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Dewsbury was the venue as the Rams looked to spoil the Toronto Wolfpack’s party and end their one hundred percent start to the 2019 season.

Brian McDermott’s men rolled into West Yorkshire knowing that a win would again lift them above the high flying Sheffield Eagles, but a win for Lee Greenwood’s Rams outfit would see them into the top half of the table and just three points behind the leaders with a game in hand.

The bookies fancied an away win, but the wet and muddy conditions were a potential leveller.

Andy Ackers stretched for the line with just over a minute on the clock but spilled the ball forward in the tackle, Toronto making all the early running but Dewsbury soon settled the nerves and on nine minutes Paul Sykes kicked a penalty goal from thirty metres after interference at the play-the-ball from the Wolfpack.

After being penalised again for an Anthony Mullally offence in the tackle, Sykes doubled the lead with his second penalty goal on seventeen minutes, the home side taking every option of getting points on the board.

Kyle Trout was held up over the line on twenty-one and two tackles later a delightful kick through from Sykes was grounded by Michael Knowles as Toronto failed to get a hand on it. Sykes slotted the conversion over from in front of the uprights for a surprise 10-0 lead.

Toronto gave away a drop out from under the sticks on twenty-five and Darcy Lussick conceded a penalty for a reckless tackle as the Rams returned the ball downfield but Sykes penalty kick dropped short of the bar.

A nice passing move should have seen Dewsbury over again on twenty-nine but the final pass went astray and Toronto escaped going further behind.

Adam Higson opened the Wolfpack’s account on thirty four when he found space on the overlap to go five metres and dive over to ground in the corner. Gareth O’Brien was unable to add the kick in poor conditions leaving his side still six points adrift.

Michael Knowles hit the upright with an attempted drop goal with seconds remaining but it had been a stunning first half performance from the unfancied Dewsbury who had played the game down the middle and matched the Toronto superstars blow for blow. Taking the early penalties was the perfect tactic for a 10-4 interval lead.

Sticking with the game plan Sykes kicked a two-pointer on forty-two after another indiscretion on the twenty metre line and another on fifty-six from a similar position for a 14-4 lead.

Toronto were put on a team warning on the hour mark with Sykes once again kicking the goal, his sixth of the afternoon for a twelve point lead to the heroic home side.

A sixty-third minute Sykes drop goal sailed right between the uprights for 17-4 and Toronto players eyes descended groundwards, they needed to dig deep, Dewsbury needed to keep their nerve.

Toronto dug deep and grabbed themselves a lifeline when a Josh McCrone grubber was collected and grounded by Ryan Brierley, sliding through an open gate onto the Dewsbury terracing. Gareth O’Brien added the conversion for 10-17.

Within a minute Greg Wallace managed to muscle his way over from short range and when O’Brien added the conversion the Canadians were just a point adrift of the home side.

On sixty-nine the Wolfpack made it three in five minutes was O’Brien added to his goals when he slid over to ground and edge Toronto into the lead. O’Brien converted brilliantly from the touchline for a 22-17 lead.

A shoulder charge from Darcy Lussick saw him tallow carded on seventy five and he was joined by Daniel Igbinedion for running in to join the resulting fracas.

In a bizarre incident on seventy-six Chris Annakin was sent off for a spitting incident which was brought to the referee’s attention by the touch judge, Dewsbury down to eleven for the remainder of the game.

It was a herculean effort from the Rams against the handpicked side from Toronto but a five minute purple patch from the visitors saw them score the three tries which stole the win, picking Dewsbury’s pocket and securing the two points which see them back to the top of the table. In the end a stoic defence, and half a dozen Sykes penalties, were just not enough.

Rams: Hooley, Worrincy, Walshaw, Ryder, Morton, Sykes (6G, DG), Knowles (T), Annakin (SO on 76), Day, Garratt, Kibula, Harrison, Trout. Subs: Ward, Igbinedion (SB on 75), Field, Andrade.

Wolfpack: O’Brien (T, 3G), Higson (T), Rawsthorne, Leutele, Russell, Wallace (T), McCrone, Springer, Ackers, Lussick (SB on 75), Dixon, Thompson, Wilkin. Subs: Beswick, Mullally, Olbison, Brierley (T).

Referee: M. Mannifield.

Half-Time: 10-4.

Full-Time: 17-22.

Attendance: 1,251.



Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 3rd Mar 2019 4:58 PM | Views : 1728 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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