DEWSBURY RAMS boss Lee Greenwood hopes that his side can give Toronto a tough game this weekend.
The Canadian outfit sit top of the Championship table with four wins from four and are widely expected to finish the season in that position.
However, Greenwood sees an opportunity for his charges to be competitive from the Wolfpack’s mixed bag of performances so far.
“Your confidence comes from what you see in their first four games,” he said. “They’ve easily beaten two teams, Widnes and Rochdale, but then been given a really good game by two others, Leigh and York, so I suppose it’ll say more about us on Sunday really.
“Are we more like Rochdale, who they beat convincingly, or are we more like York or Leigh who gave them a really good game?
“We’ll prepare the team right. We do want to give them a game. We’ve seen two of the clubs do that so far in our division, let alone part-time.
“We want to make ourselves difficult to beat, and this is probably the biggest challenge you get in the division. This is the first proper challenge against a full-time team but we’ll try to make a fist of it.”
Dewsbury are looking to make an occasion of the match on Sunday (March 3, kick-off 3pm), celebrating the amateur game with a ticket deal struck with local clubs.
There is also a curtain-raiser ahead of the big clash as the South London Silverbacks, who will tour Canada when the Rams play in Toronto later in the year, playing local side The Baht’ats. Turnstiles at the Tetley’s Stadium will open at 12.45pm.
The club have advised that the South Stand will be closed for the game, with Sky Sports using the stand for a gantry and cabling as part of their live match coverage.
Greenwood is a big fan of rugby league expansion and hopes to see plenty of interest in Sunday’s game.
“There aren’t many competitions that pitch Dewsbury and Toronto! It doesn’t happen very often,” he said.
“I’m surprised Toronto are still in this division and I can’t see them being in it much longer, so let’s give them a nice, warm welcome off the field and try to give them a game on it as well.
“We should enjoy what they’re bringing to the sport because I like it, I think it’s good for the game. It needs the excitement that they’re bringing. Hopefully there’ll be a few more coming as well if they’re bringing interest into the game.”
The Rams were forced into three changes for last week’s 20-20 draw away at Barrow Raiders, but Greenwood confirmed that all three are available to face Toronto.
Owen Harrison was recalled from his loan spell by Hull KR last week after the Super League club had some injury doubts, but he is back with the squad.
Fellow forwards Jode Sheriffe (concussion) and Wakefield loanee Chris Annakin (knee) are also back in the frame for the visit of the Wolfpack.
After Cameron Leeming, Toby Richardson and Jordan Andrade came in for their first appearances of the season at Barrow, Greenwood says that other fringe players are now pushing for places in the team, while also stating his willingness to use the loan market further.
“Guys not in the team are now starting to realise what they need to do to try and get in it, and are stepping up in training, putting a bit of pressure on the lads that are in,” he said.
“People will get chances in the coming games and over the course of the season, and we probably will keep bringing people in as well to make sure that we get the short-term results.”
The coach says that there is work to be done after having to share the points in Cumbria last weekend, when a late try against them saw victory snatched from their hands.
“With the overall performance I think we probably only deserved a point at best anyway, so overall we can’t have too many complaints,” said Greenwood.
“But I think if we’d performed right and turned up properly then we would have won.
“I can’t explain why but the players definitely didn’t turn up with the same intent that they did in the two previous home games.
“That’s something that as coaches we’ve got to address and makes sure it doesn’t happen again, because we feel like if we do everything that we plan to do and the players are good at, then we can win games like that.”
Overall, February has seen a win, a draw and a defeat from three fixtures, and Greenwood reflected on the opening month of the season as one which could have brought much more.
He said: “We played York and we were in a very commanding position there and should have gone on to win it with better game management. Swinton obviously we did win, and then we’ve let a lead slip (at Barrow).
“There are two games there that we’ve been in a position to win going into the closing stages, so we should be sat on six points. It might sound harsh, but I’m not happy with just being difficult to beat and losing close games, we want to be better than that.”