Dewsbury Rams travel to high flying Featherstone Rovers on Sunday aiming to bounce back from three straight defeats in the Betfred Championship.
The Rams suffered an 18-10 defeat away to Batley Bulldogs on Good Friday — their fourth on the bounce including a 25-18 loss at Whitehaven in the Challenge Cup — before Monday’s home game against Halifax was postponed due to heavy snow.
Rovers bounced back from Friday’s 24-16 defeat at home to new leaders Toronto by thrashing Rochdale Hornets 42-0 on Monday and John Duffy’s men lie third in the table with 14 points from nine matches, level with second placed Toulouse and one behind the Wolfpack.
Rams coach Neil Kelly was left frustrated by his side’s display against Batley as they only trailed 10-6 at half-time having played up the slope at Mount Pleasant but were unable to capitalise as the Bulldogs went on to secure victory.
Speaking after the Bulldogs defeat, Kelly said: “We went through a period in the second half where they had four, possibly five sets of six because of penalties and knock-ons.
“The knock-ons are our fault but we have conceded penalties, the last one I’m not even sure what it is for, and I am really, really disappointed with the officiating and a little disappointed with our inability to apply pressure onto the Batley line.
“When we did get the field position, we played probably the best football of the game to score a try and I am very frustrated.
“We have defended superbly well but it means nothing.
“You have got to apply pressure on your opposition line and you have got to be rugby players and make decisions that are rugby decisions.”
Dewsbury scored a late try through Rob Worrincy to reduce the arrears to 16-10 and give themselves hope of getting something from the game, only for a mistake at the resulting kick-off to gift Batley the chance to close the game out.
Kelly added: “There were six minutes left in the game and we went for a 10 metre drop out which virtually wins the game for Batley. My team have tried really hard and I am the first to say it but it is all for nothing.”
Rovers winger Luke Briscoe will be aiming to extend his club record as he seeks to score in an 11th straight game.
Briscoe broke a 25-year-old Featherstone record when he bagged a hat-trick in the win over Rochdale, the 10th successive game he had scored.