Featherstone Rovers v Dewsbury Rams: Refreshed Rams facing derby-day test

John Duffy.
John Duffy.
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BATTLE-HARDENED Featherstone Rovers will take on refreshed Dewsbury Rams in tomorrow’s Betfred Championship derby at LD Nutrition Stadium, Post Office Road (3pm).

While Rovers played twice over Easter, including a 42-0 win at Rochdale Hornets on Monday, Rams’ second game – at home to Halifax – was postponed due to snow.

Neil Kelly.

Neil Kelly.

Featherstone boss John Duffy predicted: “They will be champing at the bit to play and we have to make sure we start well. We had a tough weekend, but the good news is everyone came through unscathed and we’ve got players coming back so we are looking forward to the game and continuing our form from Monday.”

After losing to Toronto on Good Friday, Duffy admitted tomorrow is a must-win game. He said: “There’s no margin for error this season, we’ve got to keep consistent. There’s still things we need to work on each week, but the boys are enjoying it and they’ve been fantastic over the Easter period. Nobody moaned or complained, they just got on with it and we had a good result on Monday.”

Of Rams, Duffy warned: “They started the season well and they’ve got some experience in the halves. We will have to be on the money to get the result.”

Meanwhile, Dewsbury coach Neil Kelly reckons tomorrow’s hosts will be feeling the effects of two games in four days.

“I’d like to think it would be our advantage, we have got a group who have had nine days’ rest instead of five days’,” Kelly said. But he added: “If you have a good quality squad in this division – which I think Featherstone have – and strength in depth and it is in form, playing a team who on paper are not quite as good, then that extra couple of days’ rest won’t bridge that gap.

“They have got quality in depth and I am not alone in being envious of Featherstone – it is an expensively acquired squad that is firing on all cylinders at the moment. Ours is not as expensively put together and we are looking around for our next win at the moment.”

But despite Rams’ four successive losses, in all competitions, Kelly is not downbeat.

He stressed: “We are in a tough run of fixtures, the majority of them against full-time teams. I want us to perform to the best of our ability and give 100 per cent.”