Rams aiming to halt Rovers’ top-four bid

Dewsbury Rams prop forward Ryan Hepworth is nearing a return to action following his injury lay-off.
Dewsbury Rams prop forward Ryan Hepworth is nearing a return to action following his injury lay-off.

Dewsbury Rams will be aiming to put a dent in Featherstone Rovers’ top-four hopes in the Kingstone Press Championship when the sides clash at Tetley’s Stadium on Sunday.

Rovers currently occupy fourth spot and have strengthened their squad as they bid to reach the qualifying eights stage of the competition, against the bottom four sides in Super League.

Rovers go into the game on the back of an impressive 42-18 victory over London Broncos last weekend but the Rams also returned to winning ways with a 36-16 success at Whitehaven.

The Rams are back in eighth spot but were only edged out 21-20 at Post Office Road earlier in the season and know victory over Jon Sharp’s big spenders would give the Rams a timely boost.

Rams coach Glenn Morrison realises it will be a stern test for his side but is confident they can build on the victory in Cumbria.

Morrison said: “Featherstone have brought in a couple of loan players to strengthen their squad and we know it is going to be tough but we are at home and these are the games you need to win if you are going to push for a top six or top four finish.

“They have virtually put a Super League strength side together topped up by some Super League loan and dual registration signings.

“They are very strong and it will be a big ask but we are determined to give it our best.”

Forwards Rob Spicer and Ryan Hepworth are nearing a return to action following injury lay-offs but Morrison admits it will be tough to change a winning squad and, with no new injury worries, could select the same side who defeated Whitehaven.

Victory over Rovers would send the Rams into next week’s derby against Batley at the Summer Bash in confident mood.

New Featherstone recruit Robbie Ward could be in line to make his debut against Dewsbury in Sunday’s clash.

The 20-year-old hooker signed until the end of the season with Featherstone on Wednesday, having returned to the UK following a spell in Australia with Sunshine Coast Falcons, a feeder club for Melbourne Storm.

Ward previously spent four seasons at Leeds Rhinos, where he made 10 Super League appearances, including a try scoring debut against Hull FC.

Ward moved to Australia in January but has decided to return to Normanton and has teamed up with Rovers to boost their challenge for a top four place in the Championship.