Dewsbury Rams 13 Sheffield Eagles 16: Late, late show sees Aston’s men bounce back to winning ways
Sheffield Eagles snatched a dramatic victory with two tries in the final five minutes to record a 16-13 success at Dewsbury Rams.
The Eagles looked to be heading for back-to-back defeats in a bad tempered encounter at the Tetley’s Stadium which saw both teams have a man sent-off, but late scores from Joel Farrell and Ben Blackmore sealed a late win for Mark Aston’s side.
The home side, who were 12 points clear at one stage, looked home and dry until Adam Ryder and Liam Finn both saw yellow in the final quarter, opening the door for a late away win.
Director of rugby Mark Aston gave a debut to prop Rory Dixon, with Brad Knowles dropping to the bench and Shaun Pick missing out completely.
A Paul Sykes penalty early doors had Dewsbury in front, but the major talking points came from the cards dished out by referee Jack Smith.
Firstly, Farrell saw yellow for the Eagles for a high shot, and soon after Knowles was sent off after throwing a brace a punches following an altercation that also saw Dewsbury’s Chris Annakin sent to the bin.
The hosts then shot themselves in the foot when the returning Farrell was immediately targeted by Samy Kibula, with referee Smith again reaching for red after a dangerous high-tackle.
The Eagles gained momentum towards end of the half, but bizarrely spurned the opportunity to kick for goal in front of the sticks after receiving a penalty with just 30 seconds remaining.
After the break Dewsbury extended their lead with a brace of tries from Sykes, who converted, and ex-Eagle Rob Worrincy.
The next score was going to be crucial, and it went to the Eagles when Anthony Thackeray jinked his way across the whitewash, and Pat Walker converted.
Sykes slotted a drop goal to increase Dewsbury’s advantage to seven points, but Ryder was then shown a yellow for another high shot on Farrell.
Thackeray thought he’d narrowed the gap with his second try, but the he was denied by the officials after a receiving a forward pass.
Late on Finn also went to the bin for holding down Ryan Millar, and Farrell crossed for a converted score for a grandstand finish.
With time ticking away, the Eagles snatched the win when a wonder pass from Thackeray sent Blackmore through for the winning score.
Dewsbury: Gabriel; Worrincy, O. Trout, Ryder, Brown; Sykes, Finn; Annakin, Day, Harrison; Knowles, Sibula; K. Trout. Intechange: King, Mustapha, Mackay, Andrade.
Scorers: Tries: Sykes (48), Worrincy (52) Goals: Sykes 2/3 Drop Goals: Sykes 1/1
Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Glover, Crookes, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; James, Davey, Dixon; Farrell, Davies; Brown. Interchange: P. Burns, Broadbent, Makelim, Knowles.
Scorers: Tries: Thackeray (57), Farrell (75), Blackmore (79) Goals: Walker 2/4
Referee: Jack Smith