Dewsbury Rams head coach Lee Greenwood has given his thoughts ahead of Friday’s game against Halifax RLFC in the Challenge Cup sixth round. The winners of the game will go through to the quarter-finals stage of the competition.
On the upcoming fixture he said: “If we weren’t in it we wouldn’t have had a game this weekend and I like the fact we have games and are having something to focus on every time we come in to train. Being honest we got lucky with the draws, we played two amateur sides to get to this stage, but I suppose in respect of trying to get through you could say we got lucky again by drawing against a team in our own league rather than the one above.
“Ourselves and Halifax will be looking at this with a chance to get through to the next round of the cup and a quarter-final place. It brings in much needed revenue, obviously I can’t speak about Halifax’s finances but I know here at Dewsbury it’s always good to bring extra money in. Both sets of supporters I am sure will be up for it and so should the players, just from a rugby point of view, I would like us to improve on what we saw last week. We know we are underdogs going into it, Halifax beat us up at the Shay Stadium a little bit and we just want to make improvements really.
“Each time we play a team for the second time we want to improve on what we did in the first game against them.
“It is a big if and would regarding getting there, they are a team that have hit their stride after changing their coach, I don’t know what was going on there really, as I can’t speak for Halifax. However since then they have had an upturn in form and they have had a couple of good results, this isn’t a bad Halifax team, they have generally finished in a top four spot in the last few years in the league. We are playing a top end Championship team on Friday, we know we are underdogs and we are up against a tough side.
“Let’s see what happens on Friday, I don’t think we caused them enough problems last time we faced them and we want to do that in this fixture. We haven’t caused teams enough problems at home, in the last two games Toulouse dominated us really and obviously the second half against Batley was disappointing. We feel we owe the fans a performance, not a result as we can’t determine that obviously. However we need to show our determination and good attitude and hopefully we can bring that together on Friday.
“I don’t think much will have changed there, maybe little things under a different voice but the personnel is the same as under Richard (Marshall). I don’t think he will change anything on the field game plan wise. Sometimes though a different voice saying the same things does make a difference, and Simon (Grix) has played at the highest level, he was in Super League for a long time and he has also done well since going to Halifax for the last few years. However having spoken to him, I think he will just be concentrating on his coaching career now instead of playing. You can’t start better than what he has, regarding them being unpredictable I don’t think they will be, you sort of know what is coming with Halifax the question is can you stop it.
“They have got some young lads in the team and some good players and that solid platform has meant they have been in the top four of the Championship in the last few years. That is what I want to build here at Dewsbury and where I want to get us, whether that be this year, the next or the one after. However this is another good chance for us to show how far we are off that level.
“The tighter the game lasts the more nervous they will be, I just want us to get into the arm wrestle really and give our fans something to cheer through the game and not just for the three minutes at the start.
“When the supporters see the difficult watch, so does the coach, the difference is, he has the job to sort that out. I am still learning a lot about our group and our players and what combinations to go with and what stokes each player’s determination up in their bellies, and that will continue all season. You have to wear a lot of hats at this level and one of them is a phycology hat, and that is what a lot of the work is about at the moment, we are having unpredictable results. We could win on Friday, we could lose, we won at Widnes away but lost to Sheffield and York at home and that is the way it has been. I haven’t been surprised by that as that is how I thought it would be, we have had some good results and some bad ones. Hopefully in seasons to come that will settle down and there will be more good than bad.
“With this being the Challenge Cup and the stage we are at we want to pull off a good win this Friday.
“There are a few people with knocks who we have to be smart with as I said last week, we have been through a tough run of fixtures lately. Plus there are a lot of good fixtures to come, we also have the 1895 cup and also the Summer Bash next week. There are a few people rested up now after not playing the last few weeks, and a couple of people who might get this weekend’s game to give them time to recover for the games ahead.”