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Rams target win in crucial derby clash

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Dewsbury Rams coach Neil Kelly is demanding his side tighten up their defence as they bid to stave off the threat of relegation from the Betfred Championship.

Dewsbury suffered an agonising 30-28 defeat at Sheffield Eagles last Sunday and slipped to third-bottom in the table, three points above Swinton and Rochdale.

The Rams once again impressed in attack and scored some cracking tries, but lapses in defence proved costly.

The Rams now switch their attention to Sunday’s huge Heavy Woollen derby at home to Batley Bulldogs, a side who have lost their last eight matches and who have just returned from an energy sapping weekend at Toronto.

Kelly pinpointed the Rams’ problems following last week’s defeat and said: “We’ve played Sheffield away, scored 28 points and lost. We played Swinton away two weeks ago and scored 28 points and lost.

“Earlier in the season we played Barrow away and scored 32 points and lost.

“I can’t say there’s much wrong with the way we are attacking, that should be enough points to win any game, but there’s some things we are doing wrong defensively we need to sort out.

“I don’t know whether to be proud of their efforts or angry with the players.

“I’m seeing players doing brilliant hits and great defence and then coming up with a soft effort.

“It’s good we are in the fight, but I am getting sick of saying the same thing at every video session: We are a good side but we are paying a big price for the little things.

“We have got to learn and we are not doing that at the moment. It’s primarily defence, but some of it’s better concentration.”

The Rams fought back from 12 points down with late tries from Adam Ryder and a last gasp effort by Michael Knowles.

Paul Sykes had landed some terrific goals in kicking conversions from the first four Rams scores but was unable to land the final goal which would have given his side a share of the spoils after the hooter had sounded.

Kelly added: “He kicked some really good goals during the game.

“It’s just unfortunate he missed that last one, but the real issue is why do we leave it so we need an injury-time goal kick?”

Dewsbury end their regular season with a trip to Toulouse on Saturday July 28 before learning their Championship Shield fixtures.