Sheffield Eagles

Match Preview: Eagles vs Rams

11th July 2019, 22:58

Match Preview: Eagles vs Rams

Mark Aston’s Sheffield Eagles will be hoping to keep their top-five hopes alive when Dewsbury Rams visit the Olympic Legacy Park on Friday night.

Last Time Out

For the second time in a fortnight, the Eagles narrowly missed out as a top-five rival. This time at the hands of the York City Knights.

It was a tense opening half an hour in the Steel City, with both teams having tries ruled out.

Ben Blackmore was denied a score for a forward pass before Jason Bass’ try was chalked off for obstruction.

The visitors opened the scoring in a similar style to their disallowed try; York worked the ball to the right where Bass spotted a gap to touch-down.

Connor Robinson nailed the conversion from the touchline before Sheffield levelled up the scores.

Sheffield responded in the final minute of the first half as Josh Guzdek found Blackmore out wide to finish despite the attention of a few York defenders.

Pat Walker added the extra two points from the corner.

After the break, two quick-fire scores from York gave James Ford’s side a 6-16 lead.

Firstly, Hull FC loanee Cameron Scott powerfully finished on the left edge before Marcus Stock crossed from dummy half. Robinson converted one of the two tries.

Six minutes later Sheffield were back in it as Anthony Thackeray fooled the Knights defence with a dummy. Walker missed the conversion.

Sheffield came close to drawing level with York but the hosts were hit with a sucker punch.

As the Eagles looked to be in for a four-pointer, Perry Whiteley intercepted Jason Crookes’ pass and raced away 60 metres.

Moments later, York created an overlap and Will Oakes rounded the posts and touching down, Robinson added the two from the centre.

Sheffield were not down and out, however, as Oliver Davies crashed over from close range. Walker converted to cut the gap to six points.

With three minutes to go, Robinson ended the game as a content thanks to a drop goal.

The Rams got back to winning ways last weekend after four straight losses, with a 40-26 win over Barrow Raiders.

Dewsbury initially trailed at the Tetley’s Stadium courtesy of a Wartovo Puara try.

This was soon coupled with a Barrow score straight from the scrum, with Deon Cross going over on the right side.

Dewsbury were on the score-sheet 10 minutes later, Conor McGrath climbed highest to claim Paul Sykes’ cross-field kick.

Dom Speakman’s try from dummy-half and Sykes conversion levelled the scores before a penalty goal from Barrow’s Dallimore gave the Cumbrians the lead at the break.

Barrow extended their advantage in style when Tee Ritson rounded the Dewsbury defence to race 80 metres to the try line. Dallimore’s conversion and penalty goal soon after opened up a 10-point lead.

The final quarter proved crucial as the Rams ran in four tries to turn the game on its head.

Scores from Owen Trout, Adam Ryder, Sykes and Michael Knowles gave Dewsbury a 34-20 lead with 10 minutes to go.

Ritson added his second for Barrow before McGrath sealed his debut double and victory for the Rams with a try in the corner.

One to Watch – Dom Speakman

Our One to Watch for Friday’s visitors is Dewsbury’s hooker Dom Speakman.

The 25-year-old played for the West Yorkshire side from 2016 until 2018 when he left to join Widnes Vikings.

In that period Speakman scored 17 times in 74 appearances and upon re-signing the player current Rams coach Lee Greenwood said: “I looked at the games from last year and he was one of the standouts. It is always good to get a player you know is quality at this level.”

By Lewis Coleman