LEE GREENWOOD says that his Dewsbury Rams side will need to match the performances from their opening two fixtures to give Widnes Vikings a game this weekend.
Dewsbury were beaten by Leigh Centurions on the opening day of the season and secured an impressive 18-16 win away at Halifax, before last weekend’s Challenge Cup tie at Whitehaven was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Widnes head to the Tetley’s Stadium for Sunday’s game, which will kick off at 6.15pm for live streaming on the OurLeague app, with two wins and a defeat from their first three games and serious play-off ambitions.
The Rams have put in committed performances in both games so far and Greenwood acknowledges that another big effort is the minimum requirement against the Vikings.
“(With) a repeat of the effort, as well as our discipline, defence and organisation, we’ll be in with a shout,” said the Rams head coach.
“I’m not saying we’ll win if we do because Widnes are a good side, but if we have the same approach as we did in those two games then we’ll make it difficult for Widnes.
“Nobody can play to the absolute maximum for 80 minutes. You are going to give Widnes opportunities but it is about trying not to give them loads.
“If we give them any sustained pressure, teams at the top end of the table will score points, which they have been doing in their first few games.
“We’re on the OurLeague app so the lads will want to make an impression,” Greenwood added. “It’s as close as we get to TV games. It’s more important than you think to lads in this division.”
Hooker Dom Speakman will serve a one-match suspension for use of the knee and punching in the incident that saw him red-carded in the victory over Halifax, but Sam Day is expected to be fine to play after picking up a knock in the same game.
Jason Walton remains the only injury absentee for the Rams, who are still awaiting news of when their fourth-round Challenge Cup clash with Whitehaven will be replayed.
The fifth round – in which the winners will travel to League One outfit Newcastle Thunder – is scheduled for the weekend of March 14-15, meaning the game will either be played midweek or Dewsbury’s match at Oldham, on March 8, will need to be moved.
The logistics of playing a midweek game at Whitehaven would prove quite a challenge, so Greenwood hopes that will not be the case.
“Our lads would have to take at least a half-day off work which not all of them are able to, so I don’t think we could raise a 17 for a midweek trip on short notice,” he warned.
“The set precedent in the earlier round was to postpone league games so we’ll be pushing for that. There’s no reason why that can’t be done.”