Dewsbury Rams slipped to a seventh straight defeat in the Kingstone Press Championship, going down 38-6 to Featherstone Rovers in a game which bordered on the farcical at times.
Dewsbury were twice reduced to 11 men as they had a total of four players sin-binned. Featherstone also ended with 11 players as they had Richard Moore and Luke Briscoe sent off, while there were a total of 26 penalties awarded in the match.
The Rams began well and dominated the opening quarter before the first of several talking points which put referee Brandon Robinson in the spotlight.
Dale Morton and Jack Teanby were both held close in an early Rams attack, which ended with Robbie Ward’s kick to the in-goal area forcing Rovers to drop out.
Dewsbury launched another raid and Teanby’s fierce drive saw the prop-forward force his way over for the opening try, which Paul Sykes converted.
Featherstone had failed to trouble Dewsbury in the opening 15 minutes but they hit back with a fortuitous try.
Former Rams half-back Anthony Thackeray chipped forward and the ball rebounded off the crossbar before Rovers moved play quickly right for Briscoe to score and Cory Aston levelled with the first of his nine goals.
Dewsbury went close to regaining the lead as Aaron Brown drove towards the line only to knock on in the act of scoring.
Danny Igbinedion prevented Rovers from taking a quick tap and it sparked a brawl.
When order was restored Igbinedion was sin-binned, along with Rams centre Jason Crookes although it initially appeared only one yellow card had been shown.
Featherstone substitute Moore was shown a straight red card for his part in the fracas.
While Dewsbury were down to 11 men, Rovers took control as they scored two converted tries and a penalty to lead 20-6.
Ash Handley broke down the left wing before slipping a pass inside to Ian Hardman, who stormed away for a try which Cory Aston improved.
Aston was also on target after Rovers were awarded four penalties in quick succession.
Briscoe broke away to put Rovers back on attack and although Featherstone appeared to knock on close to the Rams line, play was allowed to continue and Brisoce stepped his way to the line, with Aston converting.
Aston was again on target with a penalty just before half-time and Featherstone held a 16-point lead at the break.
Featherstone extended their lead three minutes into the second half when Handley broke through and sent another former Rams player, Matty Wildie, storming to the line, with Aston adding his sixth goal before slotting over a 52nd minute penalty.
Dewsbury looked to have hit back soon after when Crookes stretched over the line. Referee Robinson, however, disallowed the try for a knock-on and Sykes then spoke out of turn and was sin-binned.
As the penalties continued to mount, Rams winger Gareth Potts was sin-binned for a shoulder charge as Dewsbury were reduced to 11 men for a second time.
Aston slotted over another goal as Rovers were awarded a 15th penalty of the match.
Briscoe saw red following a spear tackle on a Dewsbury player but with only eight minutes remaining, it left the Rams little chance to get back into the game. Rovers completed their win a minute from full-time when Aston gathered an off-load on the try line to score, despite Dewsbury’s claims of a forward pass.
Aston added his ninth goal to seal victory but Rams were left to rue a number of crucial decisions which went against them.
Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek; Potts, Sykes, Crookes, Morton; Aaron Brown, Kain; Douglas, Ward, Teanby, Ollett, Walshaw, Annakin. Subs: Sio, Igbinedion, Stringer, Barnes.
Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Briscoe, Walton, Ulugia, Handley; Thackeray, Aston; Bostock, Carlile, Baldwinson, Lockwood, Davies, Walters. Subs: Moore, Wildie, Griffin, Cooper.
Referee: Brandon Robinson.