SYKES BOOTS RAMS TO ODSAL GLORY

Two last minute penalties told the story for Dewsbury on a swelteringly hot day in Bradford as the Rams battled to an historic 14-16 victory in new Bulls coach Rohan Smith’s first home game.

The Rams had fought admirably to hold onto an unlikely first half lead, when with under a minute remaining Nathan Conroy was sin binned for a high tackle, awarding the Bulls a penalty directly infront of the posts. Danny Addy was unable to miss and equalised for Bradford.

Broken hearted and desperate to hold onto at least a draw, the Rams attempted to run down the remaining seconds when they were gifted a penalty on the hooter.

Paul Sykes lined up to take the kick from 39 metres out, surrounded by the roar of the Bulls support and faced with the full Bradford team standing infront of him. Undeterred the captain kicked it straight between the posts to regain their lead and claim an emphatic victory.

The Rams had started the match as the brightest of the two with the Bulls struggling to make it past the halfway line.

Paul Sykes had the Rams best chance early on when Josh Guzdek drove the side upfield. Dalton Grant reached the try line but did not quite go over it, Rams then held possession as Sykes laid the grubber into the goal area, but no one was able to get onto the end of it.

The Rams were desperate to make their early dominance pay, once again winning the ball back on the halfway line and charging upfield. They got within inches of the try line before seeing tom Orbison superbly snatch the ball back for the Bulls.

Smith’s new Bradford side had been rattled and Sykes drove down the right hand side, determined to find a way past a stubborn Bulls defence. Running out of pitch, the captain threw it out of the back of his hand to Dale Morton, who was unable touch down inside the line, leaving the Rams still in search of an opener.

The breakthrough finally came when Luke Adamson won a penalty 10 metres out. Shane Grady took the ball on and barged his way through the Bulls defence from close range to finally give the Rams the lead. Sykes making good on the conversion.

The try forced the Bulls into an instant recovery, Jay Pitt taking the ball from Danny Williams long-kick, he slickly turned the Rams defence and found a way across the line to touch down. Danny Addy converting the resulting kick.

The bulls persisted with their kicking game, Oscar Thomas the next to try a high-kick that almost found its way through, the Rams defence remained strong and won possession back, determined not to completely undo their impressive start.

They continued in this vein as Scott Hale raced away in search of the lead, offloading to Guzdek who needed no invitation to run in unchallenged and put the Rams back infront, Sykes converting once again.

The Rams were able to extend their lead on the brink of halftime when a scuffle on the floor gave Dewsbury a penalty within kicking distance, Sykes hitting it perfectly to give the Rams an eight-point lead.

It was an equally determined start to the second half for the Rams as they continued to push the Bulls. Some smart interplay was almost finished off by Jason Crookes, who could not quite make the final yards. Sykes then did get himself over the line but was unable touch down.

The Bulls were then able to regain the two points they lost at the death of the first half when Luke Adamson was penalised for a high tackle on Adam O’Brien. Addy successfully converting the penalty.

Defending for their lives, the Rams were pegged back inside their own 10 metre line and desperately trying to hold on to their slender lead. But one to many dangerous tackles saw them given a team warning, Epalahame Lauaki and O’Brien both coming within inches of the try line.

Holding on once more, the Rams denied Bradford of a certain try, Omari Caro was in yards of space but Dewsbury somehow reached him and scrambled the ball out of touch.

The resulting attack proved Dewsbury’s breaking point, O’Brien drove through a series of tackles to touch down from close range, the Rams lead only held by Addy’s failure to convert.

With just 15 minutes remaining the Rams remained pegged back in their own half, frantically defending what was left of their lead, eventually being relieved of the pressure by a penalty on their 40 metre line.

With the game petering out and the Bulls attempts proving fruitless, Dewsbury were finally able to hold onto possession in the Bradford half, the defence needing to withstand just one more Bradford attack to claim victory.

Despite a last minute penalty goal from Addy, Dewsbury were able to steal victory back with a penalty of their own, Paul Sykes impressively kicking from distance.

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RAMS BATTLE IN DEFEAT TO HALIFAX

Dewsbury Rams were unable to follow up their victory against the York City Knights with another at the Shay Stadium, falling to a 23-14 defeat against Richard Marshall’s Halifax.

