Jowitt hoping for Challenge Cup change of fortune
Dewsbury Rams coach Warren Jowitt can’t wait to lock horns with his old club in Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round - and hopefully get some good Cup memories into the bargain.
The former Bradford second row is a staunch believer that winning the Cup is one of the pinnacles of every player's career.
And nobody knows about those sort of ambitions better than the man who had his own dream ripped away from him in cruel circumstances.
Jowitt was a young kid who was still trying to establish himself when the Bulls reached the 1996 final, losing 40-32 to St Helens.
A year later, Jowitt had made himself a certainty for the Cup final rematch with Saints thanks to some storming displays.
But just a week before the Wembley showdown, Jowitt suffered the heartache of missing out after breaking his leg.
He said: “We were playing against Castleford and I made a 40-metre break. I ran over a divot and that was it - my ankle snapped.
“I can remember being stretchered off the field and the Cas fans shouting ‘You're not going to Wembley.'
“I was devastated because I was only 21. I would have been in the Wembley team without a shadow of a doubt. I would have played with a broken leg if they had let me.”
Bradford again lost to Saints, but three years later the Bulls finally tasted Cup glory, beating Leeds 24-18 at Murrayfield - again without Jowitt.
He said: “I had moved to Wakefield by then, so I missed out again. As a kid growing up, the Challenge Cup was the pinnacle of the season and it was any young man's dream to play at Wembley.
“Nowadays it's not the same with the younger generation who think the Grand Final is the big thing. But it would be nice if the Challenge Cup could get its old aura back.
“Moving away from Wembley killed it a bit but, now it's back there, hopefully it can get back to being the pinnacle for a lot of players.”
Dewsbury have the advantage of a home crowd and are expecting a sell-out 4,500 crowd on Sunday (3.20).
But Rams’ fans expectations of a shock result look a little far fetched, given their indifferent start to the Co-operative Championship season.
Jowitt said: “I wouldn't imagine anyone will give us a chance but it's a one-off game and who knows what can happen in Cup games.
“It's a chance to test ourselves against a Super League outfit and it might be the only chance some of these players get of doing that.
“We have got problems here and we're working hard to rectify them on the field but we know we can be a good team when we put it together.
“We played Widnes recently, who want to be a Super League outfit, and were beating them 30-22 with six minutes left. We lost 36-30, so we've got to learn to finish games off, but at least it showed us what we are capable of.
"Bradford are not the force to be reckoned with that they used to be, but I'm sure that will come back because they have a good coaching set-up. But it would be nice if we could be competitive against them."
Bradford season ticket holders can gain free admission to the Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round tie at Tetley’s Stadium by redeeming the voucher in their 2010 passbook at Grattan Stadium as early as possible. The Bulls have received around 1,200 tickets, substantially fewer than their number of season ticket holders.
Tickets will be available to purchase until 5.00pm on Friday April 16 by calling 01924 465489 or visiting www.dewsburyrams.co.uk
Tickets for the 2010 Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday August 28 start from £21 and can be purchased from the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 11 13 or by visiting www.carnegiechallengecup.co.uk