Rams win to close in on Shield semis

Dewsbury score a try against Sheffield Eagles. Picture: Simon Hall
Dewsbury score a try against Sheffield Eagles. Picture: Simon Hall

Dewsbury Rams moved a step closer to confirming a place in the Kingstone Press Championship Shield semi-finals with an impressive 38-22 victory at Sheffield Eagles last Sunday.

It was a vastly improved Rams performance to the previous week’s disappointing defeat to Whitehaven and means Glenn Morrison’s men can book a semi-final date with victory over Oldham in their final match this week.

It took the Rams just three minutes to break the deadlock at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park when Scott Hale kicked through, regathered and stormed over for a try which Tom Hemingway converted.

Lucas Walshaw then made a terrific 50 metre break before sending the supporting Etu Uaisele racing in at the corner as the Rams led 10-0.

Shane Grady went close to adding a third try before Sheffield hit back against the run of play when powerful centre Menzie Yere crossed following an Eagles scrum and Cory Aston converted.

Andy Kain’s neat pass sent Toby Adamson over for a 28th minute try and from the next Rams attack more neat work by Kain sent Aaron Brown racing over. Grady added both goals as the visitors led 22-6.

Ryan Millar scooped up a loose ball and showed great pace to race away for an unconverted try but Walshaw responded with Dewsbury’s fifth try of an excellent first half.

There was a cagey opening to the second half before Grady stretched Dewsbury’s lead with a 55th minute penalty.

Millar raced over for his second try soon after and Aston converted only for Hemingway to land a penalty at the other end as the Rams led by 14 points entering the final 10 minutes.

Sheffield attempted a fight back as Aston kicked over the Rams defence on the last tackle, regathered and raced away for a try which he converted.

Dewsbury’s defence tightened up to deny the Eagles further scoring chances and the Rams sealed victory with a sixth try three minutes from time.

Matt Groat appeared to have been tackled following an excellent run but produced a superb pass off the ground, which Hemingway latched on to as he raced between the posts.

Hemingway converted and was also on target with a last minute penalty goal after Sheffield prop Steve Thorpe was sin-binned for speaking out of turn to referee Michael Woodhead as the Rams secured victory.

Swinton and Oldham maintained their semi-final hopes with victories over Halifax and Whitehaven respectively but the Rams are in the box seat to set up a last four clash with Bradford Bulls.