Jowitt’s Rams bid to tame Cougars

DEWSBURY Rams will aim to tame Keighley Cougars on Sunday (3pm) and strengthen their grip in the top six of the Co-operative Championship.

The Rams and Cougars are locked on 11 points with Batley, just one behind joint leaders Featherstone and Halifax, and a cracking game is in prospect.

Rams coach Warren Jowitt said: “I’ve earmarked this as a big game and it really is close to call. Both teams are in form, we have scored a similar number of points as each other and both defences have been in form.

“I have looked at the fixtures for this week. Batley go to Hunslet on the back of putting in a big effort against London, Featherstone play Halifax having put in a massive effort against Wigan and Sheffield play Leigh having sent a full strength side out to Catalans last week and you could see a couple of upsets.

“If we can turn Keighley over and other results go our way, we could go top but we are not getting carried away. We must keep our feet on the ground.

“Keighley are basically the Wildcats second team. They are full of Super League players and not Super League players from the past. I expected them to be up there and they should be with the ability they have in their side.”

Dewsbury completed the dual-registration signing of highly-rated Leeds prop Brad Singleton last week and he will go into Sunday’s side alongside another Rhinos player, hooker Liam Hood.

With Luke Blake fully fit and George Flanagan also in fine form, Jowitt could face something of a dilemma as to who wears the number nine shirt on Sunday.

He added: “Leeds have let both Hood and Singleton train with us this week. They are great lads and have fitted in well. They are too good be left out and the speed Hood was showing in training on Tuesday had everyone looking on.

“All my half-backs are now fully-fit and Jordan Schofield also played well against London and is putting pressure on Spavin and Southernwood for a place. I have a very committed and workmanlike side who are getting better and better each week.

“In the past you have seen Featherstone, Halifax and Leigh run away with things and even after five games those sides have broken away. This year it is the most competitive division, which is down to the likes of ourselves and Keighley improving.

“Regardless of what happens on Sunday I firmly believe we will be in the play-offs at the end of the season.”

Dewsbury have been dealt a blow as prop Ben Jones is struggling with a hernia problem, which may require corrective surgery. Jones, who also broke his nose in the 16-8 win over Hunslet, is determined to carry on but is struggling to be fit for Sunday.

Jones and Steve Crossley have been superb this season and Jowitt is delighted with their efforts. He added: “Losing Ben Jones would be a massive blow because he has been in great form. He is trying to avoid an operation as he is desperate to play.

“Steve Crossley just gets better and better. It may cost us in the long run as a Super League club could come in for him. He is only 22 and still has aspirations to play in Super League and I want the best for Steve”