DEWSBURY coach Lee Greenwood says his players are looking forward to taking on Newcastle Thunder in the fifth round of the Challenge Cup this weekend, after describing their fourth-round success at Whitehaven on Wednesday night as their “best win” of the season.
The Rams edged a see-saw battle in a Cumbrian mudbath, in what was a rearranged game following the postponement of the original tie.
Dewsbury made six changes to their team, including competitive debuts for Tommy Brierley, James Thornton and Rhys Davies, but still came out on top 22-16, with Connor Scott’s late try giving them their fourth win in a row in all competitions.
A flying start to the Championship season has seen them defeat two better-resourced clubs, as well as triumphing at Oldham last weekend, but Greenwood ranked the win at Whitehaven as their best so far.
“I said to the players before the game, this will be your biggest win of the season,” said the Rams boss. “Halifax away was big and Widnes at home was big, but to come here on a Wednesday night in these conditions, taking a half-day or day off work and coming back in the early hours of the morning, with the changes we made and with the debutants in, this will be your best win. And it is our best win.”
Greenwood commended both sides for how they coped with horrendous conditions, with players coated head-to-toe in mud.
He said: “Both sets of players did really well not dropping the ball. Unless you’ve played in that, you can’t understand how hard it is to actually get up and play the ball properly without dropping it. We did really well in the first half, we didn’t make many mistakes.
“We got into the lead just after half-time, we started off really fast, but after that it was 20 minutes on our own line and we just couldn’t get away from it.
“As we’ve spoken about a few times, there’s a bit of character to this team. They didn’t crumble under that, they kept the game to a couple of points, and they did what they needed to do to get a win. Over the course of the 80 minutes we probably shaded it.”
There is a quick turnaround for their fifth-round match away at League One side Newcastle on Sunday (kick-off 3pm), which will be screened live by the BBC online and on the red button.
“When you’re winning, you want the next game to come pretty quickly, and that’s what we’re like,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to Sunday. The lads that did miss out tonight were disappointed to miss out, they actually did want to play. They will be looking to come back in on Sunday now.
“We’ll have a juggle. We didn’t know if we’d have three games this week and it turns out we do, so there will be a bit of management of players, as we haven’t got the biggest squad. We’ll look at bringing some others back in to freshen things up for Sunday.
“It’ll be totally different. It won’t be muddy and it’ll be a bit of a faster track which we haven’t really been on this year. It will be a different sort of test for us. We’ve played all our games on mud.”
Injury forced Adam Ryder to sit out the second half at Whitehaven and he will be assessed today (Friday) to see whether he can play at Newcastle.
Meanwhile, Dewsbury have announced that their next home fixture against Toulouse on March 22 will have a Mothers’ Day theme.
All women and children under the age of 16 will gain free admission to the match at the Tetley’s Stadium.
They can also take advantage of discounts on the price of the Rams’ hospitality package, with full details on the club website.