ROUGHYEDS can stand by to face a Ram-raid when in-form Dewsbury come to Bower Fold on Sunday (3pm), having already beaten Halifax away and Widnes Vikings at home in two of their three Betfred Championship games to date.
Their only defeat so far was on the opening day of the season when Leigh Centurions went to the Tetley’s Stadium and won 36-10.
Former Oldham forward Luke Nelmes, the prop who played in 27 of the Roughyeds’ 30 games in the League 1 campaign of 2018, formed a strong front-row with Martyn Reilly and Sam Day in last Sunday’s 20-9 win against the Vikings.
Reporting on that game in League Express, Matthew Shaw wrote:
“There’s often a team that goes down as the surprise package at the end of the season.
“Victory (for Dewsbury) over Halifax a week or so ago was impressive. But this — a convincing, committed win over Widnes Vikings — was a level up again.
“The Rams, simply, were outstanding.
“They ran the ball harder and stronger than Widnes; their experienced halves, Liam Finn and Paul Sykes, kicked majestically. Their backs took all their chances.”
Coached by former Roughyeds winger Lee Greenwood, they lined up like this against Widnes:
Martin; Gabriel, Ryder, Fleming, Oakes; Sykes, Finn; Reilly, Day, Nelmes, Esslemont, Knowles, Annakin. Subs: Morris, Johnson, Magrin, Scott.
They currently lie seventh in the table, five places higher than Oldham, but with only two points more.
An Oldham win would take them at least one place up the ladder. given that the two teams immediately above them on the same number of points, Bradford and Sheffield, play each other at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Swinton Lions, also on two points, go to Featherstone and Batley Bulldogs, on three, are at Toulouse Olympique on Saturday so Roughyeds have all the incentive in the world to roll up their sleeves, get stuck in and go for their second league win.
The two teams below them and still seeking their first win, Whitehaven and York City Knights, play Widnes away and London Broncos at home respectively.
This weekend’s Championship fixtures: Toulouse Olympique v Batley Bulldogs; Bradford Bulls v Sheffield Eagles; Featherstone Rovers v Swinton Lions; Leigh Centurions v Halifax; OLDHAM v Dewsbury Rams; Widnes Vikings v Whitehaven; York City Knights v London Broncos.