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MATCH REPORT: Rovers put Dewsbury to sword

Snapshot: Ryan Shaw hat-trick. Andrew Heffernan and Liam Salter scored a brace of tries each. Jamie Ellis scored 20 points from a try and eight goals. Jordan Abdull limped off late on.

Ryan Shaw scored a hat-trick as the Robins racked up the points in a 12-try demolition of Dewsbury.

With the Middle 8s looming up on the horizon, Tim Sheens rotated his side to rest some key players and give all-important game-time to some others. Shaun Lunt and Nick Scruton were rested to overcome niggling injuries, while Ben Kavanagh was banned, and Josh Johnson was also given a break. That allowed Lee Jewitt to make his debut alongside young hooker Will Jubb in the front-row, with Andrew Heffernan and Will Oakes returning to the back-line.

Rovers got off to a bright start at a sunny KCOM Craven Park, with Jordan Abdull landing a lovely 40-20 in the first set of the game to give the Red and Whites great early field position. A Rob Mulhern error saw that opportunity spurned, but the Robins took their next opportunity just a couple of minutes later.

Dewsbury cleared their lines with a long kick downfield, but Oakes returned it with interest, barging Luke Hooley out of his way on a 40-metre break which led to a penalty for interference. Rovers marched the ball forward into the Rams’ quarter and Jamie Ellis’ ball allowed Heffernan to push away from Alex Brown and send Ryan Shaw in at the corner.

Ellis made no mistake with the touchline conversion, but another Mulhern error gifted the visitors a chance to respond straight away. Only a pair of try-saving efforts from Heffernan and Shaw kept Dewsbury out on consecutive tackles, before a bizarre last-tackle play saw the Rams awarded a drop-goal when a scruffy Lewis Fairhurst chip scraped over the bar.

Both sides looked baffled when the score was awarded, but the Robins extended their lead a couple of minutes later when the visitors were caught offside on the first tackle. Ellis took the line on, pushed one tackler out of his way and fired a long ball wide for Heffernan to stroll over.

Dewsbury found themselves back on the attack after Hooley’s charge-down and break took the Rams down to Rovers’ quarter before Heffernan closed him down. Liam Salter produced a great tackle on the opposite side of the field to stop Hooley, and Daniel Igbinedion fumbled the centre’s offload.

The Robins had scrambled well to see off that threat, and they wasted little time in coming back to extend their advantage after breaks by Salter and Mitch Clark carried them down the field. Ellis attacked the Rams’ left edge again and put Shaw over for his second with a lovely cut-out ball.

Ellis added his third goal of the day, and six minutes later another penalty led to the position for Ben Cockayne to find Heffernan in space, and the centre showed his class to finish well out wide.

Dewsbury were looking exhausted after their defensive efforts in the hot conditions, and the Red and Whites ruthlessly cashed-in in the final ten minutes of the half.

Jordan Abdull’s strength and fend saw him power through the Rams’ line before finding Danny Addy in support. The back-rower broke downfield before finding Salter in support, and he pushed Dale Morton out of his way to score.

Four minutes later Ellis boomed a lovely 40-20 to set up another Rovers attack, and tapped the ball himself before barging two forwards out of his way to score.

Ellis convered himself and two minutes from the break Shaw completed his hat-trick after a scruffy pass by Dominic Speakman went to ground. Morton flicked the ball back infield but Addy collected possession and broke away. Abdull was in support and although he was brought down, Cockayne raced into a gap and offloaded for Shaw to score on the next tackle.

Ellis missed the conversion, and the Robins went into half-time with a comfortable lead.

Half-Time: Hull Kingston Rovers 36       Dewsbury Rams 1

The Red and Whites’ extra fitness and firepower had shone through in the first 40 minutes, but Dewsbury came out refreshed after the half-time interval and only good scrambling denied Sam Day and Robbie Ward in the early minutes.

A smart short-side play from the Robins almost saw Addy extend their lead soon after, but the back-rower was unable to get the ball down as he was driven over the touch in-goal line.

The Rams grabbed their first try of the day soon after when Morton touched down a Fairhurst grubber, and Rovers were again made to pay for a sloppy opening to the second half when Gareth Potts crossed six minutes later.

Paul Sykes converted, but four minutes later the Robins put that poor start behind them when Salter palmed Abdull’s cross-kick into the arms of Cockayne, and the full-back carved his way over alongside the posts.

Ellis added his fifth conversion, and ten minutes later Abdull got his name on the score-sheet as Rovers’ sixth different scorer.

An Ellis cross-kick was beautifully kept alive by Shaw and Joe Wardill, and after their good work led to a repeat set from a Dewsbury knock-on, Abdull used his strength and power to barge over.

Rovers cracked the 50-point barrier three minutes later when Wardill’s defensive pressure resulted in a Dewsbury fumble. The youngster snapped up possession and raced away downfield before being hauled down just short of the Rams’ line. Cockayne went close himself before Joe Cator crashed through some soft defence to score.

Ellis converted and set up the Robins’ eleventh try a couple of minutes later, hitting a great straight line at pace to tear straight through the heart of the Rams’ defence before linking up with Zach Dockar-Clay and he put Addy away to touch down under the posts.

Ellis converted, and the icing was added to the cake six minutes from the end when Addy turned provider, blasting through the Dewsbury defence, finding Abdull in support and he fired the ball wide for Salter to grab his second try.

Ellis converted, but the game ended on a sour note for the Robins when Abdull had to be helped from the field after sustaining a foot injury in setting up that final score.

Full-Time: Hull Kingston Rovers 64       Dewsbury Rams 11

Hull KR: 2. Ben Cockayne; 5. Ryan Shaw, 22. Andrew Heffernan, 4. Liam Salter, 27. Will Oakes; 16. Jordan Abdull, 7. Jamie Ellis; 21. Rob Mulhern, 25. Will Jubb, 37. Lee Jewitt; 13. Danny Addy, 10. Chris Clarkson, 11. Maurice Blair.

Replacements: 18. Zach Dockar-Clay, 30. Joe Cator, 17. Mitch Clark, 24. Joe Wardill.

Dewsbury: 2. Dale Morton; 5. Gareth Potts, 13. Aaron Brown, 26. Luke Hooley, 31. Alex Brown; 17. Dominic Speakman, 25. Lewis Fairhurst; 28. Zach Johnson, 9. Tom Hemingway, 30. Daniel Igbinedion; 11. Rob Spicer, 42. Billy Hayes, 23. James Glover.

Replacements: 6. Paul Sykes, 27. Sam Day, 15. Robbie Ward, 18. Jack Teanby.

Referee: Tom Grant            Attendance: 6,772

Photo: MATCH REPORT: Rovers put Dewsbury to sword