Dewsbury Rams make the short trip to Hunslet Hawks on Sunday (3pm) encouraged by their superb display against Featherstone Rovers last week.
Dewsbury mastered the arctic conditions for much of the game and fully deserved to lead 20-12 lead before late tries by ex-Ram Liam Finn and Kyle Briggs snatched a dramatic victory for Featherstone.
Bowls of hot water and blankets were needed to warm some players after the match, which kicked off at 6pm for Premier Sports cameras, and was played in freezing temperatures, driving sleet and slow.
Rams coach Glenn Morrison was proud of his team’s effort against the pre-season favourites but felt naivety denied them victory.
Morrison explained: “Our defensive effort was great but we just needed someone to stand up with a footy brain and lead us.
“We took the wrong options on a couple of occasions, one when we tried a field goal when we were eight points up, which wouldn’t have made much difference if it had gone over. From the next set Finny went on to score on the back of that.
“We then dropped the ball from the base of the scrum and they went on to score the winning try.
“Both sides deserved credit for putting on such a game in the conditions.
“I thought we adapted better but Featherstone are a quality side who know how to win and they showed that.
“Later in the season we would have put that game to bed but it shows how far we have come that we are disappointed to lose by two points to Featherstone.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from the boys which is why we were disappointed not to get the extra points.
“We walk away disappointed but encouraged and we certainly are not downbeat.”
The trip to Hunslet will be tough as the Hawks beat Barrow 40-12 in their first game but went down 40-0 at Leigh last week.