Late Eagles tries end Rams’ bonus hopes

SHEFFIELD EAGLES V DEWSBURY  The Eagles v Dewsbury game at  Mount St Mary's College, Spinkhill.    3 June 2011
SHEFFIELD EAGLES V DEWSBURY The Eagles v Dewsbury game at Mount St Mary's College, Spinkhill. 3 June 2011

Sheffield Eagles 40

Dewsbury Rams 12

DEWSBURY Rams did not enjoy their return to school as they suffered defeat in the unusual surroundings of Mount St Mary’s College, near Chesterfield, last Friday.

The Rugby Football League had only sanctioned this Co-operative Championship game to be played there the day before as Sheffield’s usual home grounds – Bramall Lane and Don Valley Stadium – were being re-seeded.

It proved too big a disadvantage to overcome and although Dewsbury looked like earning a much-needed bonus point at one stage, three late tries dashed those hopes and the Rams remain third-bottom.

Although the sun shone on a balmy early summer’s evening, it proved to be completely miserable for the Rams, compounded when star forward Rob Spicer broke a leg.

Dewsbury started well but saw early attacks repelled by the Eagles defence before a series of long passes sent Sheffield winger Danny Mills over in the corner and Simon Brown added the goal.

Half-back Dominic Brambani tried to get the Rams going forward against his former club but although Elliot Hodgson went close, Sheffield held out.

Sheffield stepped up the pace and a crossfield move saw stand-off Quentin Laulu-Togagae dart between the posts for his 10th try in seven games. Brown added the goal.

Sheffield had full-back Misi Taulapapa sin-binned for holding down in a tackle but the Eagles defence remained solid as the Rams were unable to make the extra man count.

Dewsbury suffered another blow on the stroke of half-time as Sheffield kept the ball alive after the hooter had sounded and prop Alex Rowe twisted over. Brown added the goal as the Rams trailed 18-0 at the break.

Dewsbury needed a good start to the second half if they were to have any chance of taking anything from the game and they got just that when James Lockwood broke through and sent the supporting Spicer over for a try which Brambani converted.

Dewsbury’s defence looked solid as they held out for back-to-back sets of tackles on their own line but when Sheffield moved the ball to Menzie Yere there was no stopping the powerful centre, who barged over for his 14th try of the season.

Dewsbury again showed character to battle back and scored a deserved second try through loose forward Ryan Glynn, with Brambani’s conversion giving the Rams real hope of earning a bonus point.

However, Sheffield responded well and as Dewsbury tired in the heat, the Eagles ran in three further late tries to leave the visitors pointless.

Rowe forced his way over for a second before Tim Bergin and centre Corey Hanson both scored out wide to give the final score a flattering look.

The Rams will not be rushing back to school in a hurry.

Sheffield Eagles: Taulapapa; Mills, Yere, Hanson, Finigan; Laulu-Togagae, Brown; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Szostak, Green, Hirst. Subs: Bergin, Cording, Rowe, Hepworth.

Dewsbury Rams: Turner; Hodgson, Wilson, Faal, Buchanan; Barthau, Brambani; Hirst, Blake, England, Spicer, Lockwood, Glynn. Subs: Menzies, Sarsfield, Wilson, Tebb.

Referee: Ronnie Laughton. Attendance: 683.

CO-OPERATIVE CHAMPIONSHIP

P W D L F A Pt

Leigh 11 9 1 1 412 244 29

Feath’stone 10 8 1 1 370 192 26

Batley 11 8 0 3 310 212 25

Sheffield 10 7 0 3 313 202 22

Barrow 11 6 0 5 301 279 21

Widnes 10 5 1 4 319 258 18

Halifax 10 3 0 7 261 303 13

Hunslet 11 3 1 7 200 352 11

Dewsbury 11 2 1 8 217 326 10

Toulouse 10 2 0 8 158 271 9

York 11 2 1 8 214 436 9