BATLEY BULLDOGS and Dewsbury Rams will go head-to-head for the second time this season at the Summer Bash in Blackpool.
The two Heavy Woollen rivals face off on Sunday (kick-off 3.15pm) as part of the annual event involving every Championship club at Bloomfield Road.
Batley and Dewsbury have played each other every year since the Bash was launched in 2015, with the Rams coming out on top three times out of four including a 20-18 win last year.
However, the Bulldogs claimed bragging rights in the first derby meeting of the year on Good Friday when, despite the dismissal of Wayne Reittie, they won 20-8.
Dewsbury boss Lee Greenwood wants to see his side put in a far more impressive performance when they go to the seaside on Sunday.
“We owe Batley one,” he declared. “It was borderline embarrassing in the last game because they went down to 11 men before half-time, the penalty count was massively in our favour, and it wasn’t good as we got bullied in the second half.
“There is some ability in there and I thought for large patches, even against Halifax (in last Friday’s Challenge cup defeat), it was 50/50.
“We just need to be a little more clinical near the try lines. It’s a good chance to get fired in and show Batley that we’re not as soft as we showed on Good Friday.”
For his part, Batley coach Matt Diskin expects to face a much tougher challenge this time around.
“Dewsbury are still going to be reeling from that loss last time when they should have taken advantage of our indiscipline and having 11 men on the field for a while,” he said.
“We’re expecting a very tough clash, particularly with Lee’s comments after that game about losing that physical battle.
“I’m expecting them to be massively fired up. We know Dewsbury are a big, physical side, they play tough round the middle and the back three are very good, so we’re expecting a good game from them.
“It’s a derby so although both teams haven’t got great form going into it, form goes out the window. We want to play a tough but attractive brand of rugby and hopefully we can do that this weekend.”
The match is a chance to impress in front of the Sky Sports cameras, but with the Rams picking up just one win in their last five in the Championship, Greenwood simply wants his side to collect up the two points.
He said: “I’m not bothered about putting on a show, I just want to win!
“I’d much rather be very boring and win than lose, certainly with where we’re at in the season.
“We’re going into a patch now where it’s a bit more of a level playing field.
“We play Batley, Swinton twice (in the league and the 1895 Cup) and then Rochdale, so our next four games are teams in and around us with a similar budget and similar quality.
“These are the games for us this season where we’ll see where we’re at. It’s been good for us to pull off those results at Featherstone and Widnes, but these are the games where we need to turn up and win.”
Diskin is happy to see the Championship in the spotlight at the Summer Bash, although he is less pleased that it involves an extra round of fixtures.
“It’s a special day for the Championship. It’s a competition that has real value and it’s a shame that it isn’t televised more,” he said.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t get the coverage that it deserves. It’s got an element of rawness which you don’t see in Super League and it deserves to be screened more regularly.
“The event is good and it brings attention to the part-time players and the Championship that it deserves, but regarding the round of fixtures it can have an impact on the league come the end and for me, it doesn’t sit right.”
Batley’s squad remains stretched with Wayne Reittie (groin), Tom Lillycrop (ankle) and Tyler Dickinson (thumb) all a couple of weeks away from a return, while Jack Downs serves the second game of a three-match suspension.
Paul Sykes and Cameron Leeming remain absentees for Dewsbury, while Toby Richardson (back) and Sam Day (shoulder) missed last Friday’s Challenge Cup exit.
Ben Kilner made his debut on loan from Wigan Warriors last week, while two players have moved out of the club on one-month loan deals with Jacob Thomas going to North Wales Crusaders and Harvey Hallas to Coventry.