Rams strike back to rock Featherstone’s top-four bid

Two-try Anthony Thackeray led Dewsbury's fightback at Featherstone on Sunday.Picture: James Hardisty.
Two-try Anthony Thackeray led Dewsbury's fightback at Featherstone on Sunday.Picture: James Hardisty.

Dewsbury Rams staged a second-half fightback to deal Featherstone’s top-four hopes a big setback at Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday.

Rovers looked well in control when they led 20-6 shortly before half-time but they were eventually pipped 32-30 as they suffered a sixth home defeat this season.

They outscored Dewsbury six tries to five but missed kicks proved costly for Featherstone as they slipped out of the top-four below Halifax who beat Sheffield Eagles.

Half-backs Anthony Thackeray and Brett Seymour led Dewsbury’s fightback as they avenged a home defeat against Rovers earlier this season.

Thackeray scored two tries and Seymour landed six goals from six kicks as the Rams boosted their hopes of a top-six finish with their first win in four matches.

Rovers looked set to follow their 37-18 mid-week win at Bradford with a fifth straight victory when they dominated the first-half.

Ian Hardman, Sykes and Jamie Cording sent in Ben Blackmore at the corner before Reni Maitua plunged over for Featherstone’s second try.

Featherstone did well to survive a spell of sustained Dewsbury pressure before Remy Marginet’s grubber kick set up a try for Sykes.

Dewsbury hit back when a clever move involving Thackeray and Luke Adamson saw Toby Adamson score but Featherstone looked handily placed when Will Milner darted over from close range and Sykes added his second goal to put them 14 points ahead.

Seymour kicked a penalty on the stroke of half-time to cut the gap and the visitors turned the game round in the second-half.

Thackeray bagged his first try and then put in Shane Grady to level the scores.

The Rams snatched the lead for the first time when Aaron Brown stormed over from 65 yards out.

Marginet and Hardman set up a try for Cording but Dewsbury struck a crucial blow when Thackeray intercepted Maitua’s pass and raced 80 yards to score his second.

Marginet’s converted try put Rovers only two points behind but they were reduced to 12 men when prop Ryan Verlinden was sin-binned for flattening Luke Adamson and the Rams held out.

Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Blackmore, Sykes, Hitchcox, Sharp; Milner, Marginet; Baldwinson, Ellis, Verlinden, Cording, Maitua, Spears. Subs: England, Cooper, Foster, Bussey.

Dewsbury Rams: Fieldhouse; Morton, Grady, Walshaw, Pryce; Seymour, Thackeray; Hepworth, Wildie, Nash, Hale, L Adamson, Brown. Subs: Conroy, Smith, Farrell, T Adamson.

Referee: Phil Bentham (RFL).

Attendance: 2,009.