Dewsbury Rams eased into the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fifth round with a comfortable 36-8 victory over Newcastle Thunder at Tetley’s Stadium last Friday.
It was Dewsbury’s first win of the season and will go a long way to helping boost confidence when they return to Kingstone Press Championship action this weekend.
The hard work was done in the first half, when Dewsbury built up a commanding 26-4 lead they never looked like losing.
The Rams went ahead after 11 minutes when centre Jason Crookes and full-back Josh Guzdek linked to send stand-off Paul Sykes racing over for the opening try which he converted.
Sykes was to prove pivotal in the win as he had a hand in four of Dewsbury’s tries and landed six goals from seven attempts for good measure.
As the Rams attacked again soon after, Sykes gathered another Crookes pass to race through and he offloaded to send Aaron Ollett racing away to dive over.
Sykes converted and then added a penalty goal soon after as the Rams led 14-0 after 21 minutes.
Sykes was again involved six minutes later as he offloaded in a tackle to send prop Brandan Douglas racing over for a try on his Rams debut. Sykes again converted.
Guzdek returned from a long injury lay-off in Dewsbury’s league defeat to Hull KR the previous week and although he was taken off late in that game as a precaution, the full-back was heavily involved in the Rams cup win and could prove a key asset as they look to turn around their league form.
With Dewsbury attacking in Newcastle territory, Guzdek produced a fine cut out pass which sent winger Dale Morton racing over to score and Sykes tagged on his fifth goal.
Newcastle replied on the stroke of half-time when centre Craig Tyler latched onto a grubber kick to pull a try back.
Dewsbury continued to play some entertaining attacking rugby after the break and added a fifth try after 55 minutes to end any hopes of a Thunder fightback.
Another neat pass from Sykes sent Douglas bursting through the Newcastle defence and he found Ollett in support to send the loose forward over for his second try, which Sykes again improved and the Rams had one foot in the fifth round, leading 32-4.
Newcastle replied with a second consolation try, through former Dewsbury player Darrell Olpherts, but Ben Hardcastle was unable to add the goal.
Dewsbury eased off in the final quarter, knowing the game was won, but there was time for a sixth try of the night when substitute half-back James Glover burrowed over from close range.
Sykes was off target with the conversion for the first time in the match but Dewsbury had done enough to avoid a potential cup upset and secure their place in the fifth round.