DEWSBURY coach Warren Jowitt has praised his side’s early season effort as the Rams lie just a point off the joint Co-operative Championship leaders going into this weekend’s break from league action.
Dewsbury earned a third league win from five matches last Sunday when they ground out a 16-8 victory over Hunslet Hawks in dreadful conditions.
The Rams only picked up 18 points from 20 league games last year but they have 11 from five this term and are one behind Featherstone and Halifax in what is proving a very competitive division.
Jowitt’s men return to action at home to another in-form side Keighley Cougars a week on Sunday (May 6) and the coach is happy with how things are progressing.
Jowitt said: “It was not pretty by far but we showed that when we managed to hold the ball, we still managed to play football in difficult conditions.
“We have showed we can grind out performances even when our backs are against the wall. We are doing well but are not getting carried away – there’s a long way to go.
“When you look at our points tally from last year, it shows the improvement we have made and if we continue the way we are, our goal of reaching the play-offs is achievable.”
Dwayne Barker made a surprise early return from medial ligament damage in the win over the Hawks as Jowitt decided to take the risk, knowing he would have this week off.
Ben Jones was struggling with groin and ankle injuries but put in another good stint, while Ayden Faal also played through the pain barrier.
Jowitt remarked: “It shows the commitment that these players all wanted to play. Even Luke Blake (knee injury) put his hand up but I have to try and look after the players as well.
“Hopefully by the time Keighley comes, Luke should not be far off being 100 per cent fit and he will come into contention.”
Liam Hood came off the bench to make his debut having signed as a dual registration player from Leeds Rhinos and showed glimpses of the skills that saw him come through the ranks at Headingley.
Jowitt is still looking for a prop as a long term replacement for Nick Fozzard. Ben Bolger played two matches for the Rams before he was recalled by London Broncos, where he was a substitute against Hull KR last weekend.
Bolger could figure for London this Sunday when they visit Batley Bulldogs in the fifth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup (2pm).
Batley will also donate £2 per adult and £1 per concession to the Rams for every Dewsbury season ticket holder who attends the tie.