Dewsbury Rams failed to score a point on a tough afternoon against Toulouse Olympique on Saturday. Head coach, Lee Greenwood, spoke after the 0-38 loss.
“There was a difference in class this afternoon. Toulouse are a full-time team, full of quality players and we are part-time. We did pull off a massive result last week though against Widnes, which was seen as a shock.
“We felt as a coaching team that the same 17 players, who played against Widnes, deserved to play again today. It would have been harsh to leave any of those players out after that performance, and I am sticking by that decision.
“I always said that it would be a tough ask to come up against two full-time teams after a busy Easter period, but I’m not using that as an excuse. We just needed to be right on it today.
“To be fair to Toulouse they selected the biggest possible team they could and played very well. They didn’t make too many errors, defended well and were dominant throughout.
“We did defend quite well in the first half, but you just run out of energy. When they put their last tackle kick in we were into survival mode, but they were straight on the front foot when receiving our kicks. This just gives no rest period whatsoever.
“We were losing the energy battle in the first half just trying to keep the score down, and eventually you just run out of legs.
“I’m not faulting effort, we just needed every player to bring their best game if we were going to challenge Toulouse. Maybe I was expecting too much two weeks in a row.
“It is a transitional year, I know I keep saying that, but it is. We are trying to win enough games this year so we can put a longer term plan in place. There is work going on behind the scenes so we can move the club forward. Sylvain Houles (Toulouse coach) has been there for a few seasons now and you can see the effort he has put in coming to fruition.
“We are still learning which of our squad can play every week and do a good job and who can just play the odd game. It is a work in progress and this will not change all season.
“We have players who did not play today, due to rewarding the players who played against Widnes, so we may see some changes in the side for the cup game against Halifax next week.
“We need to see a response next week, as our last two home games have not been good viewing for our supporters. We had a loss against Batley and then a loss today.
“Halifax will be coming here to get through to the next round of the cup. From where we are I will be looking for a response from the team and an improvement on the last couple of home games.
“We still have a few injuries, including Paul Sykes, who will be out for a few more weeks, and Lucas Walshaw who has hurt his neck. Samy Kibula was unavailable last week as he was injured, but is now back in contention. We just didn’t play him today as we went with the same 17 who beat Widnes.
“We have others coming back from injury, who will be training this week, and we will see if we can give Halifax a better game than we gave Toulouse today.