DEWSBURY Rams have been hit by another massive injury blow as half-back Pat Walker could be ruled out for the season after picking up an ankle injury.
Walker has been plagued by injuries this campaign but was one of Dewsbury’s stand-out players in last Sunday’s unfortunate defeat at home to Halifax.
Walker was doing some light ball work in training on Tuesday when he went over on an ankle and spent the rest of the evening in hospital. He has ligament damage, the extent of which will become clearer after MRI scans but the feeling is he could miss the Rams’ final six matches.
Coach Warren Jowitt said: “Pat and Dominic Brambani gelled really well last week but things are now up in the air as to who I will bring in.
“It was a freak injury as Pat just went over on his ankle and was forced to go to hospital.”
Last week’s 30-16 defeat by Halifax leaves the Rams second-bottom in the Co-operative Championship, two points behind Hunslet, having played a game more, and five adrift of York City Knights, who gained a shock 18-10 victory over title-chasing Batley last Friday.
The Rams begin a tough run-in at Widnes Vikings on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) before a two-week break and then return to Tetley’s Stadium to face Barrow Raiders on July 31.
It has been rumoured that Toulouse are set to leave the Championship to rejoin the French Elite League next season but as they can not be relegated anyway, it seems likely that two sides from Dewsbury, Hunslet and York will go down.
Although Dewsbury were denied a second successive bonus point against Halifax, the game hinged on a 25th minute disallowed try from Walker, when the Rams were leading 14-0 up.
Referee Matthew Thomason appeared to award the try after Walker latched onto a Brambani kick but the effort was disallowed after he consulted a toughjudge.
Jowitt said: “We have watched the video and there is no way Pat is offside.
“If he (the referee) allows the try it would have put us 20 points up and Halifax certainly looked dejected.”
Jowitt could hand veteran hooker Richard Chapman a starting role for Sunday’s trip to Widnes after he re-joined the Rams having been released by Hunslet Hawks a fortnight ago.
Chapman was among the try scorers as Dewsbury Reserves lost 30-22 to Halifax last week and he could provide vital experience for the final six matches.
Jowitt added: “Chappy has come to help us get out of the hole we are in and certainly comes into contention for this week.
“He hadn’t played for six or seven weeks so he had a 70-minute run-out with the Reserves but there was no way he could have doubled up.”
Jowitt was also full of praise for back row man Richard Fletcher, who was outstanding against Halifax.
“Richard had a stormer,” said Jowitt. “We were teammates at Hull and he hasn’t come here for a holiday, he has come to give us experience and help me out.”
Dewsbury’s young and inexperienced squad will need all help they can get from the likes of Chapman and Fletcher if they are to end a six-match losing run and shock a Widnes side who could still have a say in who wins the minor premiership.