DEWSBURY RAMS ensured North Wales Crusaders' temporary stay at The Rock was a miserable one as they inflicted a narrow 22-18 defeat on their Championship rivals, writes Ryan Gould.
Next weekend, Crusaders will return to The Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium – now that the re-development work at the stadium has finished.
And the Welsh side will be hoping that their fortunes change, as this was another game that they perhaps should have won after heading into the break ahead.
However, Dewsbury put in a professional and gritty performance in the second period and Makali Aizue and Tommy Gallagher, in particular, proved to be too much for Crusaders to handle.
The visitors started the game the better of the two sides and scored two tries to race into an early lead.
First, the Rams built pressure after a Crusaders error on the halfway and Anthony Thackeray came up with a neat inside pass to send Louis Sheriff over the line.
And they built on that lead when Sam Wood, taking advantage of a Rob Massam knock-on after a testing kick to the corner by Thackeray, crossed in the corner.
Crusaders did respond, though. Solid drives from Toby Adamson and Stephen Wild laid a platform for Lee Hudson to scoot over the line from acting half.
And they took the lead for the first time soon after when Adamson broke two or three tackles to force his way over the line.
The hosts added an extra two points on the hooter through Tommy Johnson after Dewsbury were penalised for interference at the play-the-ball.
However, the Rams started the second-half well and Karl Pryce, who was a handful in attack with his size, went over for their third try as he bounced off three would-be tackles.
Dewsbury were starting to get some joy in the forwards and Makali Aizue took advantage, bursting through tackle attempts by both Toby Adamson and Jonny Walker to score.
Crusaders scored late on through Rob Massam, who collected a Christiaan Roets tip on to dive in at the corner, but that proved to be too little, too late.