Understrength Rams outclassed on Toronto trip

Dominic Speakman had an impressive game for Dewsbury and set up the Rams opening try for Josh Guzdek with a neat kick through. Picture: Paul Butterfield
Dominic Speakman had an impressive game for Dewsbury and set up the Rams opening try for Josh Guzdek with a neat kick through. Picture: Paul Butterfield

A vastly weakened Dewsbury Rams side proved no match for Betfred Championship leaders Toronto Wolfpack as they slipped to a 64-12 defeat on their historic trip to Canada last Saturday.

The Rams had key players ruled out by injury, others were unable to get time off work and then they were further hampered when some players were not allowed to board the plane last Thursday due to visa irregularities.

Captain Paul Sykes was one of the players who didn’t make the trip and an already mammoth task against a side on a 12-match winning streak became almost impossible as the Rams were only able to name three substitutes.

In sweltering heat, Dewsbury conceded 11 tries, 10 of which were converted by full-back Gareth O’Brien.

The Rams fell behind after just seven minutes when winger Liam Kay went on a solo run to score between the posts.

Toronto piled on the pressure and Darcy Lussick drove towards the line and was pushed over by two teammates.

Hooker Andy Ackers then dummied through the Rams defence for Toronto’s third try, all of which were converted by O’Brien for an 18-0 lead inside the first quarter.

A sweeping move ended with Matty Russell crossing in the corner before Cory Paterson chased a kick through to gather and score. O’Brien added the goal to the latter try.

O’Brien then broke from halfway and raced away for a try which he again improved to extend the lead to 34-0.

Dewsbury finally responded with a spell of pressure of their own and eventually unlocked the Toronto defence when impressive hooker Dominic Speakman stabbed the ball between two defenders and Toby Everett won the race to dive and get a hand to it for a try. James Glover took on the kicking duties and converted.

Toronto struck again before the break through Blake Wallace, with O’Brien converting for a 40-6 interval lead.

Dewsbury grabbed a second try soon after the re-start when full-back Josh Guzdek drove over the line to score in the corner and Glover added the terrific touchline goal.

Dewsbury did have further spells with the ball, assisted by Toronto indiscipline as the Wolfpack conceded 11 penalties, but they were unable to add further points and it was the powerful Canadian outfit who added a further four second half tries to complete the emphatic win.

Dewsbury had battled bravely but the lack of a full compliment of substitutes took its toll in the heat.

Jack Buchanan grabbed a 62nd minute try, followed soon after by O’Brien’s second score, both of which were converted by the full-back.

Nick Rawsthorne added Toronto’s 10th try before Paterson grabbed his second two minutes from full-time to complete his side’s win.