York City Knights v Dewsbury Rams
What a fantastic way to finish a weekend of championship rugby league as the York City Knights squared up against the Dewsbury Rams. One thing would be guaranteed, both teams would be up for a fiery contest.
York City Knights had a pretty much unchanged squad following the previous week and the Knights hoped to make it two consecutive wins in a row.
The Knights started brightly but at two and a half minutes they had a try disallowed for a forward pass as Kiran Dixon crossed the line. York would then put the ball down minutes later when Ben Jones Bishop collected a high kick and appeared to touch the ball down. However, this was then disallowed for a knock on. Upon the replay it was a very tight and was one which required a video ref to decide the outcome.
York continued to challenge Dewsbury in the opening minutes, Connor Wynn broke the line, but his flicked pass came to no avail.
In the first ten minutes the scores were 0:0 and already you could tell the Knights were in for a real physical battle on the narrow Tetley’s turf.
Dewsbury gained a penalty in front of the posts at 13 minutes after an error in the tackle. They opted to open the scores with a penalty kick which Sykes converted making the score 2:0 to the Rams.
Minutes later Dewsbury’s pressure from the restart forced York to misjudge their numbers in defence and Paul Sykes created space for Joe Martin to score a try from close range. The kick was converted, and York trailed 8:0.
York City Knights responded; Riley Dean found Ryan Atkins in an identical move from the one seen against Swinton last week. On the last tackle the ball was touched down from a grubber kick 5 metres out. The kick was converted, and York trailed 8:6.
It was a real end to end contest and Dewsbury broke in to score from close to the York line. Two penalties allowed Dewsbury to gain yard and Gabrial squeezed past the York defence on the far right hand side. Sykes was in fine kicking form and he made the scores 14:6 to the Rams.
From the restart the Knights responded building pressure, two penalties conceded by the Rams put York within metres of the line. Marcus Stock then barged his way in for a try under the posts. The score was now 14:12 and this game was shaping up to be a nail biter.
It would be four minutes later until the knights would be awarded another penalty from the Rams. Kiran Dixon opted to go for the posts and levelled the scores going into the first half at 14:14.
There was nothing to choose between the teams. The Championship is shaping up to be an epic contest this season and it looked as if this game may come down to a drop goal.
Straight from the kick-off York scored with Riley Dean kicking the ball high forcing Gabrial to tumble. Kiran Dixon would touch down to score and this time the try would stand. Dixon then nailed a tough conversion, and the Knights lead by six points.
York had a good spell of position, but the third forward pass was called against the Knights. Dewsbury took advantage of the field position and scored a very cheeky try touching down from an impossible angle. One minute later the scores would be level again.
The end-to-end tussle continued and the game was finely balanced. After surviving some brutal tackles it was Connor Wynn who came up with a moment of magic and finding an offload to Matty Marsh who touched down for a try. Dixon could not miss the kick and the knights lead 26:20.
On 65 minutes there was a pause in play as both sides started to look battered and bruised. There was no love lost between these two sides but the Knights were beginning to show form as the Rams tired.
At 70 minutes the Rams were knocking on the door of the Knights try line and it was clever play from Connor Wynn that denied Dewsbury. The Knights defence continued to hold despite continuing pressure, there was still seven minutes left and just six points separated the sides.
York would however, hold their nerve and at 77 minutes Matty Marsh burst through the line for his second try of the game. This would seal an incredible 30:20 win for the Knights.
It is always incredibly difficult playing Dewsbury on their home turf and the Knights had done incredibly well. There was some encouraging play throughout the game and the Knights will go into the Featherstone game at home looking for their 3rd championship win in a row.