Dewsbury Rams produced a gutsy performance before slipping to a 23-12 defeat to big-spending Betfred Championship leaders Toronto Wolfpack.
Rams conceded three tries in a five-minute period inside the opening quarter before going on to produce a magnificent defensive effort. Toronto took the lead in the 12th minute, Ryan Brierley feeding Reni Maitua who barged over. Brierley sliced the kick. Toronto winger Adam Higson stormed over wide out, with Brierley again off target.
A mix up in the Dewsbury defence allowed Chase Stanley to score a simple try. Brierley’s off day with the boot continued, while Rams responded positively. Dominic Speakman stabbed the ball through and pounced for the try, which Paul Sykes converted. Brierley was finally on target with a penalty from in front of the posts as the Wolfpack led 14-6 at half-time.
Dewsbury’s defence was superb in the second half but Toronto did manage to score a fourth try when Higson dived over in the right corner. Brierley’s conversion attempt again went wide. Rams denied Toronto four more times but Brierley eased the pressure with a 71st-minute drop goal, 19-6.
Brierley outpaced the Rams defence on an 80-metre run to the line but was again wide with the conversion attempt.
Dewsbury were rewarded for their efforts in the last minute when impressive half-back Sykes kicked through and was impeded as he attempted to touch down and referee Robert Hicks awarded the rarity of a penalty try. O’Brien was sin-binned before Sykes landed the conversion with the last kick of the game.
Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek; Potts, Glover, Hallett, Worrincy; Sykes, Moore; Everett, Speakman, Reilly, Crowther, Walshaw, Brown. Subs: Day, Trout, Teanby, Ward.
Toronto Wolfpack: O’Brien; Higson, Stanley, Worthington, Kay; McCrone, Brierley; Sidlow, Ackers, Sims, Maitua, Bussey, Buchanan. Subs: Krasniqi, Beswick, Whiting, Hopkins.
Referee: Robert Hicks.