Sheffield Eagles will be guarding against any form of complacency as they welcome a rejuvenated Dewsbury Rams to Belle Vue tonight (7.30pm).
The Eagles, in great form themselves, come into the game with three wins from four, and will be favourites to maintain their recent high standards,
But the fixture may now be viewed with a different focus after Dewsbury finally registered their first league win of the campaign against Batley Bulldogs on Good Friday, as returning coach Neil Kelly made an instant impact.
After the Eagles downed Rochdale with an impressive away display, the stage is set for Mark Aston’s side to firmly establish themselves in mid-table after a tricky start, but the experienced coach has warned his side they face a much sterner test than the league standings suggest.
“I have been watching their recent games and they have been doing well,” Aston told The Star.
“Before the victory, they played really well against Halifax for 30 minutes, and they really pushed them close. We have to be mindful and respectful of any team we play because we are still striving to get to where we want to be.
“We cannot under-estimate any team. Dewsbury have good players and they have quality from their dual-reg agreement with Wakefield that will certainly strengthen them.”
Kelly, who coached the Rams to Grand Final success in his first stint between 1996 and 2001, also served the club during his playing days.
Aston says Kelly has inherited a squad with quality, including familiar faces in ex-Eagles Mitch Stringer and Tony Tonks.
“They have had a change of coach, so people around the place are going to be trying to impress,” Aston warned.