Injuryhit Rams to cause Cup upset

WARREN JOWITT believes Dewsbury are capable of causing an upset against Halifax on Sunday (3pm) despite being informed of further bad news from his medical staff.
The Rams boss says he is concerned about the fitness of newsignings Scott Spaven and Ed Barber, who have both suffered ankle ligament damage.
Barber’s injury was sustained in last month’s friendly against Bradford but the loose forward has failed to recover and only has a 40 per cent chance of appearing.
Spaven is also a serious doubt for Dewsbury’s first Northern Rail Cup tie along with Ryan Esders, who pulled up with a knee injury in training.
The resting of Craig Cook and Luke Blake against Bradford, however, appears to have paid dividends as Jowitt says they will feature on Sunday.
“Luke Blake has passed a fitness test and Craig Cook is raring to go again,” he told Press Sport.
“Those two will definitely play against Halifax and obviously Ayden (Faal) has declared himself fit, which is a bonus.
“But we are concerned about Scott Spaven and Ed Barber.
“Both of them have got ankle ligament problems and they have around a 40 per cent chance of playing.
“It’s disappointing because I’ve got three back but I’ve lost another three and they have all sustained fairly freak injuries.
“Ryan Esders has also picked up a knock but we’re confident that he’ll pull through in time for Sunday’s game.
“The whole situation is quite bizarre. We purposely played less friendlies to avoid a long list of injuries but it seems to have gone against us.
“If we had played four or five preseason games, we could have been in a real mess.”
Halifax have been installed as second favourites to win the Northern Rail Cup and are one of only two Championship clubs to have spent up to the salary cap, it is understood.
Former Batley coach Karl Harrison is now at the helm and four of last year’s Bulldogs are likely to play on Sunday.
Jowitt added: “Halifax are going to provide us with a huge challenge but it’s what we need. This game will game us a clear indication as to where we are at.
“Myself and the players have been looking forward to this game for some time now.
“If a team is playing well, the results will take care of themselves.
“Halifax are a very good side. They have spent up to the salary cap and I expect an elusive brand of rugby from them.
“However, I believe I have a squad capable of rising to the challenge.
“Karl Harrison may be the coach but Halifax won’t be a replica of last season’s Batley side.”
Meanwhile, the club have until kickoff on Sunday to meet their target of 500 season ticket sales.
Reaching that figure would see main sponsors Eric France hand the Rams a cash bonus of £15,000.
The current figure stands at just under 470 sales and the club is now urging any fans, who have not renewed from last season, to do so as soon as possible.
Chairman Mark Sawyer said: “We expect to sell around 20 more season tickets before kickoff on Sunday.
“One would have to be confident of achieving our target now but it has to be 500 or more, Eric France will not accept any less.
“The response from the fans has been absolutely tremendous.
“In 1999, when we won the league title, we only had 130 season ticket holders and that makes the current figure all the more encouraging.”

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