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Dewsbury Rams v Featherstone Rovers: Bad starts costing Rovers as Rams lie in wait

Featherstone Rovers' head coach John Duffy, left. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Featherstone Rovers' head coach John Duffy, left. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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FEATHERSTONE ROVERS need to start better and cut out individual errors when they visit Dewsbury Rams tomorrow (3pm), coach John Duffy has warned, writes Peter Smith.

Three successive defeats have pushed Rovers down to fifth, on points difference, in the Betfred Championship, but Duffy remains confident they will finish in the top-four if they iron out a few flaws.

“It’s just our starts to games,” he said. “Our second half against Halifax [two weeks ago] was great, but there were a few too many individual errors.

“We can’t afford to do that, especially with the run in we’ve got and where we want to be.”

Rovers beat Rams 46-18 at home in April, but Duffy expects a tougher game tomorrow. The hosts are unbeaten in two games and he said: “They are playing really tough, they’ve got some good players and experienced halves.

“When we played them last time they pushed us for 20-30 minutes and we had to weather some storms. We will have to do that again.

They are in a run of defeats now. Four losses for them (including one in the Challenge Cup) is like eight or nine for us. They’re under pressure to get a win

Neil Kelly on visitors Featherstone Rovers

“We’ve got to be on the money and worry about ourselves and getting back to winning ways.”

Having no game last weekend has helped Rovers, believes Duffy, who added: “It has been good to refresh. We’ll have Misi Taulapapa and Jay Walton back and we are nice and refreshed and ready to go again.”

Rams coach Neil Kelly wants his team to cope better when he makes changes during games.

“We were good in some areas and did some good things in the first half the last time we played Featherstone,” he said.

“But we lost it either side of half-time and that has been a constant story this season. We compete in games for so long, but once I start to make changes we lose it either side of half-time.

“That’s not just the people coming on, it’s those on from the start as well. We’ve got to maintain concentration, focus and our skill levels.”

Of Rovers, Kelly said: “They are in a run of defeats now. Four losses for them [including one in the Challenge Cup] is like eight or nine for us.

“They’re under pressure to get a win and we’d like to continue our better form, so it should be a good game.”