All smiles as derby foes make good starts

Jason Crookes
Jason Crookes
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WE’VE HAD a good start, but we need to build on it. That was the reaction of Dewsbury Rams coach Glenn Morrison and his Batley Bulldogs rival John Kear after Kingston Press Championship round one.

Rams kicked off with a rare home victory over Sheffield Eagles and Batley matched that by beating visitors Workington Town.

Dewsbury had lost their previous 16 meetings with Sheffield before Friday’s 19-10 success, which saw them hit back from 10-0 down and Morrison said: “It was nice to finally get one over them. I said to the boys before the game the club had done a good job getting as many people through the gates as they could, so we had to do ours.

“It wasn’t a pretty game, it is never easy against Sheffield, but we fought hard and deserved the win.”

Dewsbury make the long trip to Workington on Sunday and Morrison added: “It is important to start well.

“You can’t afford to drop many points if you want to be finishing up near the top-six. Sheffield are one of the teams we neeed to beat because they are going to be up there as well, so we’ve started well and we need to back that up, or all the hard work will be for nothing.”

Morrison was at Batley two days ago to watch Workington’s 30-6 defeat and he said: “All our focus in pre-season was on Sheffield.

“Now we’ve got to focus on Workington, train hard this week and go up there in the right frame of mind. It was good to play Friday and be able to watch them on Sunday and get a few tips.

“I think they will be better at home, so we’re expecting it to be pretty tough.”

Rams could travel to Workington without centre Jason Crookes. Morrison said: “He only lasted 20 minutes. There was a head clash and he smashed his front two teeth and cut his mouth up.

“He was in hospital over the weekend and he’ll be seeing a dentist (today). Rob Spicer came off with a bit of a neck problem, but we’re hoping that’s not too bad.”

Meanwhile, Kear was equally happy with his team’s first competitive game. He said: “They played really well. We said we’d measure pre-season by how we started and step one was a pretty successful step, but it’s no good just doing it once.

“You have got to string a number of performances together and if you do that you might get a string of good results.”

Centre Shaun Squires, signed from Sheffield Eagles, scored four tries on his debut, but was “peeved” afterwards, according to Kear, whose team visit Hunslet Hawks on Sunday.

“He had one disallowed and he’s adamant he scored it,” said the coach. “He equalled the club record and he’d have broken it if that fifth had been given. He’s a highly-skilled lad and it was a great way to make your first-team debut.”