Rams fall short of Rovers double

Rams fall short of Rovers double

DEWSBURY RAM'S three-match winning streak came to an end as Featherstone continued their winning start under new head coach Andy Hay by recovering from 16-6 down to gain a 36-24 win, writes Dave Storey.

Andy Kain scored three tries and ex-Huddersfield Giants centre Ben Blackmore capped an impressive debut with two touchdowns as second-placed Rovers moved to within four points of leaders Leigh, who play their game in hand at home to Halifax on Wednesday.

The Rams, who lost skipper Wayne Godwin after only 15 minutes with a broken arm, earned a deserved bonus point with Tom Hemingway’s last minute penalty.

Hay, who has won his first four matches at Featherstone, was pleased with his side’s fightback as they avenged an 11-10 defeat at Dewsbury on the opening day of the season.

“We made it difficult for ourselves in the first half and the boys knew it,” he said.

“In the second half we talked about sticking to our structure and the game plan. I am still not 100 per cent happy with everything but it was a big improvement in the second half to the first.”

Dewsbury boss Glen Morrison was pleased with his players’ effort.

“The effort from the boys was outstanding and you can’t fault them for that but there was some basic individual skill areas that let us down,” he said.

“I think we killed ourselves in the first half by giving Featherstone so much ball in back-to-back sets with penalties and other things.

“With Featherstone having so many full-time players in their squad they were obviously going to have the energy levels at the end and we weren’t quite good enough.”

The Rams survived early Rovers pressure before they snatched a sixth minute lead.

Anthony Thackeray was foiled by Blackmore’s try-saving tackle after hacking on a loose ball but Dewsbury swung the ball out wide for Shane Grady to send in Dale Morton.

Rovers were rocked again five minutes later when Thackeray intercepted Kyle Briggs’s pass and raced 85 yards to score.

Featherstone’s Will Sharp and Dewsbury’s Austin Buchanan had efforts ruled out before Rovers opened their account when Kain darted over.

The Rams regained control when Thackeray put in Scott Hale and Jordan Grayston kicked his second goal but Featherstone hit back when Blackmore showed pace and power to score a superb try.

Jack Bussey kicked two touchline goals to Rovers only 16-14 behind at the break.

Featherstone’s sustained pressure was finally rewarded when Kain dummied his way over from close range to put them ahead for the first time.

The Rams fell further behind when Kieran Hyde attempted to catch a pass and Blackmore snatched the ball out of his hands to race 80 yards for his second score.

Grayston made a try-saving tackle to prevent Jamie Cording crossing before Kain shot in for his third try and Bussey kicked his fifth goal to stretch Featherstone’s lead to 32-16.

Thackeray made the opening for Makali Aizue to score Dewsbury’s fourth try, and although Featherstone then took a 14-point lead when Ian Hardman went over, former Rovers player Hemingway’s last gasp goal salvaged a bonus point for the visitors.

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