to us,” said Sharp.
Dewsbury seem to be playing for one another and we are certainly expecting a tough game.Featherstone Rovers’ head coach, Jon Sharp
“That is hopefully a good performance and two points against a resurgent Dewsbury team under Neil Kelly.
“Dewsbury seem to be playing for one another and we are certainly expecting a tough game.
“It was tough when we played at Dewsbury – it was very physical – and I expect it to be similar on Saturday but we are comfortable and happy with what we are doing.
“We will be showing the same focus and intensity against Dewsbury that we did against Halifax. It’s a really big game for us this weekend.
“There’s four weeks before we play the quarter-final and we’ve addressed it how we can’t let it distract us in the league as things are so tight.”
Ex- Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers second row Frankie Mariano looks set to return to action tonight.
The Scotland star has been included in Sharp’s 19-man squad along with dual-registered Leeds Rhinos pair Jordan Baldwinson and Jack Ormondroyd.
Chris Ulugia and Luke Briscoe miss out through injury, with Michael Knowles being the other change as Featherstone go in search of sixth-straight victory.
Dewsbury, meanwhile, could give a debut to ex-Featherstone scrum-half Gareth Moore who has arrived from Halifax until the end of the season.