Hunslet Hawks 4
Dewsbury Rams 22
DEWSBURY Rams ground out a hard-fought away win in a scrappy televised Co-Operative Championship encounter at Hunslet Hawks last Thursday.
The game was littered with errors from both sides, as the blustery conditions played a big part, but once Dewsbury got on top, they never looked like losing.
The Rams were again superbly led by their pack, with Rob Spicer and hooker Luke Blake standing out.
Spicer drove Dewsbury forward and was solid in defence when Hunslet threatened, while Blake ripped Hunslet apart with a brilliant second half effort.
Half-back Dominic Brambani again had a top kicking game, forcing Hunslet onto the back foot and he had a hand in two of the four tries.
Things were not helped by a 26th minute floodlight failure in the main stand, which caused referee Tim Roby to halt the game, while he spoke to the match commissioner before deciding there was sufficient light for the game to continue.
After a scrappy start, which saw both sides guilty of unforced errors, it was the visitors who drew first blood.
Brambani’s crossfield kick was spilt by Richie Barnett and James Lockwood reacted quickly to pounce and score.
Brambani was unable to add the conversion in the swirling wind but he was on hand to land a penalty following an infringement at the play-the-ball.
March brothers Paul and David tried to get the Hawks going forward and player-coach Paul complained to Mr Roby about alleged gouging in a tackle by huge visiting substitute James Walker, which saw the incident put on report.
Shortly after, Paul March was penalised for stealing the ball and Brambani slotted over another penalty goal to put the Rams 8-0 ahead.
Hunslet hit back just before half-time when ex-Ram Richard Chapman produced a lovely short pass to send Tom Haughey storming over for a try, which gave his side real hope of registering a second win of the campaign.
However, those hopes were extinguished by a dominant second half effort from the Rams.
Blake made a terrific break from inside his own half and he drew a defender and slipped a pass to Tom Wandless but the ball went to ground.
Spicer and Blake took Dewsbury close again before Brambani’s kick was gathered under pressure by ex-Thornhill amateur Danny Ratcliffe.
Dewsbury came again and Brambani’s up-and-under caused confusion in the defence and the ball was allowed to bounce to the in-goal area.
The ball looked to be going dead but former Hawk Faal managed to reach it and brilliantly flip it back for winger Austin Buchanan to score.
Five minutes later, hooker Blake made another great break, splitting the Hawks defence wide open before Wandless produced a lovely weighted kick for Buchanan to score his second try.
Dewsbury added a third try in an eight minute blast when Spicer stormed for the try line and had the ball ripped from his grasp but Faal was alert to pick it up and score. Brambani added the goal and although Hunslet tried to respond late on, they could find no way through a solid Rams defence and a first away win of the campaign sets them up nicely for Sunday’s Heavy Woollen derby in the Northern Rail Cup quarter-final.
Hunslet Hawks: Kain; Ratcliffe, Kear, Clayton, Barnett; Grimshaw, P March; Kelly, Haigh, Houston, Dooler, Haughey, D March. Subs: Chapman, Oakes, Helme, Yates.
Dewsbury Rams: Glynn; Wainwright, Cosgrove, Bolger, Buchanan; Brambani, Wandless; England, Blake, Bibb, Spicer, Lockwood, Tonks. Subs: Faal, J Walker, Horton, Menzies.
Referee: Tim Roby. Attendance: 1,190.