Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Sunday's Coming: Dewsbury Rams

Seemingly unfazed by coach Glenn Morrison's flirtation with the NZ Kiwis job or the loss of key strike player Austin Buchanan to a Twitter-oriented RFL ban, the Rams have hit the season running after impressive pre-season wins over both Bradford and Castleford (the latter were nilled!).

Those who live in anticipation of shock results in this year's Championship need look no further than the Tetley Stadium last Sunday, where Dewsbury kicked an early dent in Featherstone's ambitions, beating the hot favourites for a SL berth by 11 points to 10. The teams went in scoreless at half time and Fev led twice before a 79th minute Anthony Thackeray drop-goal sealed the deal.

Dewsbury made one of the most attention-grabbing Championship signings of the the off-season, luring ex Castleford, Wigan, Hull, Bradford and Salford rake Wayne Godwin down to Owl Lane. Godwin played 13 years and almost 250 games in Super League, so will be one to keep quiet.

Indeed, Dewsbury's squad has a thick seam of unassuming quality running through it.

Recent signing, ex-Wakefield utility back Jordan Grayston returns to the UK from InTrust Super Cup (Queensland Cup in old money) premiers Mackay Cutters. Up front, Dewsbury's pack features former Halifax and Hull KR PNG war-horse Makali Aizue.

More interestingly to us - Dewsbury become the latest club after Leeds Rhinos Academy , Keighley, London Broncos, Widnes, Hull KR, Toulouse, Batley, Widnes (again), Hornets, Batley (again), Swinton and Leigh to try and get journeyman lump Tommy Gallagher match fit.

If anything, last Sunday's result at the Tetley's Stadium laid down two markers for the forthcoming season. 1. The Championship provides a leap forward in all aspects: every person involved in Hornets - fans included - has to be the best they can be if we are to capitalise on the opportunities ahead of us this year, and 2. If Dewsbury can do it, why not us?

The test begins on Sunday. The best we can do is give it 100% and #believe. Let's do this...

RFL Match Preview

Rochdale Hornets are without Alex McClurg for their season opener, while Dewsbury Rams coach Glenn Morrison could name the same side that secured an 11-10 win over Featherstone Rovers last week.

Morrison said: "We've built momentum over the pre-season and we've got a good result last week, but it's only one win. We've got to keep that same intensity each week because there are no easy games in the Kingstone Press Championship."

Morrison admits he is taking a step into the unknown ahead of Sunday's clash with Rochdale. He said: "It's a hard one. They didn't get their game in last week against Sheffield, but they've got a dual registration agreement with St Helens and there's talk of a few Saints boys playing for them, so it's hard to work out a plan to break them down.

"We just have to concentrate on ourselves and be ready to go, whoever they put in front of us."