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Cougars' player-coach Paul March is calling for Rams raid
Paul March has admitted Sunday’s trip to his home-town club Dewsbury Rams will be an emotional affair but has backed Cougars to continue where they left off against York.
March tasted victory as Cougars player-coach for the first time last Sunday as his men halted a run of six straight Kingstone Press Championship defeats to beat the City Knights 34-0.
The result has poured confidence into his side as they seek to record another victory against the club March grew up supporting.
The Dewsbury-born boss this week copped a two-match ban after being found guilty of committing the Grade B offence of using foul and abusive language towards a match official during the recent defeat at Featherstone.
He was also handed a £50 fine but will not appeal the ban as he is out injured for the next fortnight anyway due to a rib injury sustained against York.
March said: “Confidence is high after beating York and we’ve got to back it up against Dewsbury at the weekend now.
“It’s a special one for me – I always like going back there and I supported them as a kid.
“I still keep an eye out for them now and it’ll be good to go there full of confidence, so hopefully it will be an entertaining game.
“Every match, apart from the Batley game, I think we’ve been improving.
“The way the fixtures have panned out means we’ve played some tough teams.
“Now we’ve got a run of seven where we can go unbeaten if we apply ourselves in the right manner.”
March was unhappy to be found guilty of abusing a match official as it was believed it was a team-mate who had committed the misdemeanour.
The Cougars boss said: “I’m not going to appeal it because I’m injured but if I wasn’t injured then I would appeal against it.
“I feel like my reputation has gone against me and I’m not being punished for the actual incident.
“It’s disappointing but, like I say, I did my rib cartilage so I’m in a bit of pain and will be out for two to three weeks anyway.”
March will be replaced in the halves by the returning Scott Leatherbarrow for Sunday’s game at the Tetley’s Stadium but Elliott Cosgrove – on loan from Dewsbury – is ineligible to play against his parent club.
However, Daley Williams and Danny Lawton will come into contention to replace Cosgrove, and March added: “Elliott won’t play against Dewsbury but I thought he was fantastic against York.
“We’ve got him for the Barrow and Hunslet games and then we’ll obviously have to have a rethink if Dewsbury want him back or not.
“But we’re in confident mood and hopefully we can catch Dewsbury at the right time.
“Dewsbury have got a partnership with Bradford and I think the injuries the Bulls have had meant Dewsbury couldn’t have any of their players and that had a knock-on effect.
“I wouldn’t swap any of my players for any others.
“I thought that at the beginning of the year and now, seven games in, I still wouldn’t swap any of my players for anybody else.
“I believe we can still achieve something as a group.”
Meanwhile, Cougars’ under-20s side last week beat Halifax 34-18 at home.
Charlie Eccleston (2), Adam Reardon, Rob Hawthorne, Lewis Reed and Josh Lynam touched down, while Ben Stead kicked five goals.