Doncaster RLFC 33 Dewsbury Rams 20: Dons leave best till last

Man of the match Matt Groat
Man of the match Matt Groat

Doncaster RLFC saved their best performance of the season until their last home game of the campaign.

They stunned Dewsbury, who they hadn’t beaten since their return to the Championship, with a magnificent performance which made a mockery of their position at the foot of the table.

Winger Peter Fox led the way with a hat-trick but Australian prop Matt Groat deservedly took the man-of-the-match honours in what is expected to be his last home game for the club.

The Dons took the lead on 11 minutes, centre Liam Welham touching down for Tom Hodson to convert following good work by full-back Tom Carr in the build-up.

The home side extended their lead on 14 minutes, scrum-half Richard Wilkinson putting Groat, who has never given less than 100 per cent in any game this season, over for a second converted try with a superb off-load.

Former Dewsbury half-back/hooker Ryan Wright just managed to make the line after latching on to a loose ball ten metres out after Scott Hale had bombed a good chance at the other end. Hodson again added the extras to make it 18-0.

The Rams finally breached the Doncaster defence – winger Dalton Grant going over out wide on 32 minutes.

But five minutes later Fox rounded off some smart handling in the Dewsbury 20 by scoring in the corner to make it 22-4.

Welham latched on to a dropped ball before sending Fox in for a 45th minute converted try.

Dewsbury missed another gilt-edged chance at the other end before Grant dived over in the corner for a converted try on 52 minutes.

Despite the 18-point deficit Dewsbury’s body language suggested they still fancied their chances and that was even more the case when Grant completed his hat-trick three minutes later.

A converted try by powerhouse prop Makali Aizue on the hour cut the deficit to just eight points.

Doncaster mounted their first real pressure on the Dewsbury line for over 20 minutes without any reward on 66 minutes.Good work by Fox almost produced a much-needed Doncaster score.

McLocklan made it 29-20 with a 75th minute drop goal, though there were doubts at the time as to whether it was the right tactic, prior to Fox going over at the death.

Dons: Carr; Hodson, Cowling, Welham, Fox; McLocklan, Wilkinson; Groat, Kesik, Spiers, Walton, Foster, Emmett. Subs: Carbutt, Kelly, Wright, Verlinden.

Dewsbury: Pryce; Morton, Hale, Crookes, Grant; Wildie, Thackeray; Aizue, Conroy, Hepworth, Spicer, Farrrell, Adamson. Subs: Nash, Brown, Jackson, Seymour.