DEWSBURY coach Warren Jowitt will again shake up his squad as the Rams seek a second win in their third Northern Rail Cup group match, against Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday (3pm).
Typically Jowitt was pleased but not fully satisfied with the win over Keighley last weekend. The Rams tightened their defence to keep their first clean sheet since they ‘nilled’ London in June, 2009, a season when they twice kept the Skolars from scoring a point in the league and did the same against Swinton in the Northern Rail.
Jowitt said: “I want to keep weighing up the form of all the lads before the Championship season starts. It will probably be a case of three players in and three out on Sunday.
“The players know if they’re below par from now on they will be out. I want everybody firing on all cylinders for the start of the league season, so these games are important.
“They responded well after we let ourselves down and conceded so many points in Toulouse. It was good to see them work hard with their tackling last Sunday but I’m still not happy because we aren’t the finished article and there are areas we can work on in defence.
“It wasn’t a day to be throwing the ball about but we had two tries disallowed and Dominic Brambani was ruled offside after he had played the ball. Even so I thought the referee, Dave Merrick, had a good game, just a couple of decisions seemed dubious.”
Jowitt was relieved to see hooker Luke Blake come through his comeback game without ill effects, this was his first appearance of the year after being hurt in the pre-match warm-up at Batley.
Full-back James Craven had another top game and is in cracking early form and the coach was delighted with the showing of his back three, James Lockwood, Rob Spicer and Josh Tonks.
He added: “Jamie Craven was good, not just on attack but also in defence. We sat down one-on-one and did some video work and I pointed out a few things about his play. He has clearly taken them on board, he has skill, a good attitude and is very quick, and is a great prospect.
“James Lockwood had a massive game, his work-rate was outstanding, he made the yardage and his defence was awesome. He now needs consistency and to cut out the silly penalties and silly errors from time to time. With Rob Spicer and Josh Tonks our back three was outstanding.
“I thought Dom Brambani’s kicking game was the best I have seen and Tom Wandless marshalled us around the field and is improving with experience.”
The Rams come up against four former players at Doncaster in Chris Spurr, Stuart Sanderson, Mike Emmett and Liam Crawley.
For the second time already this season the Rams are out of luck with a cup draw.
After becoming the first team to meet Toulouse on their entry to the Northern Rail Cup, they also become the first team to meet South Wales on their debut in the Carnegie Challenge Cup, again away from home.
The tie will take place on Sunday March 6 at The Gnoll in Neath (3pm), when Rams season ticket holders can gain free admission.
Prices for non-season ticket holders are £12 adults and £7 concessions/juniors, with a £2 saving available for tickets bought in advance.
There is also £2 saving for supporters who buy tickets for this Sunday’s clash in advance by calling Doncaster on 01302 762576.
n The Rugby Football League have confirmed that Dewsbury Rams’ home game against Batley Bulldogs on Thursday April 21, which is being shown live on Sky, will kick off at 6pm.