How Featherstone Rovers, Dewsbury Rams and Batley Bulldogs aim to hit back from defeat

NO WAY THROUGH: Featherstone Rovers' Brad Day is held up by the Barrow defence during Sunday's defeat.  Picture Tony Johnson.
NO WAY THROUGH: Featherstone Rovers' Brad Day is held up by the Barrow defence during Sunday's defeat. Picture Tony Johnson.

BETFRED CHAMPIONSHIP rivals Featherstone Rovers, Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams are all reflecting on a defeat, but with differing emotions.

Rovers missed the chance to go second in the table when they suffered a shock 38-16 home loss to relegation-threatened Barrow Raiders.

It wasn’t good enough and we need to make sure we learn from it because if it doesn’t it will continue to happen.

Ryan Carr

That result turned up the heat on Dewsbury at the foot of the table after their 40-0 thumping by visitors Leigh Centurions, but Bulldogs produced a much-improved performance when they went down 28-22 at Widnes Vikings.

Rovers had won their previous six games, but coach Ryan Carr admitted they were out-played by Barrow who have moved level on points with Dewsbury.

He said: “It was a disappointing performance. Take nothing away from Barrow, but looking solely at my team it was nowhere near Championship level.

“It wasn’t a team thing, it was individuals again.

“We’ve been saying that for the last two weeks - we got away with it against Sheffield and Widnes, but not this time.”

Rovers made 11 errors on the first or second tackle and Carr - who admits he was unhappy with the performance of referee Aaron Moore - added: “In the last two months we’ve had some massive highs and this was a low.

“It wasn’t good enough and we need to make sure we learn from it because if it doesn’t it will continue to happen.”

Rams’ defeat by Leigh came eight days after a 70-8 drubbing in Toronto.

Boss Lee Greenwood described Leigh as “just too good” and said: “They probably didn’t play their best with ball in hand, they made a few mistakes, but defensively they were very good and physically they are not far off Super League level.

“They will really trouble Toronto if it goes on. We have run into the two best teams in the league at the moment in successive games and we are a bit off being able to compete with those teams at the moment.”

Greenwood, whose men visit Widnes tomorrow in the last-eight of the 1895 Cup, added: “It was never going to be easy this year and whoever was in charge was always going to be in for a very hard year with the players who had left and the timing of how it all worked out.

“This league has ramped up this year with the amount of money spent and the quality of teams involved, but we will keep battling on.”

Bulldogs had been embarrassed at home by Sheffield Eagles in their previous game and coach Matt Diskin hailed a massive improvement in attitude and how they applied themselves against Widnes.

He said: “I thought we were very unfortunate not to get something out of the game. In the first half we were very dominant, but we got starved of possession and field position, for one reason or another, in that second half. We lost Dom Brambani, our half-back and captain, at half-time, but the boys handled that adversity really well. Their attitude was fantastic and it’d be nice if they can start to deliver that week to week now because at the moment we are so inconsistent.”

Brambani’s injury was a blow for Bulldogs ahead of tomorrow’s 1895 Cup quarter-final at York City Knights. Diskin confirmed: “He has a calf strain. That’s a big loss for us, but we’re not in a bad position other than that.”