Rugby League: Rochdale Hornets 6 - 38 Dewsbury Rams
Date published: 19 February 2018
Rochdale Hornets finally kicked-off their 2018 season on Monday evening, but had a night to forget as Dewsbury Rams cruised to victory at the Crown Oil Arena.
Hornets struggled as a dominant Dewsbury ran in six first half tries and whilst Hornets second half performance was measurably better, Dewsbury had done enough in the first half to take the points.
Deon Cross, Earl Hurst and Luke Adamson were in Hornets team making their competitive debuts, and Luis Johnson featured on dual registration for the first time, alongside Warrington Wolves team mates Harvey Livett and Pat Moran.
Dewsbury opened the scoring in the first ten minutes after Gary Middlehurst interfered at the play the ball. Dale Morton outjumped Cross from the crossfield kick of Paul Sykes to gather and touch down in the corner. Sykes conversion attempt missed.
Dewsbury had a lucky break to add to the score line; Earl Hurst fumbled and Hornets knocked on straight to James Glover who reacted quickly and had the pace and strength to hold off the cover before going over next to the posts. Sykes on target with the kick.
Midway through the first half and Dewsbury gave themselves a good cushion with a third try. Robbie Ward with an audiacious ball steal off Declan Kay before the ball was shipped out wide for Robert Worrincy to crash over. Sykes with the conversion.
Hornets' woes continued when Middlehurst was shown a yellow and sin-binned for a high tackle leaving Hornets with 12 men for 10 minutes.
Dewsbury quickly made Hornets pay as Speakman found Brown with a short ball and he crossed the whitewash. Sykes added the two.
Glover and Josh Guzdek laid the platform for Dewsbury's fourth try; Dominic Speakman with a grubber and Aaron Brown outran Lee Mitchell to touch down for his second. Sykes with an easy two from in front of the posts.
With just a minute to half time, Hornets came close when Dewsbury were fortunate to pat the ball down on the line as Hornets looked to be in for a certain try.
There was still time for one more Dewsbury score before the hooter as Rob Massam failed to gather a kick and Worrincy gathered the ball, skipped past two Hornets defenders and raced 100m to score. Sykes hit the post with the kick.
Half time: Rochdale Hornets 0 - 32 Dewsbury Rams
Hornets started the second half much better and their strong play came close to paying off when Yates cut through the Dewsbury line but was brought down just short of the line with a Rams man flying over the top making sure he was held.
Hornets saw plenty of the ball in the first twenty minutes of the half but could not convert that possession into points.
Dewsbury were more clinical and completely against the run of play added the first score of the half when a superb no look pass from Sykes found Guzdek who had an easy task to cross the line. Sykes boot off target with the kick.
The injustice gave Hornets the spark they had lacked and a good move penetrated the Dewsbury defence culminating in Luke Adamson finally getting Hornets off the mark. Harvey Livett added the two.
With the game entering the final ten minutes, Hornets piled on the pressure but the Dewsbury line stood firm.
Despite their best efforts, Hornets could not convert the pressure into points and the game petered out leaving Dewsbury winners by a comfortable margin courtesy of their first half performance.
Rochdale Hornets: Declan Kay, Deon Cross, Luis Johnson, Earl Hurst, Rob Massam, Lewis Palfrey, Danny Yates, Luke Adamson, Ben Moores, Matty Hadden, Gary Middlehurst, Lee Mitchell, Harvey Livett.
Replacements: Ryan Maneely, Lewis Hatton, Joe Taira, Pat Moran.
Dewsbury Rams: Josh Guzdek, Robert Worrincy, James Glover, Macauley Hallett, Dale Morton, Paul Sykes, Michael Knowles, Jode Sheriffe, Robbie Ward, Jack Teanby, Robert Spicer, Jordan Crowther, Aaaron Brown.
Replacements: Dominic Speakman, Lucas Walshaw, Matthew English, Toby Everett.