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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Second-half horror show disastrous for Whitehaven

Dewsbury 46 Whitehaven 8: Whitehaven blew their chances thanks to a second-half horror show at Tetley’s Stadium yesterday.

Lee Doran photo
Lee Doran

They looked set to run the Rams close after ending a fairly competitive first-half only 16-8 behind, playing up the slope.

But 12 minutes in to the second-half they had conceded another 24 points, and it was then a matter of damage limitation.

Dewsbury are not a bad side, with lively half-backs and forwards who run hard, but the Championship boasts a handful that are better, and unless Haven shape up, they are in for a long, painful season.

There was previous little invention in the side after the break, and even less push up front, skipper Lee Doran being a rare exception.

Craig Calvert produced a well-worked early try and enjoyed a couple of decent gallops, but it's difficult to have a huge impact from the flank.

Every time Jessie Joe Parker received a pass he was enveloped almost immediately, but at least he took a few passes.

Fellow centre Scott McAvoy, one of the club’s best attacking weapons, saw little possession.

The early signs were ominous, centre Scott Hale brushing off weak tackles for a third-minute Rams’ try, Dale Morton adding the first of his seven goals.

But Haven stuck to the task and Dewsbury were stretched four minutes later when Doran broke on a 50-metre burst.

On the next tackle, Rooney lofted a kick and Parker did well to smuggle the ball out of the tackle for Calvert.

He still had plenty of work to do but did it well, forcing his way over in the corner.

The try was a high point for Haven, who went on to concede two tries in three minutes. Former Super League paceman Karl Pryce showed he still had plenty to offer for the first as the Rams broke from deep.

The defence was turned inside out before Pryce fed centre Greg Scott for the try.

Second-row Lucas Walshaw then showed great power and determination to ground the ball under heavy pressure on 15 minutes. But he really should have been stopped.

Haven were able to turn the tables up front for the final 15 minutes of the half after props Dave Houghton and Seb Martins, and hooker Carl Sice, appeared off the bench.

Houghton earned a penalty with his first drive, from which Sice put in an attacking kick and the Cumbrians earned a repeat set.

From this possession, Lee Paterson charged on to Sice’s short, dummy-half pass to reduce the deficit.

Doran soon produced another thrust through the line and Houghton went close, and the hosts must have been grateful when Paterson made a second grab at Makali Aizue as he tried a quick play the ball.

Morton obliged with the penalty to increase Dewsbury’s lead at the interval.

Haven’s minds must have still been in the changing room when dual-registered Bradford hooker Adam O’Brien broke from dummy-half on 42 minutes.

He fed Walshaw for his second try, and the Rams crossed again on their next set.

Second-row Rob Spicer, remarkably, went through Houghton and then full-back Neil Thorman, who is unlikely to be too happy with his attempted tackle, to go under the posts.

The visitors’ performance went from bad to feeble moments later when scrum-half Jy-Mel Coleman danced through Haven’s static defence to put the Rams out of sight.

And stand-off Aaron Brown then intercepted as Sice tried to push the pace as the hosts hit the 40-point mark.

Sice continued to try hard, though to no avail on the scoreboard, and Dewsbury produced nice handling for their final try, Morton finishing the move in the 70th minute.

Parker was moved to the wing for Chris Fleming in the closing moments and showed what he can do with space after being fed by Doran.

He went 40 metres before being hauled down, and when Thorman then put a kick through, seemingly only Houghton read it, as no one else chased.

It was typical of the half for Haven. Not good enough. When the only consolation to be drawn is that at least the hosts did not bring up a half-century, you know you are in trouble.

Whitehaven: Thorman, Fleming, McAvoy, Parker, Calvert, Rooney, Southernwood, Jackson, Newton, Cullnean, Clarke, Doran, Paterson. Subs: Sice, Cameron, Martins, Houghton.

Tries: Calvert, Paterson

Dewsbury Rams: Craven, Morton, Pryce, Hale, Scott, Brown, Coleman, Lillycrop, Wright, Hepworth, Spicer, Walshaw, Gallagher. Subs: O’Brien, Nash, Murphy, Aizue.

Tries: Hale, Scott, Walshaw 2, Spicer, Coleman, Brown, Morton; Goals: Morton 7

Referee: Matt Thomason

Attendance: 813

Star man: Lee Doran

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