Dewsbury’s positive start was undone by Gareth Moore in the 11th minute. A last ditch tackle was not enough to keep Halifax at bay, as Moore snuck through the Rams defence. He just managed to touch down inches over the line, before Steve Tyrer struck the conversion.

The away side responded instantly, a Tommy Saxton error on the 30 Metre line gave Dalton Grant a chance, the winger dived down in the corner. James Glover converting from a difficult angle on the touch line.

Halifax instantly put the Rams back under pressure, some slick passing got them to within inches of the line, but Ed Barber dropped the ball and Dewsbury scrambled it away.

Dewsbury’s interplay was very fast as they attempted to pile some pressure back on to the home team and with the line getting ever closer, Kain tried to kick forward but the Halifax defence was too tight

It had been an attacking start from both sides and inside the first five minutes a high kick from Glover gave Dewsbury a penalty on the 10 yard line after Gareth Potts had knocked on. But the chance was squandered when Dewsbury dropped the ball.

Glover spotted the weakness and caught Fax out on numerous occasions, with the Rams playing a particularly kicking based game. However it was a penalty that lead to the Rams taking a brief lead, with eight minutes of the half remaining, Fax gave away a penalty for interference in the tackle which Glover successfully kicked for goal.

But as has often been the case this season, the Rams lost the lead on the cusp of half time. Dalton Grant spilled a cross-field kick and Potts was there to pick it up and dart over the line. Tyrer once again converting.

It left the Rams shaken on half time and they appeared to still be suffering on their return, Scott Murrell’s high kick found Ed Barber, who carried the ball and found Tangata. The interchange dragged it over the line, before Tyrer converted.

The Fax then stretched their lead after Dewsbury were penalised for offside, the home side decided to kick for goal and Tyrer was successful.

Dewsbury then looked like they could possibly salvage the tie when Nathan Conroy ran inside the offside men, winning the Rams a penalty. Etu Uaisele received the ball and scrambled it over the line, Glover once again converting from a tight angle.

Halifax refused to just defend their lead and continued to attack. Dewsbury failed to deal with a cross-field kick from Moore, but neither Dane Manning, nor Tyrer were about to squeeze it over the line.

The Rams were then caught offside during a Jacob Fairbank break and Halifax chose to kick, Tyrer converting well.

Then, with the sound of the buzzer ringing around the stadium Murrell successfully kicked for a drop goal.

MORRISON HAILS RAMS MOMENTUM

A jubilant Glenn Morrison was insistent that his side can continue to get the results required of them as they enter the tail end of the season, while reserving some special words of praise for the day’s captain Scott Hale, who made his 100th appearance last Sunday.

The Rams followed up their last gasp victory against Bradford Bulls with an emphatic 46-10 scoreline against the Oldham Roughyeds, leaving them just one spot behind sixth-placed Featherstone Rovers.

Morrison said: “I think we got the result that we earned, I asked them to grind out the win and not to do anything special, so to get 40 odd points against a quality team is brilliant.

“They are probably sitting where they should be in the table, but they are a tough side and I am very pleased that we were able to back up last week’s result against Bradford.”

Morrison was once again delighted by Dewsbury’s defending and pointed towards an improved  percentage of possession as to why they are keeping the tries out.

He said: “Defensively we have been solid the last couple of months, but the results have not quite shown that because we have been giving teams too much of the ball, and having to do too much defending.

“Last week against Bradford there were six or seven sets in a row that we defended without letting them in. If we make our one on one tackles, complete our sets and get 50% of the ball then we will compete with anybody.

“We showed today the quality that we have got, that we are able to score points and play some good footy, I am happy to back up last week.”

A team meeting prior to the Bradford match helped to inspire the win and Morrison asserted that the Rams can continue to challenge alongside the division’s best teams.

“The team spoke before the Bradford game, we all sat down and said that we have been putting a lot of effort in and losing games we shouldn’t be. The week before against Batley it was our own doing, they did not beat us, we beat ourselves.

“We said that if we could beat Bradford there, then we could gain some confidence in ourselves and kick on, and then this week we backed it up. We used last week as momentum to win today and now hopefully we can continue to move in the right direction.”

The Rams head coach says his side will continue to keep working as the side enter the final part of the season, with the top six now firmly in sight.

He said: “We have now got settled half backs, which is key, and we have some front rowers and middle men to return from injury and hopefully we will pick up at the right time of year.

