DEWSBURY RAMS are going into the Betfred Championship Shield competition in good shape according to coach Neil Kelly.
Rams finished ninth in the Championship table, two places and five points above the relegation zone, after completing their regular season with a 44-18 defeat at Toulouse Olympique. Kelly was encouraged by his side’s performance – against a team who needed to win to secure their place in the Qualifiers – and feels Rams can approach their final seven games in confident mood.
Fixtures will be announced on Wednesday of this week and Kelly noted: “We’ll play Leigh, Swinton and Barrow at home and Rochdale, Featherstone, Sheffield and Batley away and I think if we show the spirit we showed on Saturday and get a few bodies back we are in good shape for it.”
Rams matched Toulouse for much of the game and Kelly reflected: “We gave it a good go.
“You go into games like that thinking the longer you can make it a contest the more pressure there is on them and it worked out that way.
“I was quite pleased. They ran away with it in the last 20 minutes, which you’d expect, but most of the game was encouraging.”
He added: “We only had 15 players on Friday. We signed two – Brad Delaney who has played for Dewsbury before and Toby Richardson from Dewsbury Moor.
“They had never trained with the side, but both acquitted themselves really well and fitted in really well and everyone else in the side played well.
“We just needed to control the ball better in the second half.
“We spent most of the second half defending and it’s only a matter of time before you run out of steam.
“But, overall, it was a really positive trip.”