DUAL-REGISTERED LEEDS Rhinos prop Jack Ormondroyd scored a brace of tries as Featherstone Rovers out-classed Dewsbury Rams 42-18 to end their four-game losing run and climb back into the Betfred Championship’s all-important top-four.
Rovers had lost their previous three league fixtures and a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie, but were a cut above their hosts, who went into the game on a two-match unbeaten run.
Featherstone dominated the first half to build a 24-0 lead and that was easily enough to ensure the points, though Rams showed good spirit to share the scoring in the final 40 minutes.
Rovers were rocked before kick-off by the news Tom Holmes will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury. His half-back partner Martyn Ridyard (shoulder) was also sidelined, but Anthony Thackeray had an outstanding game at stand-off.
Misi Taulapapa and Jason Walton returned for Featherstone who gave a debut to Leeds hooker Brad Dwyer. He did a steady job off the bench and Ormondroyd had a strong game, scoring a spectacular long-range try in the first half.
A rare Rams attack broke down when Jordan Crowther knocked on near his own line and Ormondroyd picked up with nobody ahead of him. He looked a little reluctant at first, but pinned his ears back and sped 80 metres to cross for the visitors’ third try.
Their opener was also a collector’s item, being starting prop Luke Cooper’s first for Rovers in his 54th appearance. Keal Carlile and Gareth Hock had already been held up over Rams’ line by the time he powered over after just five minutes. Only some quick reactions by full-back Josh Guzdek, on half-way, prevented Luke Briscoe going all the way from a 20-metre tap and then James Lockwood forced his way to the line, but knocked on.
The second try came on 21 minutes when Matty Wildie finished well from a short pass by Thackeray, who scored the fourth just before the interval.
That was a lovely touchdown, Thackeray collecting the ball at the base of a scrum 20 metres out and looping around the defence untouched.
Guzdek is a class act and he set up Rams’ only quality move in the opening period, taking a quick 20-metre tap and picking out Aaron Brown with a risky but well-executed long pass. Brown was halted by Ian Hardman, who was fortunate not to be sin-binned for holding down.
Dwyer was held up over Rams’ line early in the second period, but back-to-back tries got the hosts back in it. Dom Speakman dabbed a grubber through, Sam Brooks hesitated and Crowther – Dewsbury’s best player – touched down; then in the next set Paul Sykes and Kyle Trout worked the ball to Gareth Potts and he finished superbly from long distance.
Sykes improved both, the second from the touchline, but Hock stormed on to Dwyer’s short pass to end the hosts’ revival and then Briscoe sent Thackeray in, Sykes being sin-binned for dissent before the conversion. Despite that, Trout finished off some improvised handling on the last for a try which Dale Morton improved, but Ormondroyd’s second try – off a one-two with Thackeray – and a seventh conversion from as many attempts by Hardman completed the scoring.
Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek, Potts, Glover, Hallett, Morton, Sykes, Brown, Sheriffe, Ward, Teanby, Trout, Igbinedion, Crowther. Subs Speakman, Everett, Wakeman, Walshaw.
Featherstone Rovers: Hardman, Briscoe, Taulapapa, Walton, Robinson, Thackeray, Wildie, Wheeldon, Carlile, Cooper, Lockwood, Davies, Hock. Subs Moore, Brooks, Ormondroyd, Dwyer.
Referee: Tom Grant (Leeds).