Dewsbury Rams head coach Neil Kelly remained positive about his players and the team’s prospects, despite a defeat to in-form Toulouse Olympique on Sunday..
The Rams lost 40-20 at home to the French club in the Betfred Championship, but Kelly believes that his side showed enough in the game to be positive about.
The head coach added that Toulouse are at a level that Dewsbury must aspire to reach, and that the team must learn from their mistakes if they are to progress.
“I’m not going to blame the referee for anything; he gave decisions as he saw them so I am not going to blame him,” said Kelly, following a contest that saw official Jack Smith award just under 20 penalties, sin-bin two players and place another on report.
“Maybe our players become frustrated, but you just have to stay cool.
“I was impressed with the way Toulouse got stuck in and battled hard, they are a good side and they have shown us the next level we need to try and get to.
“They haven’t been able to come here and play their champagne rugby that they normally like to play.
“They have had to come here and work hard for the win, which they’ve got in the end, but it hasn’t been easy for them.
“Instead of getting depressed when something doesn’t go their way, they just carry on in the way they like to play, and that is something we need to learn.
“Sometimes we are guilty of letting one bad play lead to another, whereas they just simply shrug it off and get back on track.
“Overall, despite the defeat, I am very positive. There was some stuff in the first half that I would never ask the players to do again, and some stuff just didn’t work for us.
“I know that there are some things that we can do better and that is what we’ll be working on.
“I’d love to have been euphoric about us getting a win, but we’ve lost and we need to just keep positive and learn from any mistakes we made.
“They weren’t a complicated side,” Kelly added, “they just have a couple of players who showed their class close to the end of the game.
“I’d like to think that we had a good arm wrestle with them for at least 60 minutes. It was just that the scoreboard started to run away from us by the end of the game.
“There are a lot of points I could take off that scoreline, but I can’t and they did score those points.
“We now need to learn the lessons from this game, but stay positive, because overall I am really positive about the players.
“It was the sort of game where if you look after the ball, you’ll get your nose ahead on the scoreboard.
“We didn’t look after the ball well enough and their energy levels were better than ours in the second half.
“Sylvain will be going back on the coach tonight not totally happy with his side’s performance, but he now knows that his team can play champagne rugby, but also tough it out in a scrappy game too.”
Next up for the Rams is a break from Betfred Championship action, as they take on Whitehaven away in the Challenge Cup.