DEWSBURY RAMS boss Neil Kelly believes the future is looking very bright for his side as they look ahead to the second match of their Super 8s campaign.
The Rams made a flying start last weekend with a thumping 56-8 victory against Rochdale Hornets, and now Kelly insists his team are looking forward to the tests that lie ahead.
The first challenge comes this Sunday as the Rams face off against Toulouse Olympique, who currently sit at the top of the Championship Shield standings, eight points ahead of second-placed Batley.
Kelly believes his side’s performance last time out will stand them in good stead.
“We have proved over the last month that we are in a rich vein of form and I would like to think that we have proved that we are a better side than Rochdale,” he said.
“I spoke last week about complacency being our biggest danger in last weekend’s game and it was on my mind even as late as us being in the changing rooms just before the match, but the players’ performance in the first half dispelled any fears of complacency.
“Our first-half performance definitely laid the platform, we had a commanding lead at half time despite playing into a stiff breeze and the attitude of the players was fantastic.”
Kelly is firmly setting his sights on the teams above the Rams and believes his side is more than ready for the chase.
“I said after the Rochdale game that without forgetting what’s behind us, our recent form does afford us the opportunity to look ahead a little bit and set a target, whether it’s an ambitious target or not, we set the target of catching the team that is in front of us, which is Sheffield,” he said.
“This does however put extra pressure on us to win the game this weekend against Toulouse before we play Sheffield a week on Sunday.”
Despite admitting Toulouse are a stronger team now than they were when beaten by his side in June, Kelly remains confident his players are up to the test.
“Our convincing victory against Toulouse a month ago is going to double their determination to win this game,” said Kelly.
“I know they weren’t happy with the way they lost, but we’re looking forward to a really tough game to gauge how far we have come and what the next step of improvement is.
“We need a really tough test, yes we’ve beaten Rochdale and we’ve beaten other teams, but now we need a real test to see what the next step up is for us.
“I am looking forward to the players being involved in a really tough game for the full 80 minutes and I know they are looking forward to it too.”
The Rams boss is thrilled to have a squad with a full bill of health heading into this weekend’s match at the Tetley’s Stadium.
“We have one or two players back to full fitness heading into this weekend,” said Kelly.
“Gareth Moore shouldn’t really have played last weekend, he was poorly all last week and missed Monday’s session as a result of not being fully recovered during the match on Sunday, but I would expect he will be fit to play this weekend.
“Where we are at the moment is totally different from where we were when I first came to the club three months ago. I’m looking at a fully fit squad, with everybody available and wanting to play.”
Kelly says the momentum his side are gathering is encouraging them to look ahead and he believes the future is bright.
“We know we are not mathematically safe and will not take anything for granted, but realistically it would take a drastic turnaround in form not just from us, but from the teams below us, for them to overtake us,” he said.
“The more wins we get, the further in front we are looking.
“We are looking to sign most, if not all of the players that are making us strong for next season and during the winter we will make some additions that will make us even stronger still.”