Rams coach Morrison glad of Grand occasion

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Dewsbury Rams coach Glenn Morrison admits his side are preparing for their own Grand Final in today’s Heavy Woollen derby against visiting Batley Bulldogs.

“I’m glad we’re playing Batley this Friday – it’s an easy game to get up for,” said the Australian, whose team suffered a shock loss against Swinton Lions last time out in the Championship.

“The boys approach it like a Grand Final when they play their neighbours, and it’ll be good to see the response from last week.

“Batley are playing some good footy and getting some wins on the board. They didn’t have too big a squad to start with, but they’ve bolstered that now and they’re getting results. They’ll be looking to keep going up the table from here.”

Batley coach John Kear is demanding further improvement from his squad despite last week’s win over Keighley Cougars.

“We really do need to start games better,” said Kear. “There’s a fair bit for us to work on and improve.

“Dewsbury have beaten some good teams and they’ll be pushing for the top four.”

Second-placed Featherstone Rovers host Keighley in another West Yorkshire derby.

“We’re in a good position, but we know we’ve got another important league game against Keighley who’ve been very competitive this year,” said coach John Bastian. “The one area we focused on this week was that we can be a little bit smarter in defence, and not concede some of the tries we have done.”

Halifax are at Barrow Raiders while, in Championship One, York City Knights could give a debut to Italy international James Saltonstall at Gateshead Thunder, who has joined on loan from Warrington Wolves, and leaders Hunslet Hawks – with coach Barry Eaton having signed a nee two-year deal – host Oldham.