A floodlit Tetleys Stadium in Dewsbury was the venue for the final game of round four as the Rams welcomed the Vikings from Widnes for an early season middle of the table clash. The Rams trail the Vikings by two league points but have a game in hand and knew that a win could see them climb into the top five.
The Vikings are chasing a return to Super League and have great hopes for challenging the top of the table in 2020.
It was a little cool but after a sharp shower before kick-off there were good conditions for an open flowing game as both sides looked for the two points.
After a grind of an opening ten minutes the Rams took the lead after a Fleming infield kick found Knowles to pounce on the ball on the last tackle to ground under the sticks. Paul Sykes added the conversion from right in front of the sticks.
Dewsbury added a penalty goal through the boot of Sykes after the Vikings indisciple was punished by referee Vella. The goal gave the Rams an 8-0 lead.
On twenty-two minutes the Vikings scored their first try, a little againt the run of play, when Ellis Robson grounded a Danny Craven grubber kick through under the sticks. Owens kicked the conversion from under the sticks for 6-8.
Poor Vikings defence allowed Sam Day to scoot from acting half back and cross to the left of the uprights as two weak tackles failed to halt him. As the rain returned Sykes added the conversion for 14-6.
As the half time hooter warmed up Owens slotted over a penalty goal to reduce the arrears to just six points at oranges.
Adam Ryder started the second half perfectly for the Rams as he took an Andy Gabriel tap back under a high kick to skirt outside the winger and get the ball on the ground by the corner flag. This time Sykes was unable to add the conversion but the lead was ten points.
On sixty-four Connor Dwyer lost the ball as he attempted to offload on the Rams line. And then the snow arrived.
On seventy, with the line begging, Jake Mamo tried to run down the outside and then hurled a pass infield to no-one as the attack broke down.
Paul Sykes added a penalty goal at the death for a final score of 20-8.
It was a great performance from the Rams in difficult conditions as they registered their second win of the season. Widnes threw plenty at the home side but the defence, for the most part, held firm and when Widnes failed to make in-roads indiscipline and panic football crept in.
Rams: Martin, Gabriel, Ryder (T), Fleming, Oakes, Sykes (4G), Finn, Reilly, Day (T), Nelmes, Esslemont, Knowles (T), Annakin. Subs: Morris, Johnson, Magrin, Scott.
Vikings: Owens (2G), Mamo, Spedding, Roby, Johnson, Craven, Lyons, Chapelhow T, Tomkins, Moran, Robson (T), Wilde, Baker. Subs: Patton, Leuluai, Chapelhow J, Dwyer.
Referee: James Vella.