If you’d quoted me this kind of score this morning I’d probably have laughed in your face and suggested you take more water with whatever it was you were drinking. By 16:40 in the afternoon however I could hardly wait for the game to end, and I suspect many of The Rams squad were feeling the same way, let alone the fans.
Yet it didn’t start out that way. In fact it started out as a damn good game; end to end, fast and even with both sides taking turns to attack, only to be held up short by the kind of no nonsense defences you’d expect from two such managers.
The early moments saw both mistakes and near misses coming from both sides. The Bulldogs followed up a kick through but were unable to touch down, and a high kick was well fielded by Austin Buchanan. At the other end breaks from Dominic Brambani and Scott Turner led nowhere. Brambani’s 40 – 20 kept them on the offensive and Buchanan’s run was only halted when he was driven into the corner flag by the Bulldogs defence.
It was 23 minutes before the stalemate was finally broken, Bulldogs centre Daley Williams crossing for the first try to the right of the posts, though Gareth Moore missed the conversion. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the restart kick went out on the full allowing The Bulldogs the field position from which to launch another attack. It proved an expensive error on the Rams part as Ash Lindsay drove his way to the line, reaching out at the last for Batley’s second try in as many minutes. Moore added the conversion and suddenly The Bulldogs were up by ten points.
Not only that but The Rams hooker Luke Blake was helped off the pitch and played no further part in the game. Dewsbury were making too many mistakes for comfort, though I felt half time would give them the chance to regroup.
Half time :- Bulldogs 10 – Rams 0.
It took Batley only two minutes to show me how wrong I was. Not only did The Rams fumble the ball again, but they also allowed Paul Handforth the time and space to go over under the sticks for Batley’s third try of the game. Moore’s conversion stretched their lead to 16 points, and to be honest it probably signalled the end of Dewsbury’s chance.
Several times in the second half they put Batley under pressure only to make an error and undo all their good work. To be honest though it was probably the Bulldogs defence that won them the game. I can’t remember the Rams making a single clean break in that second half, and as a result they spent far too much time trying to contain their Heavy Woollen rivals; trying, but too often failing.
Around the hour mark it was Rams old boy Ian Preece rubbing salt into the wounds as he crossed for The Bulldogs fourth try with Moore adding the conversion. For me that would have been enough, but the Bulldogs were keen to press home their advantage, and in the dying seconds Jason Walton went over for a fifth. Again Moore kicked the conversion as the final hooter sounded.
We were taught a lesson today, and I can only hope we’re big enough to learn from it. The loss of Luke Blake was a blow, leaving The Rams with only one real playmaker and The Dogs did a good job containing him. The forwards ran hard but it was all a bit one dimensional and we can only hope for a better performance at home to Toulouse next Saturday.
FINAL SCORE :- Batley Bulldogs 28 Dewsbury Rams 0.
Dewsbury Rams :- 1. James Craven; 5. Austin Buchanan; 32. Elliot Cosgrove; 4. Scott Turner; 2. Michael Wainwright; 27. Jordan Tansey; 7. Dominic Brambani; 8. Anthony England; 9. Luke Blake; 10. Keegan Hirst; 11. Rob Spicer; 12. James Lockwood; 15. Josh Tonks.
Subs:- 23. Luke Menzies; 22. Johnny Horton; 31. Ben Bolger; 13. Ayden Faal.
Batley Bulldogs :- 1. Ian Preece; 30. Johnny Campbell; 3. Daley Williams; 4. Danny Maun; 5. Wayne Reittie; 6. Paul Handforth; 7. Gareth Moore; 8. Byron Smith; 13. Ash Lindsey; 10. Sean Hesketh; 2. Alex Brown; 11. Alex Bretherton; 18. Dane Manning.
Subs :- 19. Mark Toohey; 12. Jason Walton; 21. David Toothill; 20. James Martin.
Referee:- Clint Sharratt.
Attendance :- 1442.
Edited by Ossy, 14 March 2011 - 01:58 PM.