“Top six is still the target, it has always been to make the top six and to try and challenge for silverware. We only fell one game short last year so to improve on that we need to make the final.

“It is definitely in us, we just need to push on, keep that confidence and keep doing the little things well, then hopefully we will get the rewards for all the hard work we are putting in.”

The Rams head coach also reserved congratulatory words for Scott Hale, who made his 100th appearance for the Rams, following his arrival at the club from St Helens in 2012.

“It is always a big milestone to reach 100 games at any club,” said Morrison.

“He was one of my first signings and has not been here too long, so to get 100 games in that period of time is fantastic.

“He always puts his body on the line and has even played injured at times. We let him lead the team out as captain today because it is a big honour and we wanted him to remember it for the right reasons.

“He is a great kid to have at the club and hopefully we can keep him here for a few more years.”

MORRISON PREPARES FOR ‘FAX TEST

Glenn Morrison says his side has every chance of following up impressive victories against Bradford Bulls and Oldham with another against fourth placed Halifax, who the Rams welcome to The Tetley’s Stadium on Sunday.

Richard Marshall’s side will be looking to bounce back after a frustrating 12-12 draw with Whitehaven, but head into clash with strong form behind them.

Their success in last year’s qualifiers, in which they finished sixth of eight sides, provided them with  a budget to push on this year, while an influx of Super League players has boosted them further.

Matt Sarsfield in particular has impressed. The second rower signed on loan from Salford and has scored seven tries in just five matches.

It has been a fixture that has not been particularly kind to Dewsbury in recent years, having lost five of their last seven matches against Richard Marshall’s outfit, but the side’s emphatic 25-0 victory against them in 2014 will live long in the memory of any Rams fan.

“It is going to be very tough,” said Morrison.

“They have obviously got goals of top four and we know we have got to be on top of our game.

“They have a larger budget this season and they have also signed a few players from the super League which will make a big difference.

“We have had some good results against them here in previous years and hopefully we can have a similar result to what we had against Oldham.

“We just need to continue to work hard and stick to the basics. We know our defence is solid, so as long as we keep turning up in that area and get to the right points with the ball then we know we can score points.”

Meanwhile, Morrison will continue to monitor his injury situation following last week’s win over Oldham.

“Trout took a bang to the head and suffered a bit of memory loss, so we may have to give him a rest and then we have got a couple of boys in Hepworth and Spicer who we will manage up to the game, while Uaisele came off with a bad knee.

“The difference is we have now got cover as we are starting to get boys back, we have got Teanby who has been rested for a couple of weeks, a couple more middles that are returning and we can now start rotating.

“We are in a lot better position now than we were four or five weeks ago when we could hardly field a team.”

RAMS FALL TO HALIFAX LOSS

Dewsbury Rams were unable to make it a Hat-trick of wins as they fell to a frustrating home defeat in a fiery encounter against Halifax.

The Rams went into the game in good form after impressive wins over Bradford and Oldham but spent the majority of the first 40 pinned back into their own half, until two tries from Scott Hale and Dale Morton gave the Rams an unlikely lead.

This was short lived as Gareth Moore and then James Saltonstall broke the Rams momentum minutes from halftime, punishing Dewsbury for missing their conversions as they took the lead.

Despite increased possession in the second half, Halifax were able to twice extend their lead with tries from Mitch Cahalane and Connor Robinson.

Halifax nearly took the lead two minutes into the match when fax drove their way down the right, but Sykes was able to easily collect Moore’s kick. The Rams then went in search of their own attack but were prevented from doing so by Ben Kaye and Adam Tangata.

Hafliax continued to attack but were unable to break Dewsbury’s strong defensive line, both Ben Heaton and Ben Johnson going close in the opening stages.

It was the introduction of Tony Tonks and Jack Teanby that swung the game in the Rams favour, Tonks battered through the Fax defence, creating a gap that Andy Kain and Scott Hale were able to exploit.

Sykes was unable to make the conversion, but made up for it when his cross-field kick set up Dale Morton to run in for a try on the same right-hand side. Although Sykes again missed the conversion.

Halifax finally got on the scoresheet themselves when Tyrer and Simon Grix set up Moore to dive down, Tyrer completing the conversion.

