Second-half fightback as Rams show promise

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Dewsbury Rams 10

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 30

By Andrew Hunt

DEWSBURY Rams produced a vastly improved display as they put Wakefield under severe second-half pressure at Tetley’s Stadium in last Sunday’s pre-season friendly

Trailing 18-0, Dewsbury looked to be heading for another heavy defeat but although Wakefield added a fourth converted try three minutes after the break, it was the Rams who went on to have the better of the second half.

The Rams piled on the pressure as they scored two deserved tries, while they had another disallowed after Tom Wandless scurried down the right touchline and dived in at the corner only to be brought back for offside.

The Rams trailed 24-10 after 77 minutes when, from deep inside their half, Pat Walker launched a huge punt downfield and lively centre Scott Turner and speedy winger Austin Buchanan outpaced the defence in a thrilling race for the ball.

However, just two yards from the try line, and with no visiting player near, Buchanan miskicked when attempting to dribble the ball over for what would have been the simplest of tries.

The improvement Dewsbury showed in the second half will have pleased coach Warren Jowitt and there were certainly encouraging signs against a side littered with Super League talent.

Keegan Hirst and giant substitute prop James Walker revelled in the atrocious conditions, continually driving at the Wakefield pack. Luke Menzies and Rob Spicer showed some good touches, while Rob Roberts produced a fine defensive effort when Dewsbury were put under pressure.

The visitors cut through the defence from their first meaningful attack and Josh Veivers produced a lovely pass to put Daryl Millard over for the try, which Veivers converted.

Kieran Hyde spotted a gap to dart over for Wakefield’s second try and soon after Frankie Mariano barged over wide out. Veivers added both goals to put the visitors 18-0 up.

Late in the first half Pat Walker made a good break and tried to slip the ball out to Rob Spicer but he was unable to take the pass.

Dewsbury suffered an early second half blow when a Tom Wandless chip was gathered by Aaron Murphy, who raced through offloaded to Sam Obst and took the return pass to storm between the posts just three minutes after coming on. Veivers added the simple goal before the hosts launched a determined fightback.

Pat Walker chipped to the left corner but Kevin Penny managed to palm the ball dead ahead of a leaping Buchanan but from the drop-out Dewsbury came again and moved play left for Turner to race in at the corner.

Big drives from James Walker and Hirst set up a good field position and Pat Walker’s kick to the in-goal area was spilled by Wakefield but Spicer was unable to ground the loose ball.

Wandless looked to have pulled a second try back when he capitalised on a loose Wakefield pass to race over only to be brought back. Undeterred, the Rams came again and after Anthony England had driven close, Jonny Horton popped a pass up for Menzies to barge over between the posts and Pat Walker tagged on the goal.

Buchanan missed a glorious chance to further reduce the arrears before Veivers was on the end of an injury-time move to score a converted try and give the final score a flattering look.

Dewsbury Rams: Craven; Wainwright, Faal, Turner, Buchanan; P Walker, Wandless; England, Horton, Hirst, Spicer, Bibb, Roberts. Subs: Hayes, J Walker, Menzies, Glynn, Tonks, Glassell, Cosgrove, Brooks, Tebb.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: Veivers; Penny, Dean, Millard, George; Hyde, Obst; Korkidas, Rinaldi, King, Henderson, Mariano, Howarth. Subs: Murphy, Johnson, Davey, Wildie, Potts, Spiers, Trout.

Referee: C Sharrad. Attendance: 1,009