DEWSBURY RAMS coach Lee Greenwood says that Barrow Raiders will expect to beat his side on Sunday – despite their 56-0 defeat last weekend.
The Rams come into the game on the back of a victory over Swinton last Sunday, a first in the Championship for Greenwood as head coach.
They make the journey to Barrow on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) to face a Raiders side who were humbled by York in their previous match.
Despite that, Greenwood claims that his Rams team will go into the game as underdogs.
“It’s going to be very tough. I don’t know if that result will do us any favours to be honest,” he said.
“Obviously they got off to a really good start with a cracking win at Batley, and they just got pipped by Sheffield at home.
“So they started off pretty well and then it was probably a shock to everyone, themselves included, to be beaten comprehensively like that.
“But I know, and our players know, that if you don’t turn up on one given week then that can happen in this division.
“You can’t have a game off where you’re not quite ready for it and expect to get anything from it, and you don’t just lose, you can get beaten heavily like that.
“So I know they’ll have had a tough week training this week, and they’ll be well up for us visiting on Sunday.
“And with the Sheffield defeat they haven’t won at home either, so they’ll want to get their home season off to a start. They’ll definitely expect to be beating us at home.”
Dewsbury saw off Swinton for their first win of the season last weekend, but Greenwood believes the performance was on par with the opening match against York, when they were pipped at the post.
“I think the performance was similar in ways to the week before, and to be honest we possibly played better against York,” he said.
“There were some promising signs again. I thought we looked in control for large parts and then there are definitely areas that we need to work on.
“It’s all part of the process we’re going through, trying to pick up results and be competitive while knowing there’s a lot of work to do.”
He praised the experience of captain Paul Sykes, who produced another great performance at the age of 37 to orchestrate their victory.
Greenwood said: “We don’t have many (players who) have played at the highest level and have been around the game (that long) and understand it.
“But he’s playing well from a physical point of view as well, playing a lot younger than his age.
“He doesn’t mind getting his body in the way defensively and then he’s coming up with some big attacking plays as well, scoring tries and creating them. He’s an important player for us.”
The Rams have also expanded their loan contingent to four, with Luke Hooley joining the club on an initial one-month deal from Wakefield Trinity.
The former Dewsbury Moor junior had a spell with the Rams in 2017 and joins fellow Wakefield man Chris Annakin and Wigan’s Callum Field on short-term loans, while Owen Harrison is at the club for the season from Hull KR.
Hooley made his debut in the win over Swinton, and Greenwood is pleased to have a natural full-back in his ranks after no like-for-like replacement was found in the off-season for the departing Josh Guzdek.
“We don’t have too many natural full-backs in the squad, and it just gives us a bit more competition for those outside back places, and someone who can go straight in there without having to learn the position as such,” the coach said.
“He’s still a young lad so there are parts of his game that he needs to work on, and we’re happy to do that with him while he’s with us.
“With the couple of loan signings that we’ve got, they actually want to come and play for Dewsbury.
“As much as the first option would obviously be to play at the club they’ve signed at, they’re actually happy to come to Dewsbury and play as well which is good.”
“The most important things is that they’re good lads. They haven’t come in and expected everything or shown any attitude, they’ve just come in and become one of the lads, and we treat them as if they’re our players when they’re on loan.
“We’ll review them all as we go along. I’d like to keep them longer, but if they come to us, play well and end up needed by their parent club to play for them, then it’s worked out for everyone.”