The Rams were made to pay for missing their conversions when Saltonstall was able to catch and convert score thanks to an impressive Scott Murrell kick. While Tyrer missed the conversion this time, it gave Fax the lead going into half time.

Dewsbury came out firing in the second half determined to recapture the lead, Matt Groat ignoring calls for a pass to drive through the Fax defence. He then released the ball to Sykes who made his way past two Fax players, but dropped the ball inches form the try line.

Despite the pressure Halifax extended their lead when Cahalane dove underneath the posts, thanks to a Robinson pass, Tyrer converting once again to give them a 16-8 lead.

A sin-bin each for Groat and Calahane left both teams short, but Halifax were able to increase their lead to 18-6 when Tyrer scored a penalty in the final 20.

This all but killed off the Rams and Robinson secured the points for his side, recovering his own kick forward to score a try in the final minutes of the game, Tyrer converting again to make it 24-8.

SYKES KEEPING DEWSBURY CAMP FOCUSED AHEAD OF DERBY

With the Heavy Woollen derby on the horizon, Dewsbury Rams captain Paul Sykes insists the side are raring to go despite their defeat at home to Halifax.

Despite holding an 8-0 lead thanks to tries from Scott Hale and Dale Morton, the Rams eventually succumbed to a 24-8 defeat at the Tetley’s. Sykes said that the team can take numerous positives from the defeat, including their continually impressive defending.

He said: “The Halifax game was frustrating, we thought we could have gone into half time winning, but we let two sloppy tries in from kicks, there was a bit of luck in there, but we still should have defended them and then we could of gone with the lead.

“We can still take some positives out of the match. We defended well, just a little to much, which is probably what took it out of us.

The captain has been on the end of two derby defeats this season but insists his side can come out with full points against their local rivals.

He said: “Batley will be a big fixture, it’s a local derby, they have beaten us twice this year but we are getting better and better as the year goes on, we should have beaten them at the summer bash but we fell short.

“I just try and keep the lads focused on the game and make sure they are all doing the right jobs individually.

“We will be focusing on ball control, completing our sets and finishing in the right positions, which is what we did not do against Halifax because we spent to much time defending. We know we can score points, we just need to hold onto the ball a bit better.

The Rams travel to the Fox’s Biscuits stadium on Sunday where they will be looking to inflict a second defeat in a row upon John Kear’s side, who lost to Bradford last Sunday.

MORRISON: LOCAL DERBIES ARE WHAT YOU PLAY FOR

Glenn Morrison says the Rams are raring to go ahead of the upcoming Heavy Woollen derby, despite the sides frustrating 24-8 defeat to top four chasing Halifax.

Batley enter the fixture in good form having won five of their last six matches and look well placed in their hunt for a top six place. Although Morrison’s men will be buoyed by the Bulldogs defeat against Bradford last weekend, a fixture the Rams won in dramatic fashion just three weeks previously.

Sitting just one place below last week’s visitors Halifax, Batley will provide the Rams an equally stern challenge, but will still be without injured five-some Shaun Ainscough, Luke Blake, Danny Cowling, Sam Scott and Sean Hesketh.

Rams fans will be familiar with former fan favourites Dom Brambani and Pat Walker who provided the Rams with seven years of service between them. Both of whom have played a key role within the Bulldogs side this season, Brambini contributing seven tries and 19 goals and Walker notching 1 try and scoring 69 goals.

Ahead of the tie Morrison said: “We have got to look at the positives from the Halifax game, I’m very disappointed we didn’t get the win, but the lads know that if we hold onto the ball a bit more then we are more than capable of competing against top four teams.

“Batley are in that position at the moment, fighting for the top four, and we can dent their chances if we go there and play like I know we can.

“Local Derbies are what you play for, it doesn’t matter whether they are sitting first in the table and you are sitting last, when you get there, the form guide goes out of the window.

“It is a whole new ball game full of emotion and I’m sure the boys will see that. I’m hoping the fans turn out in big numbers and that we give them something to cheer about.

In regards to injuries, Morrison confirmed that new signing Mitch Stringer will be available to play while Ryan Hepworth is facing a late fitness test.

Aaron Brown or Rob Spicer are both being monitored themselves due to chronic knee problems while Joel Farrell remains suspended.

Morrison also adding: “There will be a few playing with only one leg or one arm as we attempt to make up the numbers, I’m hoping to get a couple back and put a strong side out.”

