Rams aim to stun Toulouse in semi

The Rams finished 18 points behind Shield group winners Toulouse but travel to France with high hopes of rounding off their season on a high.
The Rams finished 18 points behind Shield group winners Toulouse but travel to France with high hopes of rounding off their season on a high.

Dewsbury Rams will aim to pull off a huge upset when they travel to Toulouse Olympique in the Kingstone Press Championship Shield semi-final on Saturday.

The Rams finished 18 points behind Shield group winners Toulouse but travel to France with high hopes of rounding off their season on a high.

Influential scrum-half Gareth Moore returned from a shoulder injury for last week’s 29-22 victory over Oldham, while Robbie Ward also returned from a lay-off and the Rams should have a strong side on duty in France.

If the Rams are successful in winning in France, they would be away to either Batley Bulldogs or Sheffield Eagles in the Shield final next weekend.

Batley defeated Sheffield 36-18 in their final group game last Sunday and will be favourites to reach the final, which could set up a cracking Heavy Woollen derby.

Rams coach Neil Kelly was delighted to have Moore back in action and knows his side will be under no pressure for Saturday’s semi-final.

Kelly said: “Gareth played about 50 minutes. He came through all right and played really well and our kicking game improved as a result.”

“Michael Knowles, who filled in part of the game for Gareth, saw us home. I don’t think we would have won if he had not played.

“We have ended our three-game losing run and I was really pleased to come away from Oldham with two points and a workmanlike performance.”

Knowles landed a crucial 75th minute drop goal to edge the Rams 23-22 ahead before winger Tom Halliday grabbed the match clinching try on his Rams debut.

Kelly also had praise for the former rugby union man, adding: “(Tom) scored the winning try and his overall performance was really positive.

“He did everything I asked of him and he will get better now he has got the first game out of his system. It was a creditable debut from him.”

Captain Paul Sykes had another terrific game for the Rams, setting up several tries, while landing six goals from as many attempts at Oldham and along with half-back partner Moore, could hold the key to Dewsbury’s hopes.

Toulouse have won their last five matches, with their last defeat coming against Dewsbury on August 13 when the Rams won 36-34.

Toby Everett (shoulder) is the Rams’ only new injury worry ahead of their trip to France.