Dewsbury Rams coach Neil Kelly believes there were plenty of positives to take from his side’s 28-16 defeat at Batley Bulldogs on Boxing Day.
The Rams led 12-6 at half-time and 16-12 midway through the second half only for Batley to score three tries in the final quarter to snatch a sixth straight victory in the traditional festive clash.
Rob Worrincy scored a brace of tries on his Rams debut, including a splendid length of the field interception effort, while Lucas Walshaw was on the end of a fine passing move to score Dewsbury’s second half try but it wasn’t quite enough to prevent defeat.
Speaking after Tuesday’s game, Kelly said: “Overall I am pleased with how the players have done and I thought they did a lot of positive things.
“We made a lot of changes in the second half, which is what every losing coach will come out and say to make it sound like an excuse but when we got our recognised players on and what would be our starting squad, I thought we held our own.
“I never thought we were convincingly winning the game and I have to give Batley credit for that.
“I never really thought we were convincing with the ball when attacking (Batley’s) line but overall I’m pretty pleased with the performance.
“I was looking for one or two things from this game and I feel as though the players did that.
“There were some massive positives out of (Boxing Day) and Rob Worrincy was one of them. Harry Woollard, for a young lad making his debut, acquitted himself very well and Martin Reilly did well.
“I don’t like losing and I especially don’t like losing to Batley but I’m not totally disappointed and I’m quite happy with some of the things we did.”
The sin-binning of Aaron Brown also proved key as Batley scored twice while the Rams were down to 12 men and ended their hopes of lifting the Roy Powell Trophy.
Dewsbury’s next pre-season friendly is away to Super League side Huddersfield Giants on January 14, in Leroy Cudjoe’s testimonial.
In that game, Billy Hayes is likely to be given a run out against the club he signed from in the close season.
Rams stand-off Paul Sykes, who was again at the hub of Dewsbury’s best moves on Tuesday, has also been granted a testimonial, in which Dewsbury will entertain Bradford Bulls in their only other warm-up fixture on January 21.