Duffy searching for first win as Swinton coach

New Swinton coach John Duffy during his Leigh playing days
New Swinton coach John Duffy during his Leigh playing days

A look ahead to the rest of the action in the Kingstone Press Championship this weekend ...

Dewsbury Rams v Swinton Lions (Friday, 8.00pm)

Loan signing Ben Hellewell could make his Dewsbury Rams debut just three days after joining the club on an initial one-month deal.

Rams coach Glenn Morrison is considering giving Hellewell an immediate chance to make an impression following last week’s 30-22 defeat against Leigh Centurions.

Morrison said: “We’ve a couple of busted bodies and people carrying knocks, so we’ll have a look at Ben in training and see how he goes.”

On Swinton, Morrison added: “Even in the game they’ve been losing, they’ve only just been losing. They’re fighters, they play for 80 minutes and they don’t go away.

“They knocked us off earlier in the year, and we want to get something back. That was probably our worst performance of the year.

“If we’d got that result then we’d be sitting differently in the league table, and we want to put that right. We don’t want to double up with two bad performances against the same side.”

New Swinton coach John Duffy is searching for his first win after last week’s 32-24 loss against Workington Town.

But Duffy was encouraged by his side’s determination. He said: “It looked like there was nothing there for us, but I’m very proud about how they fought back to get the bonus point.”

“Gateshead have had a good win that has got to be deemed a high-calibre performance, and we know we’re in for a tough challenge. They’ve got decent players in important positions and they pose big threats.”

Sunday July 6

North Wales Crusaders v Doncaster (2.30)

Loan signing Mick Govin could be given a starting berth when North Wales Crusaders host Doncaster in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash.

Govin impressed off the bench during last week’s 56-18 defeat against Featherstone Rovers, and acting head coach Anthony Murray could be tempted to use him from the start against an in-form Doncaster team.

Murray said: “I thought he was quality. He did really well for us in that second-half and showed his experience.”

Doncaster player-coach Paul Cooke (knee) is a doubt for Sunday’s match, while Liam Cunningham is also suffering with a knee problem.

However, Lee Waterman is contention for his first appearance in seven weeks as he closes in on a return to action following a dislocated shoulder.

Doncaster are now five points clear of fifth-placed Batley Bulldogs, and coach Cooke is hopeful of another similarly determined effort this week following a 22-16 victory over Whitehaven.

Cooke said: “We needed to get back on the horse and right some wrongs. The character and desire of the group was first class (against Whitehaven) and in the end it shone through.”

Barrow Raiders v Whitehaven (3.00pm)

Injury-hit Barrow Raiders are boosted by the return of Liam Campbell for Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship derby with Whitehaven.

Campbell missed last week’s defeat against Batley Bulldogs, while Dan Toal and Ben Musolino face fitness tests this week after failing to finish the same match.

Raiders coach Bobbie Goulding is running out of options, but insists he remains confident.

Goulding said: “We were down to 14 players at one point (against Batley), but I will make sure we have 17 bodies who are ready to give it a go. If they play like they did (last week), we will be in with a right shout.”

Whitehaven coach Dave Woods has no new worries as he prepares his side to face a committed Raiders team.

Woods said: “They’ll come at us at 1,000 miles an hour. Bobbie’s very, very good at getting players up for games, and with this being a local derby he’ll have them really fired up for this one.”

Whitehaven remain only one point off a play-off place and Woods insists his focus is upwards, rather than on avoiding relegation.

He said: “We’re only a few points off that drop zone, but we’re also only a few points off sitting in fifth. We’re just concentrating on the play-offs.”

Rochdale Hornets v Featherstone Rovers (3.00pm)

Gareth Langley and Mike Ratu remain sidelined for Rochdale Hornets as they prepare to face Featherstone Rovers in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash.

Sean Casey missed out on selection last week, but could come into contention following the Hornets’ 48-6 defeat against Keighley Cougars.

Rovers have amassed 25 more league points than their hosts this year, but coach Andy Hay insists his side will not suffer from complacency.

Hay said: “We’ll turn up against Rochdale knowing we’ll be in for a tough game.

“They’ve been a very tough team over the last few weeks, and they’ve run Leigh close a couple of times.

“We’ll prepare well and take our focus onto the field and just do what we can do.”

Jarrod Sammut looks set to continue at full-back after impressing last week, while Hay has no new injury concerns following a 56-18 victory over North Wales Crusaders.

Workington Town v Batley Bulldogs (3.00pm)

Peter Lupton could come into contention for Workington Town, but Marc Shackley (ankle) is definitely ruled out of Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash with Batley Bulldogs.

Town coach Phil Veivers is aiming to stop the Bulldogs claiming a fifth successive league victory and end a run that has taken John Kear’s side up to fifth in the league table.

Victory for the hosts could lift them out of the relegation zone following last week’s 32-24 win against Swinton Lions.

Veivers said: “We have to fight and scrap for everything we get.”

Bulldogs’ impressive recent form has seen them claim wins against Rochdale, Keighley and North Wales before last week’s 34-4 defeat of Barrow Raiders.

But Kear remains wary of the threat posed by Workington, despite currently being five places above them.

Kear said: “Workington are in 10th place, a relegation spot, and they’re just six points behind us.

“This league is so tight and there’s a lot of rugby to be played yet.”