Jowitt calls for derby revival

Dewsbury v Sheffield'keegan hirst dewsbury
Dewsbury v Sheffield'keegan hirst dewsbury

DEWSBURY coach Warren Jowitt is demanding his key players step up to the plate as they meet Batley for the third time this season at Tetley’s Stadium tonight (6pm) and visit Halifax on Monday (3pm).

The Rams crashed 28-0 at Batley on March 13 in their first Co-operative Championship game but looked a different team and gained a convincing win when they beat the Bulldogs 38-22 in the Northern Rail Cup 11 days ago.

Jowitt said: “We have won seven out of 10 games this time so we’re doing something right and are well capable of reaching the play-offs. But we need consistency and that boils down to our key players.”

The Rams have no real injury problems from last Sunday’s hard game against Sheffield but there could be some changes and a chance prop Anthony England will return.

Jowitt was disappointed with the Sheffield result following the win over Batley but felt the Rams had played well in patches. He added: “Our pack caused them all sorts of problems and at one stage I thought we were going to rout them.

“We had two tries disallowed, Elliott Cosgrove snatched the ball one-on-one and scored but was penalised for it, you can clearly see the incident on video. If we want consistency from players we should expect it from referees.

“But the refs don’t miss tackles and our defence wasn’t good enough. Sheffield were crafty, they knew they couldn’t match our fitness and took the sting out of the game by putting the ball out of play and we should have combated that. Then we started playing panic football and made a series of errors.

“At least it’s a quick turn-around and many of our players are itching to make amends. They shouldn’t need lifting for this game. Basically this is a good bunch of lads, they go the extra mile for each other and don’t often wilt.”

Jowitt was delighted with the form of Scott Turner at full-back, only his second senior appearance in the position. He said: “Scott came into the line well, looked safe and made a number of important tackles.

“I thought Keegan Hirst and Elliott Cosgrove had good games, Luke Menzies is showing up well and Kyle Bibb impressed. The ability is there but in this division almost every team is capable of beating the others.”

A Thursday evening early kick-off is likely to affect the attendance and Batley are unlikely to bring as many fans as they did for the cup tie. One encouraging feature is, for the first time for months, all the hospitality boxes at Tetley’s Stadium will be full. This is a one-off and the club still need sponsors but it’s a small start.

On Monday the Rams visit Halifax, who tonight are at Widnes still seeking their first league win, but Jowitt warned: “Anybody who writes off Halifax is making a big mistake.

“They have some good players. They have started slowly but it isn’t how you start, it’s how you finish and Monday will be a very difficult game.”