Head coach Neil Kelly was delighted with the win over local rivals Batley Bulldogs but says the focus now turns to Toulouse and the Super 8’s.
Firstly on the 23-20 win over Batley, Kelly said: “I thought in the first half Batley were far and away the better side, I thought we were putting lots of effort in without really being competitive, and I thought Batley were showing that competitive edge in the first half.
“Quite justifiably they came in at half time leading, all I said at the break was don’t put all this effort in and then not be competitive. We are better players than turning the ball over on the first tackle, and playing within ourselves which we quite often do, I thought we were a bit too one dimensional in the first half, and easily controlled in the tackle by Batley.
“Overall over the full eighty minutes I was pleased, our completion rate was better than Batley’s our scoring rate was better than them, so I would have to say that the score reflected the game.
“They gave some silly penalties away and let us out from our end and deep into their territory that created a platform where we could get some scores. I am usually complimentary about our forward line, and I thought they played really well especially with the heat. What really won the game for us was our backline who all put their hands up when needed.
“You have to look at people like James Glover who came off of the bench and played really well and has now possibly played his way back into contention for a starting place. I thought that was the difference between the two sides in the end, our backs made more yards than theirs’s did.
“Our defence was good but that has been something which has plagued us all year, we show great defence and then someone misses a tackle and the opposition score. I thought in the last 15-20 minutes we fell into the trap of giving silly penalties away. That gave Batley a platform to get back into the game, but fortunately that didn’t materialise.
“Our backs came to the fore and took a lot of the burden off of the forwards; they blended in well and then went back to their positions. I was also impressed with our kicking game when we got in front; nearly all our kicks either found touch or went into a corner on both sides of the field.
“I’m really pleased we got the win and the two points because it takes a little bit of weight off of our backs. We know where Batley have been when you go a long time without a win, and although you put loads of effort in and you don’t get the win it’s hard to take.”
On Michael Knowles drop goal, Kelly commented: “As soon as Paul missed the last conversion for the last try, I said to Paul if you have the chance go for the drop goal, it was Knowles who kicked it over. When we got that it meant they would have to score three times, that was a significant score but we don’t want to leave it that late really in future.”
Looking ahead Kelly believes that the Rams can’t get too far ahead of themselves and says that the main focus is now on playing Toulouse in the final match of the regular season.
“We are not so far ahead that we can just let results go past us, it is important that we keep on going and doing the right things right.” He said.
Continuing: “We need to expect a tough test at Toulouse this weekend, but it is going to be really interesting to see who we’ll play in the 8’s when and where too. We are not in a position where we can let the results pass us by.
“We have got Toulouse and then we’ll find out who we will be playing but we can’t concentrate too much on that yet. I have got some beaten up bodies from the Batley game and so we’ll have to see who I can select to go to Toulouse. We are trying to be smart with our squad as is everyone, because we want to have a fit and firing squad going into those super 8 fixtures.”