DEWSBURY'S recent struggles in the Championship continued after they fell to a disappointing 23-14 defeat away at Halifax.
At times it wasn’t a great advert for rugby league but Halifax did enough to get the job done and on the balance of play they were probably good value for the victory.
A penalty for a high tackle in the very first minute of the game gave Halifax fantastic field position but the Dewsbury defence stood firm and Gareth Moore’s kick on the last tackle was too strong.
It was a similar story in the fourth minute as another Halifax penalty gave them a second chance to attack the Dewsbury line. But the Rams defence stood firm again and this time it was Ben Johnston’s turn to put a poor kick in on the last tackle.
Halifax were almost made to pay for not making the most of their early pressure and it was soon Dewsbury’s turn to earn a penalty but Shane Grady couldn’t quite hold onto the ball as he attempted to score.
The first try of the afternoon arrived in the 11th minute and it went to the home side as Moore threw a dummy before a terrific burst of pace saw him break through the Dewsbury defence to score an excellent solo try. Steve Tyrer added the extras.
Just three minutes later the scores were level, though, as Dewsbury scored a fantastic try through Dalton Grant. James Glover and Aaron Brown combined with a lovely run around before Josh Gudzek provided the final pass for Grant to score in the corner. Glover nailed the touch line conversion.
The first half descended into a war of attrition with both sides struggling to create clear cut chances. Dewsbury’s best chance of scoring seemed to come from the boot of Glover as twice Gareth Potts dropped terrific high kicks but the Rams couldn’t find a way to take advantage of the field position this provided.
It was Glover who gave Dewsbury the lead for the only time in the match in the 31st minute as he slotted over a penalty from 40 metres.
Just before half-time Halifax regained the lead as Grant failed to deal with Moore’s kick to the corner and Potts was the grateful recipient of an easy try. Tyrer gave Halifax a 12-8 advantage at the interval.
It took Halifax just five minutes of the second half to extend their lead as Scott Murrell’s kick was caught by Ed Barber and he smartly offloaded to Adam Tangata who scored at the side of the posts. Tyrer converted and added a penalty in the 51st minute to move his side 20-8 in front.
Halifax couldn’t put the game to bed though and in the 51st minute a neat blind side play saw Etu Uaisele crash through some weak defence to score. Glover again converted from the touchline.
Despite a lot of pressure Halifax couldn’t extend their lead and they were nearly made to pay in the 72nd minute but Jason Crookes lost the ball at the crucial moment as he reached out to score.
A Tyrer penalty in the 73rd minute moved Halifax 8 points clear to settle the home side’s nerves and Murrell sealed the victory with a drop goal with the final kick of the game.