Date: Friday 27th March
Venue: Tetley’s Stadium
An all West Yorkshire clash at the Tetley’s Stadium this Friday night as Dewsbury host Featherstone. Both teams currently sit in respectable positions in the Championship table; the Rams are 6th after five games whilst Featherstone are on the same points as Dewsbury but are one place above them by virtue of a better points difference.
Last Time Out
Dewsbury and Featherstone were both in Challenge Cup action last week, both teams progressed to the fifth round too. The Rams welcomed Newcastle Thunder to West Yorkshire, in hope that they would progress to the next round without any trouble. The Thunder went home without the victory but they will have been pleased with the performance they put in, losing out 28-18. The score was 10-10 at half-time after Tom Hemingway and Dalton Grant both crossed for the Rams while Paul Stamp and Tom Capper got on the scoresheet for Newcastle. Aaron Brown and a Scott Hale brace more than helped Glenn Morrison’s men to the victory, along with two penalty goals from Tom Hemingway. In-between Hale’s two scores was a try for Thunder courtesy of Benn Hardcastle but the comeback wasn’t to be for the League 1 side.
Featherstone made the trip up to Cumbria with a tough task on their hands, taking on Whitehaven who will have been inspired after their previous week’s win against London Broncos at The Recreation Ground. The Rovers were four points up at the break thanks to tries from Andy Bostock, Will Sharp and Sam Irwin. Whitehaven’s tries came from their PNG contingent of Jesse Joe Nandye and Dion Aiye. However, they’d be the only points that the Cumbrian side could muster in the match. Ben Blackmore, Will Milner, Matt James and Nathan Chappell put paid to Whitehaven’s efforts with a score apiece and sealing their team’s progression in the prestigious cup competition.
After Matty Wildie and Anthony Thackeray were both rested for the Rams’ clash against Newcastle last week, it’s expected that they will both make a return for the big match against Featherstone, and they’ll be striving to make the all important difference on Friday night. For the Rovers, Paul Sykes and Remy Marginet lined up in the halves against Whitehaven last week in their Challenge Cup tie. Marginet was signed in the early stages of the season after impressing in a couple of matches, including the first game of the season against Hunslet, on a trial contract. There’s been a lot of chopping and changing in the halves for Featherstone this season so a settled half-back partnership is key for their team’s fortunes. Will Sykes-Marginet turn out to be the partnership that everyone at the club is looking for? Irrespective of the question, they will definitely have a tough test on their hands against Dewsbury when Wildie and Thackeray are their opposite numbers.
In a contest between two similar sides, it’s tough to give a prediction as the win could go either way. The Rams will be backing themselves to get the two points out of this tie, especially after already beating fellow top four rival Sheffield Eagles on home turf this season. Featherstone have hardly been spectacular in their ways during the first five games but find themselves in a good early position in the league. You may also have to take into account that their losses have came against the division’s top guns Leigh Centurions and Bradford Bulls. But, at the Tetley’s Stadium, it’s hard to predict a result going against the Rams mainly due to their firepower in the forwards and very good kicking game in the halves – Dewsbury by 8