Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Sunday's Coming - Breaking News

Bit of a shit week if you’re a Dewsbury fan -  or Glenn Morrison, who sees his squad gutted by a drug-bust/DR pincer-movement that will render a big chunk of his pre-season planning pretty pontless.

Flying without wings: Donald Kudangirana
awaits drug-test hearing
First-up, winger Donald Kudangirana who has finally battled his way into first-team contention has failed a drugs test.

Tuesday’s club statement says: “Dewsbury Rams have been informed by the RFL that Donald Kudangirana has failed a drugs test. He is suspended from the club until he attends a RFL hearing. The club will make no further statement at this time.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, it looks like Wakefield are likely to (ab)use their dual-registration deal with Dewsbury from day one - Trinity Coach Chris Chester calling the Rams’ selection shots ahead of the SL kick-off  to give his players some game time before his season begins.

Trinity face Hull in Super League round one the week after our game - and Chester’s intervention could force up to four Dewsbury players out of Glenn Morrison’s plans. Winger Mason Caton-Brown and former Batley prop Keegan Hirst missed Trinity’s 50-6 win over Sheffield Eagles last weekend - and look likely to rock-up in Dewsbury shirts at the weekend.

Chris Chester calling the shots at Dewsbury?
Who's working who in this DR deal?
Ignoring the fact that this game actually matters to Dewsbury (and to the players who’ll have to stand aside) Trinity coach Chris Chester casually said: “We’ll probably dual-reg.  Keegan and Mason this week to get a game under their belt and maybe (prop) David Fifita and (full-back) Max Jowitt as well.”  Jowitt had shoulder surgery over the off-season and Fifita had operations on both thumbs!

Dewsbury were none-from four in pre-season, losing to Batley, Wakefield, touring indiginous side ‘Yowies’ and Leigh. However, according to the Dewsbury Reporter: “Morrison has been impressed with the fitness levels the side have shown (in pre-season), which could prove a key asset when the Rams travel to Rochdale Hornets for their opening Championship game on Sunday, February 5.”
A good time to pick-up four crocks who’ve had a limited game-prep, then.

After the Leigh game, Morrison said in the Yorkshire Post: “We only had 17 fit players and we had a few young ones in there and a few boys playing out of position, but they really stepped up. They had a strong side out and it was 10-4 at half-time, which was pretty spot on. We completed at 90 per cent in the first half.”

He also said that he hoped “four or five” players who missed the Leigh game due to injury or illness would be available for Sunday’s Championship opener. We assume he didn’t envisage them coming from Wakefield.

Whichever way you look at it, it’s an insenstitive use of DR at best.

Having run - according to League Express - with his ‘best available 17’ last week at Leigh, Morrison may well have to stand down two of his first choice props to accommodate a couple of blokes who see the game as a training run: and replace his first choice full-back with a bloke who’ll be playing his first game back after a shoulder op.

And, from this distance, you can’t really see any of these Wakefield guys giving 100% to the Dewsbury cause if it puts their SL season/fitness in jeopardy.

Chester will attend the game at Spotland - presumeably to dictate when his players get subbed or withdrawn.