DEWSBURY Rams coach Warren Jowitt believes his side must win their remaining five matches of the regular season if they are to maintain hopes of reaching the Co-operative Championship top-six play-offs.
Three of Dewsbury’s final five matches are at Tetley’s Stadium, starting with Sunday’s visit of Swinton Lions, while they travel to top-six rivals Keighley and bottom side Hunslet Hawks.
Dewsbury suffered a 50-6 defeat away to Leigh Centurions last Friday as they slipped seven points behind Keighley but the Cougars have a much tougher run-in and Jowitt believes his side are not yet out of the play-off race.
He said: “We have got to win our last five matches but it is in our hands.
“Keighley have got to play Leigh twice and Halifax, and we also play them, so they are four possible losses and if we can win five out of five we are confident of breaking into the play-offs.”
Dewsbury’s run-in certainly seems more favourable as they travel to Cougar Park for a crucial game on August 5 before entertaining Batley Bulldogs in what should be a very tasty derby.
The Rams’ final away game is at Hunslet on August 19, while the campaign ends at home to Sheffield Eagles on September 2.
Dewsbury were well beaten at Leigh last week but Jowitt believes inexperience played a big part against a side harbouring hopes of a top-three finish.
Jowitt added: “We are a very youthful side, more so than last year and my most experienced players last week were Rob Spicer and Austin Buchanan.
“Steve Crossley has just turned 22 and it a big ask for a kid to carry the pack around the field.
“We have been inconsistent this season but perhaps that is because we are inexperienced.”
Full-back James Craven scored the Rams only try at Leigh but he later suffered a dead leg, which will need assessing before Sunday’s game, while centre Ayden Faal missed the trip after suffering a back injury in a car accident last Thursday.
Jowitt was full of praise for Craven, adding: “James has been quality for us all season, he has a good attitude and he is a likeable lad and I honestly believe he could play in Super League if the right club came along.
“I rate James highly and in my opinion he is the best full-back in the division. If the opportunity arose for him to play in Super League we would be fools to stand in his way.”
n Dewsbury are offering supporters a chance to play a game of touch rugby against first teamers not selected for Sunday’s game. Anyone interested can register between 1.30pm to 1.45pm at tables situation next to the South Stand and the main stand.