Dewsbury Rams produced a battling display but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 12-0 defeat against London Broncos in the Betfred Championship.
Rams had the majority of possession and created numerous scoring chances but were repelled time and again by superb London defence as the Broncos nilled their opposition for the first time in two years.
Dewsbury’s defeat was compounded by an injury to influential scrum-half Gareth Moore, who was stretchered off following an off-the-ball incident which was put on report by referee Tom Crashley.
On a bitterly cold afternoon, Dewsbury had the better of the early stages as Paul Sykes and Moore linked in a promising Rams attack but Macauley Hallett was unable to collect a pass when it appeared they had created an overlap on the left.
Second-rower Billy Hayes became the first of several Rams players to be held up over the line as the home side continued to put London under pressure.
The deadlock was broken after 24 minutes from Broncos’ first serious attack.
Having driven close to the Rams line, a scrappy play the ball saw the ball roll loose and Edward Battye was on hand to scoop it up and dive over next to the posts.
Jarrod Sammut landed the simple conversion, and wrapped things up with a penalty conversion from the last kick of the game – after also claiming London’s second try off a charge down.
Dewsbury attempted to hit back and Dominic Speakman’s kick through forced London to drop out, while Hallett broke through but his pass was gathered by a Broncos defender as he attempted to send winger Dale Morton over at the corner.
London held a slender 6-0 lead at half-time but the Rams forced the pace at the start of the second half when the visitors knocked on immediately after the kick off.
Moore’s jinking run took play close to the line before debutant forward Matty English looked to have forced his way over but was held up by the terrific London defence.
James Glover was tackled close to the line after a dangerous Rams kick through on the last tackle had ricochetted off a defender.
Dewsbury attacked again and Morton took the ball from acting half back and looked to have got over the line wide on the left but was again judged to have been held up before Hallett knocked on in the act of scoring as another chance went begging.
The game’s main talking point came on the hour as the Rams launched another attack and Glover charged towards the line and looked to have crashed over by the posts but was again judged to have been held up.
Mr Crashley brought play back for a Dewsbury penalty after Moore was left poleaxed in back play during the build up.
The incident was put on report but after receiving lengthy treatment on the floor, Moore was stretchered from the field and later taken to hospital as a precaution and it proved to be a huge blow to the Rams hopes.
From the resulting penalty, Moore’s replacement Robbie Ward forced his way over the line but became yet another Dewsbury attacker to be held up by the magnificent Broncos defence.
Having repelled Dewsbury’s best efforts, London struck the decisive blow to effectively kill off the game.
Dewsbury were under pressure on the last tackle when they moved play right and winger Jared Simpson attempted to kick the ball downfield.
Sammut charged it down and raced through to gather the bobbling ball before diving in at the corner to put his side 10-0 up with 12 minutes remaining.
Although Sammut was unable to land the touchline conversion, London wound down the clock and prevented Dewsbury from getting back into the game.
When the Rams were penalised for not playing the ball correctly on their own line, Sammut landed the goal from the last kick of the game to end a frustrating afternoon for the home side.
Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek; Simpson, Glover, Hallett, Morton; Sykes, Moore; Sheriffe, Ward, Teanby, Crowther, Hayes, Brown. Subs: Speakman, Trout, Walshaw, English.
London Broncos: Walker; Williams, Lovell, Hellewell, Dixon; Meadows, Sammut; Spencer, Cunningham, Ioane, Harrison, Pitts, Davis. Subs: Battye, Adebiyi, Gee, Johnstone.
Referee: Tom Crashley.