Dewsbury Rams v Toronto Wolfpack: Rams told to take off shackles

Neil Kelly.
Neil Kelly.
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DEWSBURY RAMS’ immediate ambition is to break into the middle tier of the second division.

Rams coach Neil Kelly reckons the Betfred Championship – the level below Super League – is effectively three competitions in one.

Dewsbury's  James Glover.

Dewsbury's James Glover.

Kelly, whose team are at home to leaders Toronto Wolfpack tomorrow (3pm), said: “There’s three divisions in this one.

“There’s the full-time teams plus Featherstone, then there’s the middle group, which includes Halifax and Batley, and we’d like to consider ourselves part of that. Then there’s the also-rans.

“We are trying to move on from also-rans to the middle group and we have got to make sure when we play Toronto we think we can win, or there’s no point turning up.”

The odds are stacked against Rams, who have lost their last four Championship fixtures and are on a five-game losing run in all competitions.

Dewsbury's Gareth Moore.

Dewsbury's Gareth Moore.

They were beaten 46-18 at Featherstone Rovers six days ago – after trailing 22-18 at the break – but Kelly reckons there’s no pressure on them this weekend.

“I am encouraging my players to go out and play,” he stressed.

“That is important because I don’t think at Featherstone they all did express themselves.

“Two-thirds or three-quarters of the side are going out and playing and competing, but there’s about a quarter of the side waiting for something good to happen before they get the confidence to make more good things happen.”

He added: “We have got nothing to lose.

“We are playing against an expensively put-together squad and we all like to play against teams who are considered better than we are.”

Toronto won 26-18 at Batley Bulldogs last week and that game highlighted a concern for Kelly.

He said: “I thought they were refereed differently to how Batley were, especially in contact and the play-the-ball area.

“I am quite confident, if we are refereed the same as Toronto, it will be a good game.”

Michael Knowles (sternum) remains on the sidelines, but James Glover could be available after a hamstring injury and Gareth Moore may return after an absence due to family reasons.