DEWSBURY RAMS dual-captain Wayne Godwin says pre-season friendly results will count for nothing unless his side can make a good start to their Championship campaign.
The Tetley’s Stadium outfit face a tough task as they host last season’s league leaders Featherstone in round one.
Both sides enter the contest having claimed Super League scalps in pre-season.
Dewsbury defeated both Bradford Bulls and Castleford Tigers, while Featherstone beat Hull FC.
Godwin admits that a win against the league leaders would be a massive start for the Rams, but says they must focus and put on a good performance.
He said: “We have been playing a good brand of rugby in pre-season, we were looking more for performances but we also got the results.
“It’s a good start but trial games mean nothing, we need to be focused this week and get a good performance and hopefully a result.
“We can’t wait to get the league started and we are looking forward to the Featherstone game. There is no question that it is going to be a massive game, and it will be tough.
“We need a big start because it is all about the start as any team or captain will tell you. A win against the league leaders would be huge.
“I know a lot about Fev and know how they work because they have scalped a couple of Super League teams and had a great pre-season.
“We have set our standards in pre-season and we aren’t going to drop below those standards now.
“It is good to have a mix of senior and junior players and we have a lot of strength in depth in our squad which the club probably haven’t had over the years.”
The former Super League star will captain the Rams for their opening game alongside co-captain Karl Pryce, and he says it is a role he will relish.
“I’ve got the leadership role that Morro (Glenn Morrison) has given me with dual-captaincy and hopefully I can help the young lads,” he continued.
“I like to think I can be a leader and I am a lively character. As a new signing myself I couldn’t come in and start shouting, but I sat back and watched and I’ve been really impressed with the players and the skill level.
“I’ve always been an admirer of the Championship competition and I’ve said before that I don’t see that stepping down leagues will change anything.
“I have been working hard to gain the respect of the lads and I hope to be a leader on and off of the field.”
Meanwhile, Glenn Morrison says he expects this season’s Championship to be the toughest competition yet – and admits any team could be relegated.
League officials have revealed details of promotion and relegation with the top eight clubs going into a play-off series culminating in a title-deciding Grand Final.
The five clubs finishing the season in 10th to 14th positions will be relegated into Championship One, and Morrison says it is hard to pick the likely front-runners for 2014.
He said: “There is a lot to play for this season, you can’t afford to drop points because it might be the difference between a place in the play-offs and relegation.
“It is hard to pick the favourites, obviously Featherstone, Leigh, Sheffield and Halifax are always up there, but Batley, Doncaster and even Crusaders are looking strong. They are all tough games.”