DEWSBURY Rams are preparing for a nightmare trip across the Pennines later today as they travel to Leigh Centurions for a game which is crucial in their bid to finish in the top six of the Co-operative Championship.
It is the second successive away Friday night game, following on from the impressive win at York a fortnight ago, and players are being forced to take time off work so they are able to play.
The Rams will set off at 4.15pm and will have to tackle a notorious stretch of the M62 in rush hour.
It is hardly ideal preparations for a game which could have a massive bearing on Dewsbury’s season but the Rams have no new injury worries and will travel to Leigh in confident mood.
Coach Warren Jowitt has hit out at the fixture programme, saying: “We are a part-time sport, so we should play at times which suit part-time players and to me that is reverting to the traditional Sunday afternoon kick-offs.
“Playing Friday is ridiculous as players are having to take time off work. We have to set off at 4.15pm at the very latest and that means lads will have to finish at 2pm so they can prepare for the game.
“Rugby league should be played on a Sunday and if the home club can’t accommodate that, they should be forced to play away.”
The Rams are currently just outside the play-off places, four points behind sixth-placed Keighley Cougars and five off tonight’s opponents Leigh.
Dewsbury go into the game virtually full-strength and loan signing Joe Chandler looks set to make his Rams debut after he was left out for the trip to York.
Chandler is a former Shaw Cross Sharks junior who is on an initial month loan from Halifax.
Jowitt added: “We go to Leigh full of confidence following our home displays against them and Halifax and the win at York.
“It is nice to go into a game with some confidence. We had a bit of a lull against the top sides but I’m really pleased with the way we have come out the other side.”
Winger Michael Wainwright will have a scan on a swollen knee, while Billy Harris misses tonight’s game having had his pelvis re-aligned but otherwise Dewsbury are at full-strength.
The Rams will certainly hope that Friday 13th does not prove unlucky and that a potential nightmare trip west will see them profit from a dream three points.
n Dewsbury’s Tetley’s Stadium will host the Ladies Challenge Cup final this Sunday (3.30pm), when Featherstone Rovers Ladies take on old rivals Bradford Clayton Thunderbirds.
It will be preceded by the Shield Final between Stanningley Rangers and Widnes (1.30pm). Admission is free.