In a weekend of shocks and surprises which saw Doncaster pick up a win in South Yorkshire and Leigh’s FuiFui MoiMoi score a remarkable hat trick against Featherstone, 12-man Dewsbury Rams put in arguably the performance of the round as they effectively ended London Broncos‘ chances of a top four finish with a 24-12 win at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Two converted tries from Karl Pryce put the Rams 12-0 up early on before Wes Naiqama replied to make it 12-6 after 20 minutes. But the home side lost Ryan Fieldhouse to a red card for a high tackle minutes later, while Karl Pryce‘s game was ended through injury in the same play.
However, the setback only served to inspire the West Yorkshire side as they regained their 12-point advantage at the break after Nathan Conroy went over.
The second half resembled a boxing match as the Rams soaked up London’s attacking punches, Brett Seymour jabbing back with crucial penalty goals.
London did get over through Oscar Thomas in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough as the home side held on.
Meanwhile, in a remarkable afternoon in South Yorkshire, Doncaster fought back from 26-6 down to win 34-26 against Hunslet Hawks, picking up their first win for more than 300 days in the process.
Joe McLocklan scored Doncaster’s only try in the first half but they hit their straps after the break, with Peter Fox, Mitch Clark, Steve Snitch, Paul Mennell and Matt Groat all crossing as Dave Scott took his goal tally to five.
But, the Hawks slipped to their seventh-successive defeat, and into the bottom two, as the Dons picked up their first two points in 24 attempts.
Jake Mullaney scored a hat trick as Bradford fought back from 30-6 down, but it was not enough to prevent them suffering their fourth defeat of the season in all competitions.
Ryan Shaw scored 14 points with a try and five goals for Bradford, whose other try came from Jay Pitts, but the Bulls head into next Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash with Leigh two points behind their rivals in the race for top spot having played a game more.
In front of a 4,127 crowd, Rovers led 12-6 after 22 minutes thanks to tries from Ian Hardman and Brad England, but the Centurions hit back with four tries in 13 minutes before the break to turn the game on its head.
Alongside hat tricks for FuiFui MoiMoi and Ryan Brierley, former Featherstone centre Greg Worthington, Gregg McNally and Gareth Hock also got over, while Ben Blackmore got a consolation for the visitors.
Rovers’ defeat was music the the ears of Halifax boss Richard Marshall who saw his side strengthen their grip on fourth spot after edging out Batley Bulldogs 25-22 at The Shay.
Marshall’s side, who have now won their last seven games, looked to have the contest sewn up when they led 24-6 inside the final quarter but the Bulldogs rallied to cut the gap to 24-18 before captain Scott Murrell put over a drop goal to give his side some breathing space.
Finally, in Cumbria, Workington Town boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation with a 28-6 win in the Cumbrian Derby against Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground.
Elliot Miller bagged a hat trick for the visitors, while Iain Thornley and Jarrod Sammut also scored tries for Town, who had gone six matches without a win.
Whitehaven trailed 28-0 before long-serving winger Craig Calvert scored their only try in the closing stages, which was goaled by Catalans Dragons loanee Louis Jouffret.