Halifax Panthers demolish Dewsbury Rams in 13-try shut-out

Halifax Panthers were at their ruthless best as they whitewashed the Dewsbury Rams to mark their eighth successive Betfred Championship victory, writes Seb Sternik.
Louis Jouffret scored twice for Panthers. Pic: Simon HallLouis Jouffret scored twice for Panthers. Pic: Simon Hall
Louis Jouffret scored twice for Panthers. Pic: Simon Hall

Simon Grix’s side scored a total of 13 unanswered tries as they powered to a 66-0 win at the Shay on Tuesday night.

The midweek win moves Halifax up to third in the standings, leaving the Panthers just four points away from second-placed Leigh Centurions. Grix’s side will square off with the 1895 cup winners on Sunday.

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Before their trip to Leigh, Halifax needed to focus Dewsbury who, despite their lowly position in the table, are not a team you can take liberties with. The Rams certainly proved that a fortnight ago after losing to Barrow by just two points.

Halifax were aware of the dangers and got to work early with Louis Jouffret scoring the opener after just four minutes. The effort stemmed from Joe Keyes’ 40m kick which Dewsbury failed to clear. As the ball hit the deck, Jouffret was in the right place to finish the move and stamp his name on the scoresheet.

The Panthers didn’t rest on their laurels and went straight back on the front foot. Their attacking incentive paid dividends on the 10-minute mark as Greg Worthington powered over from close range.

Dewsbury searched for a response but failed to find their way past the Championship’s third best defence. Instead, it was Halifax who went back on the offensive and scored a third effort from Zack McComb.

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With half-an-hour on the clock, things continued to spiral in the wrong direction for Dewsbury as the Panthers bagged two more tries in a space of three minutes.

First, it was Keyes who punished Ben Blackmore for dropping a grubber kick on his own tryline. Moments later, Lachlan Walmsley dived over in the corner after a looping pass from James Woodburn-Hall.

With Halifax 22-0 up and the half-time break just moments away, Dewsbury couldn’t afford to concede again if they were to stand any chance of a second-half comeback. Despite their best efforts, conceding a penalty in their own half allowed Ben Tibbs to get over just moments before the break.

Nothing changed after the restart as five minutes in, Ed Barber capitalised on a break from Woodburn-Hall to move his side further ahead. Jouffret, who shared kicking duties with Keyes, made it 34-0.

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Dewsbury weren’t completely helpless and did show some resistance. However, their first real opportunity of the second period ended with Walmsley intercepting a pass in his own 5 metre line before charging all the way down the field to complete his brace.

The situation continued to unravel for the visitors as Tibbs and Keyes scored two more efforts inside another deadly three-minute spell.

Dewsbury were ready for the final whistle, but that was not a feeling reciprocated by the Panthers who were still displaying their killer instinct.

With five minutes remaining, Halifax crossed the half century mark as Jouffret capitalised on Barber’s unorthodox offload, before Dan Murray completed a two-minute brace.

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Halifax Panthers: James Woodburn-Hall, Lachlan Walmsley, Greg Worthington, Ben Tibbs, Zack McComb, Louis Jouffret, Joe Keyes, Will Calcott, Brandon Moore, Dan Murray, Oliver Roberts, Matty Gee, Adam Tangata. Subs: Joe Martin, Titus Gwaze, Kevin Larroyer, Ed Barber

Halifax Tries: Jouffret (4, 75), Worthington (11), McComb (21), Keyes (28, 68), Walmsley (31, 52), Tibbs (38, 65), Barber (45), Murray (77, 79)

Halifax Goals: Keyes 1/4, Jouffret 2/5, Walmsley 4/4

Dewsbury Rams: Graham Bradley, Ben Blackmore, Adam Ryder, Oliver Greensmith, Lewis Carr, Jake Sweeting, Matthew Beharrell, James Beckett, Reiss Butterworth, Robson Stevens, Keenen Tomlinson, Michael Knowles, Kyle Trout. Subs: David Dixon, Harry Kidd, Jordan Schofield, Ross Peltier

Match Official: Michael Smaill

Attendance: 1,554