Doncaster look to keep momentum going after beating Leigh

Doncaster coach Paul Cooke
Doncaster coach Paul Cooke

LEIGH Centurions play Keighley Cougars on Saturday night but there are some fascinating looking games in the Kingstone Press Championship on Sunday.

Can Doncaster back up their win over Leigh a week ago when John Duffy’s Swinton visit the Keepmoat Stadium?

And have the fast improving Batley got what it takes to win at second placed Featherstone?

North Wales Crusaders v Dewsbury Rams (2.30pm)

North Wales Crusaders coach Anthony Murray hopes to have Mick Govin, Rob Massam and Stephen Wild all available for Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship showdown with Dewsbury Rams.

Murray said: “This season looks like going right to the wire for quite a few teams, but we’re just trying to take each game as it comes and concentrate on the areas we need to improve.

“If we can do that, then we can compete in each game we’ve got left. If we’d been a little bit smarter in attack against Sheffield last week, then we could have come away with more than we did.”

On Dewsbury, he added: “They’re another good team who can boast top quality players. We’re going to be up against it, because even though they got beat last week they showed they can score tries.”

Rams travel without Callan Beckett (knee) and Stephen Nash (concussion) as coach Glenn Morrison attempts to secure a win that could keep his side in fifth place.

Morrison said: “North Wales are playing some good rugby and they’ve got to win virtually every game now to stay up, so they’re playing for their lives. We know exactly how tough it’s going to be.”

Barrow Raiders v Sheffield Eagles (3.00pm)

Barrow Raiders player-coach Bobbie Goulding serves the final match of a five-game suspension when his side host Sheffield Eagles in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash.

Raiders are five points adrift at the foot of the table and look likely to be relegated in the coming weeks.

But Goulding wants his players to produce a string of passionate performances as the season comes to a close.

He said: “It’s about players playing with pride and having a go for the speccies. They’ve been good to us, and it’s about a little bit of payback time.”

Eagles coach Mark Aston has a slight doubt over Menzie Yere (knee) as Sheffield search for a second successive win.

Eagles triumphed 24-16 against North Wales Crusaders last week, but Aston was still unhappy with aspects of his side’s performance.

He said: “There are other people waiting in the wings that might get an opportunity.”

Doncaster v Swinton Lions (3.00pm)

Doncaster coach Paul Cooke has fired a warning to his team, insisting they cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal following last week’s 24-16 win over Leigh Centurions.

Cooke’s men became the first team to beat Leigh in a league fixture this year, and are now just two points behind second-placed Featherstone Rovers.

But Cooke said: “It’s certainly not acceptable to turn up and lose against Swinton when we’ve shown so much commitment the week before. The challenge is to turn up and make sure there’s no complacency.

“We’ve got to win the battles that are more winnable than others. “

Cooke and Mike Kelly are both major doubts for Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship fixture

Swinton coach John Duffy is calling for increased ball control from his side ahead of the trip to West Yorkshire.

Lions lost 48-24 against Featherstone Rovers last week. Duffy said: “We played some good stuff and scored some good tries, but you can’t give a side like that too much of the ball in the middle – they punished us every time.

“But we’ll continue to work hard in training and I am sure it will come right soon for us.”

Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs (3.00pm)

Featherstone Rovers coach Andy Hay insists his side can still make major improvements – despite winning 48-24 against Swinton Lions last week.

Rovers are second in the Kingstone Press Championship table, 10 points behind leaders Leigh Centurions.

Hay said: “It was great to get the win, but we clocked off a few times and made too many errors.

“We need to address that and we are still a long way from our best. Allowing Swinton to score as many as they did was not acceptable.”

Rovers will again be without James Lockwood (suspended), while Batley Bulldogs prop Adam Gledhill is a major doubt after suffering an injury against Halifax last week.

Miles Greenwood is also ruled out with a broken thumb, but Bulldogs coach John Kear is in confident mood.

Kear said: “The players are feeling pretty good about themselves, and they’re looking forward to the challenge of going over to Featherstone.”

Halifax v Whitehaven (3.00pm)

Halifax coach Karl Harrison is calling for more composure in his team after they drew 22-22 with Batley Bulldogs.

Harrison said: “We were cruising, but we love a good self-destruct at times at Halifax. It was extremely disappointing.

“If we had good game-management we’d have won comfortably.”

And Harrison insists his side will need to be at full power to beat Whitehaven in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship fixture.

He said: “Anybody can beat anybody at this level. If you turn up a little bit soft, you’ll get beat.”

Whitehaven coach Dave Woods could include Samir Tahraoui, who has recovered from a recent ankle problem.

Woods watched as Whitehaven won 40-34 against Dewsbury Rams last week, but says more concentration is needed if his side is to fulfill its potential.

Woods said: “We can’t afford to come up with those little errors, because that’s then letting teams into the game.”

Workington Town v Rochdale Hornets (3.00pm)

Workington Town coach Phil Veivers has the option of recalling Declan Hulme following his recent suspension.

Town have now won four consecutive games to move within three points of fifth-placed Dewsbury Rams.

Veivers was frustrated with his side’s second-half display against Keighley Cougars last week, but is now focusing on a fifth straight victory.

Veivers said: “Our confidence is bound to be high because we’ve got a bit of momentum about us.”

Hornets coach Ian Talbot hopes to have Mike Ratu and Gareth Langley available for selection, while Shaun Robinson could also feature after joining Rochdale from Dewsbury Rams.

Talbot’s men won 54-22 against Barrow Raiders last week. He said: “If we compete set for set with any team at this level, we’ll give ourselves a chance.

“That will be our aim, and then hopefully that frustrates Workington.

“They were the bonus point masters at one stage, but since then they’ve won four games and are competing for ninth spot, so they’ll be the favourites. We’ll just concentrate on ourselves and what we can control.”