Dewsbury Rams 6
Bradford Bulls 48
By Andrew Hunt
DEWSBURY Rams produced a battling display but the full-time professionals of Bradford Bulls proved just too strong.
Bradford - who had Dewsbury lad Francis Cummins in charge for the first time - were true to their word and sent a full strength squad to the Rams and it proved a useful work out for both sides.
Despite defeat there were several positives for the Rams to take from the game, not least the display of young prop Tommy Lillycrop, who stood up well in the face of some robust tackling from the Bulls.
Dewsbury began well as Bradford’s kick off sailed straight into touch and the penalty but the Rams on attack.
Scott Spaven made a half break but was held short before Adam Brown’s neat grubber forced the Bulls to drop-out.
Bradford survived the spell of pressure and when Dewsbury dropped the ball 25 yards from their own line the Bulls took full advantage and Elliott Whitehead gathered Danny Addy’s pass to race over. Jamie Foster converted.
Bradford mounted another spell of pressure and they spun the ball quickly right for Heath L’estrange to score wide out and Foster landed a terrific conversion.
The Rams were again guilty of dropping the ball close to their own line and again Bradford proved clinical as Whitehead gathered a pass to dive between the posts and two minutes later the impressive second rower collected a neat grubber kick from Matt Diskin to complete a 22 minute hat-trick. Foster landed both conversions.
Foster gathered a towering up and under from Jy-mel Coleman, while Rams supporters got a first glimpse of new signing Dario Esposito, who came off the bench and immediately got involved making a good break down the left only to loose possession in the tackle.
Lillycrop bounced of a fierce tackle from Matty Blythe and Dewsbury stood up well to the Super League big guns.
Bradford led 24-0 at half-time but there were no thoughts of them easing off after the break as they came out firing and scored a further three tries in just seven minutes.
Whitehead ran towards the right corner and produced a brilliant pass back inside for Blythe to race over and behind the posts, giving Foster a simple goal.
Diskin then gathered a pass close to the line and dived over before giant prop Manase Manuokafua showed power and strength of drive four defenders over the try line and somehow managed to get the ball down for a 52nd minute try.
Foster landed the goal, stretching Bradford’s lead to 42-0 and things got worse for the Rams as James Craven was sin-binned for disputing the score.
Dewsbury survived the spell down to 12 men and looked lively in the final quarter.
They opened Bradford up down the right with Gregg Scott slipping a lovely pass out to Jamaine Akaidere but he was unable to hold onto the ball.
Dewsbury’s efforts were finally rewarded with a deserved consolation try in the 74th minute when Esposito drove over the line to touch down and Spaven landed the conversion.
It was perhaps fitting that the final word belonged to Whitehead, the best player on the field, as he drove over for his fourth try of the match and Foster completed a 100 per cent kicking ratio with his eighth goal of the afternoon as the final hooter sounded.
Dewsbury Rams: Craven; Morton, Hale, Cosgrove, Beckett; Brown, Spaven; Aizue, Wright, Spiers, Spicer, Hepworth, Tonks. Subs: Tebb, Schofield, Coleman, Scott, Akaidere, Gallagher, Lillycrop, Esposito.
Bradford Bulls: Foster; Platt, Lulia, Blythe, Kear; Samaut, Addy; Scruton, L’estrange, Manuokafua, Olbison, Whitehead, Walker. Subs: Diskin, O’Brien, Sidlow, Wood, Naughton.
Referee: George Stokes.