Rams’ first half effort unable to prevent defeat to Bulls

Jason Crookes opened the scoring for Dewsbury Rams with a fourth minute try at Bradford but the Bulls fought back with an excellent second half display to claim a 56-18 victory.
Jason Crookes opened the scoring for Dewsbury Rams with a fourth minute try at Bradford but the Bulls fought back with an excellent second half display to claim a 56-18 victory.

Dewsbury Rams slipped to a sixth straight defeat in the Kingstone Press Championship, going down 56-18 away to Bradford Bulls last Sunday.

The Rams produced an impressive first half display and deservedly led 14-12 at the break and extended their advantage soon after the re-start.

However, the Bulls fought back and ran in eight tries in the final 32 minutes to complete an emphatic victory which has seen them close the gap to four points on Dewsbury.

Bradford have now won four league games and are well on their way to eradicating their 12 point deduction imposed at the start of the season.

Dewsbury were going in search of their first Championship win and started brightly, opening the scoring after just four minutes.

Half-back Paul Sykes produced a fine crossfield kick which Jason Crookes gathered to score, with Sykes converting.

Bradford replied with Brandan Wilkinson latching onto Jordan Lilley’s pass to force his way over, with Lilley converting to level matters.

Sykes edged the Rams ahead with a penalty but Bradford then took the lead when Daniel Murray capitalised on Ethan Ryan’s fine break to barge over from 10 metres out and Lilley converted.

Dewsbury had put Bradford under pressure for periods in the first half and the Rams were rewarded when he had the strength to stretch over, with Sykes converting for a slender 14-12 half-time lead.

Dewsbury showed determination at the start of the second half and they were rewarded when Hamish Barnes leapt to palm Andy Kain’s crossfield kick on winger Alex Brown, who added the Rams third try.

The Rams joy was short lived though as Bradford stormed back in impressive fashion.

A penalty put the Bulls on attack and Jamaican international Omari Caro broke from 15 metres out and dived over for a try but Lilly was unable to convert and Dewsbury held on to their slender lead.

Johnny Campbell gathered the kick-off and beat two Rams defenders before slipping the ball to Iliess Macani and he raced the length of the field before gleefully diving between the posts, to give Joe Keyes a simple conversion and the Bulls a 22-18 lead.

Centre Lee Smith stabbed the ball through on the last tackle and Macani collected for his second try in the corner, with Keyes adding an excellent touchline goal.

Smith turned try scorer when he evaded Dale Morton’s attempted tackle to cross for his side’s fourth try in 11 minutes.

Bradford were on a roll and Keyes sent Jon Magrin over between the posts, with Keyes converting.

Second row Colton Roche was sent over for a walk-in try by the impressive Keyes, who again converted.

Magrin added his second try and Caro tagged on the goal as Bradford reached the half century before Ross Oakes crossed two minutes from time and Keyes goaled to complete the emphatic second half display.

Bradford Bulls: Campbell; Macani, Oakes, Smith, Ryan; Keyes, Lilley; Magrin, Moore, Murray, Larroyer, Roche, Wilkinson. Subs: Kirk, Caro, Halafihi, Roberts.

Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek; Brown, Barnes, Crookes, Morton; Sykes, Kain; Douglas, Ward, Stringer, Spicer, Walshaw, Ollett. Subs: Sio, Glover, Walker, Teanby.

Referee: Gareth Hewer.

Attendance: 4,136.