Sheffield Eagles stranglehold over Dewsbury Rams in recent years was ended as they went down to defeat in the opening game of the Championship season.
A good opening spell saw the Eagles take a ten-point lead but Dewsbury pegged them back and edged into a narrow lead just before half-time.
In a scrappy second 40 minutes Eagles couldn’t get the vital points at the Tetley’s Stadium last night and lost to the Rams for the first time in five seasons.
Coach Mark Aston gave a debut to four of his new signings. Sam Smeaton came in at centre with Australian Steve Thorpe in the front row. Experienced prop Tony Tonks was on the bench with back rower Ben Musolino.
There was no place for winger Rob Worrincy and Cory Aston got the vote as the back up hooker.
Australian Thorpe was enjoying his first taste of the British game as the Eagles scored the opening try of the new Championship season with winger Scott Turner taking a kick from Kyle Briggs to touchdown. Dominic Brambani’s conversion hit a post.
Eagles went further ahead with Briggs providing a bending kick touched down by Patch Walker. Brambani added the goal.
The Rams reply was swift with two tries in four minutes. Dalton Grant got on the end of a grubber kick and Anthony Thackery played the dummy before going over. Tom Hemingway added the goals and the Rams went in12-10 ahead at half-time.
After the restart it was hard graft in a tough, tense battle with handling errors and penalties starting to mount in an increasingly scrappy game.
With five minutes to go Thackeray put over a drop goal and with 60 seconds on the clock Grant scored his second try and Hemingway kicked the goal to seal a 19-10 win for the Rams.
Dewsbury: Pryce; Grant, Crookes, Grady, Morton; Wilde, Thackeray; Haggarty, Hemingway, Hepworth, Spicer, Hale, Brown. Subs: Wood, Farrell, Adamson, Aizue
Scorers - Tries: Grant (33, 79), Thackeray (37). Goals: Hemingway 3/3, Thackeray drop goal (75).
Eagles: Laulu-Togaage; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Taulapapa; Briggs, Brambani; Battye, Davey, Thorpe, Knowles, Straugheir, Walker. Subs: Aston, Blagbrough, Tonks, Musolino.
Scorers - Tries: Turner (17), Walker (30). Goals: Brambani 1/2.
Referee: Matt Thomason.