Friday, 30 June 2017

Sunday's Coming: Dewsbury

Rammed: Dewsbury's pitch is even smaller
than we thought!
Hornets travel to in-form Dewsbury on Sunday for Part Two of a Heavy-Woollen heavy fortnight.

While Hornets were literally wrestling with Batley last weekend, the Rams were having a momentous afternoon - hoisting themselves out of the bottom two for the first time this season with a stunning win over TOXIIIC.

Having been behind 8-12 at the break - and 8-16 after 55 minutes, Dewsbury came up with four unanswered, converted tries to snatch the game away from the Frenchies, who scored a late, late consolation try to give the veneer of a contest.

The Toulouse game gave (relatively) new Rams coach Neil Kelly four wins in six games - having lost 12 of their first 13. A remarkable transformation.

Worth noting that Dewsbury half Paul Sykes kicked seven goals from seven attempts last week - so another marksman to keep an eye on. Sykes has been a solid pro and Sunday will be his 400th career game. For the anoraks amongst you, that's 46 games for Dewsbury, 34 games for Featherstone, 62 games for Wakefield Trinity, 109 in three spells at Bradford and 137 games in a six year stint with Harlequins/London. He also only needs 10 points to reach a career 2,000. Let's hope he gets to celebrate next week against Batley.

On the squad front, last week Rams coach Kelly secured London Broncos prop Toby Everett on loan until the end of the season, but this week lost Castleford loan-prop Daniel Igbinedion to Featherstone who basically offered him a deal that Dewsbury couldn't match. Kelly will also be without prop Tony Tonks who this week confirmed that a shoulder injury picked up at the Summer Bash has ended his season prematurely. Joining him is fellow prop Mitch Stringer who is due for a clean-up operation on a long-standing knee problem.

Hornets come into the game on the back of a frustrating defeat in which the goal-kicking of Batley's Pat Walker proved the difference - both sides scoring three tries. But confidence remains high in the camp as, again, Hornets look more than capable of competing at this level.

But Dewsbury's wins at Oldham and over Toulouse - plus Swinton's defeat of Halifax last week has squeezed every last gasp of air out of the bottom five. Hornets remain a point clear in 8th, Dewsbury and Swinton in close pursuit, with Oldham taking over as Bradford's pacesetter in 11th.

Sunday sees Oldham host Toulouse and Swinton travel to Wakey to play Sheffield - so a win of any shade is pretty much essential as Hornets chase down an Eagles side in free-fall, losing its last three games by 54-nil, 72-12 and 40-18 (a total of 166-30!).

As was mentioned in Thursday's members' meeting, the support of the Hornets fans has been exceptional this season - and it's got us over the line a couple of times. So please do come join us on Sunday - bring your mates and your singing voice and let's give it a proper dig. See you there.