Championship: Coaches expecting tough weekend

Glenn Morrison.
Glenn Morrison.
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DEWSBURY RAMS will be looking for a big improvement tomorrow, as Featherstone Rovers and Batley Bulldogs aim to maintain recent form.

Rams suffered their first defeat in the Kingstone Press Championship last Sunday when they slumped 38-16 at promoted Oldham.

They play host to Whitehaven tomorrow (3pm) and coach Glenn Morrison admitted: “If we play like we did last weekend, we’ll end up with the same result.”

Morrison warned: “They are a similar sort of team, they have got some strike players.

“They haven’t had a victory yet, but they’ll be fired up to get the first one.

“We will have to be on our game.”

Whitehaven’s fixture against Featherstone last week was postponed and Morrison added: “They will be fresh and raring to go.

“It is going to be tough, they have got some good players and they’ll be coming down thinking they can get the points off us.”

Featherstone are also fresh and rested ahead of Oldham’s visit tomorrow (3pm).

The free weekend gave several players the chance to get over knocks and for the team to do extra field work.

“Teams are knocking each other off and if you are not ready to play you will get beaten,” Rovers boss Jon Sharp said.

“Oldham were excellent against Dewsbury so we have to turn up with a good attitude.

“Fortunately we have made a habit of doing that this year. We pride ourselves on preparing well and being ready to go.

“We aren’t at our best yet, but I don’t think many teams are at this stage of the year.”

Batley will travel to Halifax (3pm) in good spirits after last week’s fine win over Sheffield Eagles.

That followed a narrow defeat at Featherstone and opening win over Leigh Centurions. Coach John Kear said: “Halifax were the surprise package of last year because they competed so well in the middle-eights against full-time teams.

“Since then, with the additional funding, they have recruited well, they have got a very good squad and they will challenge anybody.

“But we will be aware of what threats they pose and we hope we can cause them one or two problems as well.”

Alex Walmsley in action against Papua New Guinea.

Walmsley aiming to put Dewsbury ‘on the map’