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Third quarter proves crucial after dominant first half PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Walsh   
Monday, 05 April 2021

walmsley action.pngA 20-minute spell at the start of the second-half was crucial as Whitehaven lost their opening Championship game at Dewsbury, 17-8. 

The Cumbrians lost their way after a dominant first-half and the Rams scored two tries to open-up a 16-4 lead which in the end proved the difference.

Although Whitehaven did add a second try it was too late to effect the outcome and the Rams went on to gain revenge for their Challenge Cup defeat at the Recreation Ground.

Head coach Gary Charlton said: “I thought we played really well in the first half and should have turned round with a ten-point lead. If Jason Mossop had been able to ground for a second try we would have had that. 

“As it was they were given a soft try right on half-time and then the third quarter of the game proved disastrous for us. They had nine completed sets out pf nine and we managed two out of six.

“They were able to have most of the possession and capitalised while we made one or two wrong decisions. 

Overall there was plenty of effort again and positives we can take from it We have almost a fortnight left to prepare for the next game against Newcastle.” 

On the injury front Marc Shackley suffered a tight hamstring and Gregg McNally took a quad knock, but hopefully both will be ready to resume against Thunder. 

Whitehaven had to show some great determination on their own line when Dewsbury enjoyed some strong early pressure.

They defended really well and when they got the chance to attack the home line Lachlan Walmsley almost got in from Gregg McNally’s pass but was forced into touch. 

However when Dewsbury knocked on Whitehaven, under the new rules with no scrums, opted to re-start in the middle from where they moved the ball wide. McNally flung out a long pass and Walmsley dived to take it and slide over for the opening try. He missed the conversion.

There was more pressure from Dewsbury but at the second set of six the Rams lost the ball in a tackle and Haven were soon able to clear their lines further. Tom Wilkinson was taken-out by a wild tackle from Michael Knowles and the penalty took Haven into a strong attacking position. 

Indeed the Cumbrians looked as though they had scored a second try but Jason Mossop just lost the ball as he dived in under pressure. 

Then there was some defending to do for the visitors after a Rams break out. They had to drop-out but fortunately the Rams, not for the first time, lost the ball. 

When Whitehaven responded by putting some pressure on their hosts it was their turn to lose the ball in contact and Rams were able to clear their lines.

Indeed they capitalised four minutes from the break by taking the lead. Chris Annikin made a break and from close in Sam Day dived in through a number of bodies. Although Whitehaven protested the ball hadn’t been grounded the try was awarded and Paul Sykes converted to take the lead into the break.  

 Two tries in four minute early in the second-half, from Matthew Fleming gave Dewsbury the incentive they needed and veteran Finn added a field goal six minutes from time.

Mossop did get in for a try wide-out just before the final hooter but a case of too little too late. 

Pictured - STAR MAN LACHLAN WALMSLEY 




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