Dewsbury Rams’ big win hints at ‘what might have been’

Neil Kelly.
Neil Kelly.
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FORMER BOSS Neil Kelly says Dewsbury Rams achieved their goal this season, but could have done better.

Rams finished fourth in the Betfred Championship Shield table – eighth in the Championship – after thrashing Leigh Centurions 52-6 in their final game two days ago.

James Ford.

James Ford.

Kelly, who stepped down as coach after the match, felt it was one of Rams’ best performances of the season and illustrated what they could have achieved.

“We finished eighth and that was our target at the beginning of the year,” Kelly said. “But, realistically, if we had played to our full potential throughout the year the signs are we could have finished in a slightly higher position.

“We are all a bit disappointed, but really we have done what was expected of the team.”

Leigh arrived with only 13 players and were reduced to 12 when full-back Will Dagger was injured, but Kelly felt Rams would have won even if Leigh had been at full-strength.

He said: “We did enough in the early stages of the game when they were not disadvantaged by not having any replacements.

“We were 12-0 up after about 20 minutes and 18-0 after half an hour. That gives us encouragement to think that even if they had replacements they would have been putting them on from a position where they were already behind.

“I thought we played as well as we have all year. We did the right things with the ball and with the ref and everybody was working together.

“From a team perspective it was a positive performance.”

Kelly played for Rams and had two spells as team boss. He is set to take a break before returning to coaching.

“I’m a bit sad,” he admitted. “That chapter has come to an end for various reasons and that’s life. Now I’ll move on to the next chapter.”

Around a third of Rams’ current squad have re-signed for next season. James Ford, coach of newly-promoted York City Knights, was at Sunday’s game and is believed to be interested in Dewsbury hooker Robbie Ward and loose-forward Aaron Brown.