Dewsbury Rams head coach Lee Greenwood previews the Summer Bash game against Batley Bulldogs this weekend. Dewsbury will play Batley on the 19th May with a 3.15pm kick off.
On the game, he said: “It is a massive game, it is similar to when we played them on Good Friday I think they were a point behind us if I remember rightly, so it was like a four pointer anyway regardless of it being a local derby. It is no difference this week other than they are a point in front of us. It is important for the league placing side of things, if Batley win it gets them clear a little bit and stops them worrying about relegation for a few weeks.
“Whereas if we can get the win it will relax us a little bit and it might put the pressure on Batley, but it is obviously a good one for the lads really, it is one they can get right up for and it is on Sky as well.”
The Rams lost to the Bulldogs on Good Friday 20-8, and they will be looking to avenge that defeat by beating Batley in Blackpool this Sunday.
Greenwood “That is obviously a part of where we are at and we want to improve and hopefully learn from really. When we play teams for the second and first time we want to improve, generally they have the same set of player that we faced on Boxing Day and on Good Friday, the team won’t change too much and how they play won’t change too much.
“However it’s about how we stop it, we know that they will try to play big and physical, we need to bring our own aggression to it really and then start to look at the rugby side of it. It’s a tough physical sport at this level and it gets notched up for these types of games too, we need to start well and prepare properly for it and then hope a game of rugby breaks out.”
Although Greenwood hasn’t coached or played at the Summer Bash before he has played and coached in Blackpool and has a good record at the seaside resort.
He commented: “I don’t know if there is talk of moving it, but I think the overall concept of it is good, Super League do it, and the NRL have jumped on to it by playing everyone across a weekend. Obviously they try to create the local derby type games to get that spice into it, so no I like it. I haven’t been a part of one as a coach or a player, as I have been coaching in league 1 whilst it has been happening. However I have played there a few times in Northern Rail Cup finals, and I was assistant at Halifax when we once played their too, so my record is quite good there. I played in two finals there and won them both, and when I was assistant at Halifax we also won a Northern Rail Cup final so hopefully that good record will continue.”
The Rams have a good record at the bash, beating the Bulldogs three times out of the four games played there. They have all been close encounters, and this Sunday’s game is expected to be no different.
Greenwood isn’t too fussed about past records insisting that when Dewsbury play Batley anything can happen.
“When Batley and Dewsbury play each other I think the form book goes out of the window, it doesn’t matter whether one was top or one was bottom of the table. I have played in these games and I know what they are about, it doesn’t matter whether it is a friendly or a cup final, they are the same intensity on the pitch as in the stands.
“So I am not too fussed at looking at records, if we had lost the last ten in Blackpool then I would be saying ok let’s stop it or if we have a good record then I will be saying good let’s keep that going, it doesn’t really come in to team talks or thought’s. We know it will be a tough game, we were a bit bullied by Batley in the last game so we want to turn that around.”
Finally Greenwood gave an update on the injury situation regarding certain players in the squad.
“We have got lads carrying bumps and bruises although we seem to have a young squad, there are some older guys in there who have played a few games and then gone out to work as well in the week. So it isn’t always easy as then we are trying to work them hard in training, there are lads carrying some knocks.
“There aren’t too many injury worries and no new ones, Toby Richardson missed out last week with a bad back, and he might come back into contention, we’ll see how he goes in training. Cam Leeming has just started to run again and so he’ll be back in a month or so. There is a possibility of Paul Sykes making it back for this weekend’s game but we have to take it steady with Paul, he is a tough guy and he wants to play, but we’ll leave that one right up until the last minute, but he is getting closer and closer back to full fitness.
“Martyn Reilly is now up and running and played a reserve game for Wakefield recently so that was good to see, so he is working his way back to being in contention.”