Smith relishes added spice of Batley derby

Joel Farrell hands off Warrington's Ashton Sims on his way to scoring for the Rams in Friday's Challenge Cup tie.
Joel Farrell hands off Warrington's Ashton Sims on his way to scoring for the Rams in Friday's Challenge Cup tie.

Prop Byron Smith is relishing the prospect of locking horns with former club Batley Bulldogs at Sunday’s Summer Bash in Blackpool.

Hundreds of rugby league fans from the Heavy Woollen area are set to descend on the seaside resort as a full round of Kingstone Press Championship matches take place at Bloomfield Road.

Smith made the switch from Batley to Dewsbury in the close season and was part of the Rams side who recorded a 21-6 victory in the Good Friday clash at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

Smith knows the importance of earning the bragging rights means to the fans, saying: “There’s a long standing rivalry between the two teams. We have a friendly against each other on Boxing Day and in all the league games there’s always a little bit of added extra incentive to get one over on them.”

“Up until this season I’ve always been on the other side.

“I suppose whatever club you’re at, you want to win when you play against an old club. You want to show up well against your old team-mates and fans as well.

“I don’t think we can take anything from the previous win, we take things on a game-by-game basis.

“Batley are a little bit lower than us in the league but not a million miles away. They’re a team we need to respect because they’re a good side, as they showed against Widnes in the Challenge Cup at the weekend – they pushed them really close.”

Dewsbury slipped to sixth place following a narrow 15-8 defeat at Sheffield Eagles on Tuesday but Smith believes the Rams can bounce back.

He added: “We’re now in a position where we’re having to fight to get back into that top four. We’ve got to pick up all the points we can from the teams that are sitting around us in the league.

“The determination will be there but in the back of the minds of the boys will be that we really need to win this one.

“Hopefully the crowds will be a bit bigger than normal and it should make the atmosphere a little more charged.”