Rochdale Hornets v Dewsbury Rams: Hornets clash is ‘massive’ for us, admits Lee Greenwood
Rams visit bottom club Rochdale Hornets for a rearranged Betfred Championship fixture (3pm).
Last Sunday’s draw with Halifax moved Rams three points clear of second-bottom Barrow Raiders and if they win this weekend they will climb two places to 10th in the table.
“It’s an absolutely massive game in the season,” said coach Lee Greenwood. “We can’t relax if we win, but it will look a lot more positive. With nobody else playing we can jump above Widnes and Batley and put another two points between us and Barrow.”
Rams have strung four positive performances together – against York City Knights, Barrow, Sheffield Eagles and Halifax – but Greenwood admitted: “This one’s a bit different. It is literally the last fixture in the last 10 when we’ll be the favourites. The rest of them, we will be underdogs going into them all.
“That doesn’t mean we can’t win them, but this is the only one where we are stronger on paper and in a higher position.”
The down side is Rams are playing when most other Championship teams have a week to rest and refresh, though Batley and Widnes are both in 1896 Cup action.
Despite Rams’ recent improved form, Greenwood said: “I wouldn’t have minded the week off.
“We literally haven’t had one because we’ve got through in the cups, whereas other teams around us and in our division have.
“Even stronger teams with more resources have had weeks off when it has been the 1895 or the Challenge Cup.
“We haven’t really benefited because this game is the postponed one from round one. It didn’t even give us a week off then, really, because it was supposed to be the first game.
“Since we have started we haven’t had a week off. The closest we’ve had was playing on Friday night two weeks ago. It has not been easy physically. We are a part-time team and when other teams have had a week off we’ve had to keep putting a side out and keep training properly. We haven’t had a breather that, at times, we needed – but the game in hand could have a nice positive effect this weekend with nobody else playing.”