Dewsbury Rams braced for tough test in Championship opener against Bradford Bulls

Lee Greenwood is expecting a difficult test for his Dewsbury Rams side this weekend as they kick off their 2022 Championship campaign at home to Bradford Bulls.

By Ben McKenna
Friday, 28th January 2022, 11:45 am
WARM-UP: Dewsbury finalised their pre-season preparations with a friendly defeat to Hull KR. Picture: Thomas Fynn.
WARM-UP: Dewsbury finalised their pre-season preparations with a friendly defeat to Hull KR. Picture: Thomas Fynn.

The Bulls finished in the play-offs last term but were knocked out in the first round by the Rams’ Heavy Woollen rivals Batley Bulldogs.

However, Bradford have recruited strongly during the off-season, bringing in the likes of Dec Patton from Warrington Wolves while securing loan moves for Leeds Rhinos’ trio Jarrod O’Connor, Corey Johnson and Muizz Mustapha.

Dewsbury won eight of their 21 league outings last campaign but Greenwood feels his side have enjoyed a stronger pre-season due to fewer Covid-19 restrictions being in place ahead of the new campaign compared to last year.

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WARM-UP: Dewsbury finalised their pre-season preparations with a friendly defeat to Hull KR. Picture: Thomas Fynn.

“They are a big outfit,” said Greenwood of this weekend’s opponents.

“They have moved back to Odsal, which is a smaller pitch and they will be prepared for playing on our pitch now.

“It is not like we will catch them out with the size of the pitch. We know we are in for a tough test.

“They have a lot of experience and a lot of players who have played in Super League. They have handpicked the players to add to what they already had.

“We are under no illusions how hard it is going to be but that is most weeks for us.

“We are underdogs in three-quarters of our games, but we will give it a go.”

Dewsbury were beaten in both of their pre-season outings earlier this month, first losing to Huddersfield Giants before suffering a 60-12 defeat against Hull KR last Friday.

Greenwood admits he did not expect to come out of either of those games victorious but felt there were plenty of positives to gain.

“It has been a big improvement on last year because of the restrictions we were under,” added the Rams boss of this season’s pre-season preparations.

“It has been more like normal this year; in terms of training we have been able to do pretty much whatever we wanted.

“We knew the games would be tough and realistically that we weren’t going to win them but we wanted to come out of them with positives and we did that in both.”

Greenwood has been happy with the recruitment ahead of the new season and feels there is plenty of competition in his squad.

He added: “We feel we have got strong competition in all of our positions and we feel we are strong enough to have a good go this year.”