It may not sound like it, but Dewsbury Rams gave Challenge Cup holders Wigan Warriors plenty to think about in last night’s fourth round tie at Tetley’s Stadium.
IT MAY not sound like it, but Dewsbury Rams gave Challenge Cup holders Wigan Warriors plenty to think about in last night’s fourth round tie at Tetley’s Stadium.
Rams were just six points adrift when Dale Morton squeezed over at the corner from ex-Wigan man Karl Pryce’s pass three minutes into the second half and Tom Hemingway landed a superb touchline conversion.
Though Joe Burgess completed his hat-trick a few minutes later, Rams went close to a second touchdown as Shane Grady forced his way to the corner, only for Iain Thornley to make a vital try-saving tackle.
Dan Sarginson’s try and Matty Smith’s third goal, on 55 minutes, finally gave Wigan some breathing space and they went on to add further tries through Burgess, a Thornley brace, Smith – who finished with six goals – George Williams – who kicked three conversions – and Blake Green.
The final score of 58-6 was harsh on Rams and does not reflect the effort they put it, particularly for the opening 48 minutes – after which Wigan scored eight of their 10 tries.
Rams coach Glenn Morrison had wanted Wigan to earn their place in tomorrow’s fifth round draw and they certainly had to do that.
Though they collapsed in the final quarter, for the most part Dewsbury did the Kingstone Press Championship proud with a stirring performance which should encourage any neutral or lapsed fans tempted along last night, to give them another go.
Obviously the Super League outfit were that bit fitter, stronger and faster, but Rams lacked nothing in terms of effort, they were well-organised and they tried to promote the ball whenever they could.
Wigan went 39 minutes without scoring after their early flurry and if Rams can take that sort of defensive effort into their league campaign, they should comfirtably seal a top-eight spot.
Rams received a standing ovation at half-time for an outstanding effort which tested Wigan after the Cup holders had raced 12-0 ahead.
When Burgess went over for two tries – both converted by Smith – inside the opening nine minutes, it looked like the tie would go exactly according to the script.
Adding to Rams; problems, they lost play-maker Aaron Brown after only seven minutes, the stand-off being helped off in obvious pain after Josh Charnley – later to go off hurt himself –had been tackled into touch just short of the Dewsbury line.
That gave an opportunity to Hemingway and he hurled himself into the action as Rams tested the Wigan defence for the rest of the half.
They thought they had scored when Morton looked to have touched down from the outstanding Anthony Thackeray’s kick, but it was ruled out for offside.
Rams had other chances. On a free play Grady, who was impressive, kicked ahead and Thackeray picked up, only to lose the ball a few metres out.
And then Thackeray and Grady linked to give Greg Scott a run, but Green made a try-saving tackle.
Dewsbury Rams: Hyde, Morton, Pryce, Grady, Scott, Brown, Thackeray, Hepworth, Godwin, Dowes, Hale, Walshaw, Spicer. Subs Wright, Hemingway, Nash, Haggerty.
Wigan Warriors: Hampshire, Charnley, Sarginson, Thornley, Burgess, Green, Smith, Taylor, McIlorum, Flower, Clubb, Farrell, O’Loughlin. Subs Hughes, Pettybourne, Williams, James.
Referee: Joe Cobb (Leigh).