DEWSBURY Rams go into their penultimate Co-operative Championship game at Hunslet Hawks on Sunday in upbeat mood after earning praise from temporary coach Paul Broadbent.
The Rams showed heart and endeavour to push play-off bound Batley Bulldogs close in last Sunday’s Heavy Woollen derby before slipping to a 26-12 defeat.
Dewsbury are not now able to break into the top-six but there are plenty of positives for Broadbent to take into the final two matches.
The former Great Britain international said: “I told the guys that they were starting with a clean slate and those who had not had much game time were given the opportunity to show what they are about.
“We showed spirit and commitment and with a little better execution, it could have been a different result.
“We need to be positive and upbeat and if we can work hard in our approach, the results will come.”
Broadbent has confirmed he will be applying for the permanent coaches position and the board are due to meet on Sunday morning to draw up a shortlist of candidates for the job.
Rams chairman Mark Sawyer is hoping to announce the new coach soon after the final match of the season against Sheffield Eagles on September 2.
Broadbent added: “I talked to the guys before I came on board and this is a stable club, who are not riddled with debt.
“They may not be winning the competition but they are paying the bills and keeping their heads above water.”
Broadbent admitted that if he is appointed on a permanent basis, he would attempt to bring success to the Rams but his immediate concern will be to finish the current campaign on a high.
Although Dewsbury’s hopes of booking a play-off place have been extinguished, victory in Sunday’s final away game at basement club Hunslet Hawks would guarantee them a top-seven finish.
The Rams overcame Hunslet 16-8 at Tetley’s Stadium in April when full-back James Craven bagged a brace of tries.
Winger Austin Buchanan also scored that day, while stand-off Patch Walker landed two goals.
Buchanan tweaked a knee in the defeat to Batley and may miss Sunday’s trip to South Leeds, while Steve Crossley has not yet recovered from a broken collar bone sustained against Swinton on July 22.
Matty Nicholson was given a start at prop last Sunday and turned in a fine all-round performance, which included a brilliant 60-yard break which almost brought a try.
Broadbent added: “The lads deserve a pat on the back. They are working hard and listening and we will look to turn constructive performances into results.”
Hunslet, who are coached by former Rams favourite Barry Eaton, have only won once all season and are level on six points with York at the foot of the table.