Surviving. Dewsbury Rams 2019 Season Review

They might have fallen down the table in recent seasons but the Dewsbury Rams did enough to fight another day in the Betfred Championship.

Funnily enough, they did attain more points than last season, despite dropping down a couple of places, but one of the sport’s oldest clubs will remain in the second flight for 2020.

Another club plagues by off-field issues though may have enough to survive in the long-run considering the agreement that the Bradford Bulls will ground share with them next year at the Tetley’s stadium.

More of that to follow as we look back at how Lee Greenwood’s side fared in 2019.

Best result: Featherstone Rovers 22-32 Dewsbury Rams

A result not many would have seen coming has to be their away triumph at Featherstone Rovers back in March.

The hosts were in a state of transition but regardless, Dewsbury performed heroically enough to travel to the LD Nutrition stadium to secure a win, something most clubs have found difficult in recent years.

Dewsbury led 14-10 at half-time thanks to a brace of tries from Dale Morton that followed Liam Finn’s early score in response to Luke Briscoe and Cameron King’s tries for Featherstone.

The Rovers scored a couple more tries start of the second half through Ash Golding and Ben Reynolds but efforts in response from Samuel Kibula, Michael Knowles and Sam Day were enough to clinch the all-important two points for the Rams.

It was their turn to do the ‘herding’ in a demonstration of what they can be capable of, despite a lack of consistency throughout the season.

 

Worst result: Toronto Wolfpack 70-8 Dewsbury Rams

Okay, let’s face it, this is the most difficult place to travel to and win in the competition and the score certainly reflected that as league leaders Toronto Wolfpack showed no mercy.

But conceding 70 points is always a humiliation which left the Dewsbury side a shadow of what was the team who had claimed wins at both Featherstone and Widnes this season.

Not only that, Dewsbury came so close to defeating the Wolfpack at the Tetley’s stadium back in March, so such a heavy score could come across as a huge surprise.

During the game, two tries each for Liam Kay, Matty Russell and Anthony Mullally helped set things in motion with further efforts from Gareth O’Brien, Andy Ackers, Joe Mellor, Adam Sidlow, Blake Wallace and Bob Beswick finishing things off.

All Dewsbury could manage were consolation tries from Rob Worrincy and Adam Ryder in what was a forgettable afternoon over in Canada.

 

Main man: Paul Sykes

Still playing?! Timeless veteran Paul Sykes at 38-years-old is still active as he helped steer Dewsbury towards survival once more.

Since arriving in 2016, the Rams may have dropped slightly from play-off contenders to fighting relegation, but Sykes’ inclusion in the squad has saved them from dropping any further.

Having kicked up to 40 goals, scoring over 90 points this season, Sykes has shown not only how vital he has been but also that there’s still life left in him.

How much further he is prepared to go is yet to be known but should he stay fit, he should, not only keep he Rams afloat but also pass on his skill to any willing replacement that could see Dewsbury safe in the long term.

 

Prediction: 12th – Finished: 12th

Tipped for another season of struggle and they followed through on their word did Dewsbury.

With a good chunk of clubs above them spending rather heavily in the fight for the play-offs, it was always going to be a huge challenge for the Rams to compete.

Their rather small squad inevitably saw them fall away after a bright start but considering any disadvantages off the field they had, they still did well to finish off another season and remain in the second flight.

The quality they possessed as a squad was always enough to see them stronger than others and that result came to pass.

The main question is how long?! How long can they sustain themselves in the Championship as well as a club altogether as a club with so much history in our heartland should always have a place in the competition, regardless of their situation.

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