Dewsbury Rams 32
By Andrew Hunt
DEWSBURY Rams produced a thoroughly professional display to ensure they signed off their Northern Rail Cup campaign with a comprehensive victory over Rochdale last Sunday.
The win, which saw two tries for Jamaine Akaidere on his debut, may not have been enough to see Dewsbury into the knockout stages but it will have helped boost confidence ahead of the opening Co-operative Championship game against York.
The Rams got off to a blistering start and were 12-0 up inside six minutes.
At the end of Dewsbury’s first set, scrum-half Scott Spavin launched a huge up-and-under, which Patch Walker leapt to gather before producing a brilliant one-handed pass out to Josh Tonks.
He in turn fed centre Ayden Faal, who raced over for the try, with Walker’s conversion hitting the right post before bouncing over the crossbar.
Dewsbury came again as hooker Luke Blake and Walker sent Tonks driving close to the line. Spavin’s neat kick hit the right post and bounced into the gleeful hands of Steve Crossley, who crossed for a try, which Walker goaled.
Dewsbury survived a spell of Rochdale pressure before extending their lead after 25 minutes.
Walker’s fine run set up the position before Spavin was again at the centre of the move as he opted to run on the last tackle and moved play quickly right.
Ryan Esders fed Akaidere and the centre was on hand to take the return pass to score a well-worked try.
Hornets winger Wayne English dropped a crossfield kick inches from the try line but that was the visitors only real chance of the first half against a solid Rams defence.
Spavin and Walker were in terrific form and they linked again to feed Esders, who sent Akaidere racing over at the right corner for a debut try and Walker landed a fine touchline goal to put them 22-0 up at the break.
Within seven minutes of the re-start, Dewsbury were out of sight as they ran in another two tries.
Full-back James Craven came into the attacking line well and raced through a gap and over for the fifth try wide on the left.
Just two minutes later, more good handling saw the Rochdale defence stretched on the right and Craven supplied the final pass to send Akaidere over for another well-worked try, which Walker converted from the touchline.
At 32-0 and with victory in the bag, Dewsbury appeared to take their foot off the gas. Craven flung a pass out wide, which was intercepted by Danny Pyke, who raced down the touchline and looked a certain scorer but somehow Tonks got back and made a wonderful try-saving tackle.
The Rams defence did finally crack as full-back Jonny Leather scooted through for an unconverted try and although the Hornets then had substitute Paul Brearley sin-binned they responded with a second try late on.
Rochdale launched a kick downfield and Austin Buchanan slipped in the mud.
Hooker Steve McDermott followed up and hacked the ball on and just managed to dive on it over the try line before it rolled dead. Paul Cook converted.
The latter stages may have taken a little of the gloss off Dewsbury’s win but this was the Rams’ best display to date.