In-form London defeat Dewsbury

Dewsbury Rams suffered a gruelling 30-6 defeat at home to an in-form London Broncos, however with both Swinton and Sheffield losing, seventh place remains firmly in sight ahead of two vital clashes with Workington and Swinton.

Led by a dominant Israel Eliab, our visitors from the capital proved too powerful for Dewsbury, condemning the Rams to a third straight defeat.

Josh Guzdek’s 77th minute try was the only consolation for Glenn Morrison’s side on a tough afternoon.

Despite coming close in the early stages, it took London until the 14th minute to register their first try. The Rams had defended well, but Wes Naiqama took the ball and skipped past three Rams defenders to open the Broncos account, following up the conversion himself.

The Rams almost responded instantly, Matt Groat battling through a tight Broncos defence, he thought he had crossed the try line but the officials ruled him to have been held up.

Eliab extended the Broncos’ lead on 23 minutes, Andy Ackers played the pass, allowing Eliab to slip in-between two Rams defenders and touch down. Naiqama once again converting.

London continued to dominate following their second try, Dewsbury being forced to sit back and defend.

The Rams’ next real opportunity saw Jason Crookes chasing down a loose ball metres from the try line, the winger falling just short of getting onto the end of it.

Shortly after the break London added their third try, it looked as though Eliab had been taken down just short of the try line, but his outstretched arm managed to narrowly take the ball over. Naiqama successfully adding the extras.

Mark Ioane and Rhys Williams piled more misery onto the Rams, adding another two tries in quick succession. The second coming as Ben Hellawell skipped through a tiring Rams defence, allowing Williams to touch down behind the posts. Naiqama successfully completing both conversions.

Josh Guzdek added the Rams’ only try with 12 minutes to go, collecting a brilliant pass from Shane Grady to tumble over the line.

With two minutes remaining, London added their final try, interchange Matt Garside sprinting away from the Rams defence to touch down. Naiqama was unable to convert, missing his first of the day.

Rams hold on for vital victory

Dewsbury Rams began their hunt for a place in the Championship shield final with a clinical 36-24 victory at home to Swinton Lions.

Glenn Morrison’s side reached the semi-finals of the competition last year and will be hoping they can improve upon that after today’s impressive showing.

The Rams took an early lead thanks to Paul Sykes and would go into the break with a 22-0 lead after further tries from the captain, Joel Farrell and Etu Uaisele.

Josh Guzdek and Dom Speakman added another two for the Rams after the interval, before a quick fire triple from Swinton almost threatened a late comeback.

After a strong start to the match Rams captain Sykes collected a clever pass from Andy Kain and evaded the remaining Lions defenders to open the home sides account, before adding the extra’s himself.

Swinton struggled for possession early into the half and their first real chance came as former Dewsbury man Josh Barlow released the ball to Jake Emmitt on the 20 metre line, Emmitt ran directly into the Dewsbury defence and was forced into a mistake, conceding possession.

Regaining possession, Matt Groat raced down the right flank with Tom Hemingway in support, but Groat ignored his calls and continued to charge forward, but he ran out of space and was forced to kick forward, loosing possession.

Both sides were struggling to impose themselves on the game, but a second Sykes try gave Morrison’s men some breathing space, this time he missed the conversion.

The Rams lead was extended further when Aaron Brown found Farrell who snuck through an opening in the Lions defence to touch down, Sykes converting the kick.

Lucas Walshaw’s try was potentially the Rams best of the season, the loanee sped down the right wing, cut inside and around two Lions defenders before squeezing through a gap in their back line to put the Rams 20 up on half time, Sykes increasing it to 22 with the conversion.

Kain handed Swinton their first try when his no-look one-handed pass went straight into the hands of Swinton’s Ben White, he sent through Macauley Halllett who raced through unchallenged to score, Chris Atkins converting.

Kain made up for this mistake with another sublime pass, this time to Guzdek who broke through an opening in the Swinton defence to touch down, Sykes adding the extra’s. Dom Speakman added the Rams final try, coming just before a quick-fire Swinton triple.

Barlow, Mike Butt and Rhodri Lloyd all scored for the Lions in a impressive final 12 minute of play however it was a case of too little too late with them still trailing by 12 points come the final whistle.