Disappointed Roughyeds boss Matt Diskin was quick to acknowledge Dewsbury’s right to capture both league points after the Rams’ 24-6 win on a heavy Bower Fold pitch.
Four tries to one, even though two of them came in the last few minutes, tells the story of the Yorkshire’s side’s third win in their four league games to date and their third victory in a row.
Oldham went in front with a Ryan Ince try and were still on parity with the Rams at half-time, 6-6, but the visitors took command in the second half when Roughyeds struggled to get out of their own half.
It has been evident in the Roughyeds’ three home games to date, against Widnes, Bradford and Dewsbury, that the side playing towards the town end of the ground, or from left to right when sitting in the main stand, finds it easier to impose authority and to keep opponents trapped in that bottom end of the ground, particularly at this time of year when grounds are wet and heavy.
That was particularly the case in this game, in which Roughyeds managed to live with their opponents when they had that advantage in the first half, but looked much the inferior outfit after half time when the Rams were firing on all cylinders going down the slight slope, but one which appears to have a bigger impact than one might expect and is very deceptive.
“Dewsbury fully deserved to win because they played a lot smarter than we did. Experience in the halves was a big factor and we struggled to get out of our own half in the second half. Errors with the ball in hand and ill discipline didn’t help.
“We started really well and with the score at 6-6 at half time there was a lot of positivity in the dressing room when we talked about the need to cut out our mistakes and to respect possession.
“In our first set we came up with an offload that produced a knock-on and it was from that mistake in possession that Connor Scott put the Rams in front for the first time.
“I’m very disappointed and, to be honest, I’m struggling to find positives to talk about, but we did create some chances on the edges. Once our pivotal players start to recognise those opportunities and then make the right decisions — and it needs to happen sooner rather than later — we’ll perhaps start to click.”
Luckily for Roughyeds the two teams beneath them in the Championship table, York City Knights and Whitehaven, both lost again to keep Diskin’s men third off bottom and outside the relegation zone.
It’s early days yet, of course, but with 22 games still to go, including the “extra” one against Swinton Lions at Summer Bash, Roughyeds will probably need at least another six or seven wins to stay in the division.
Diskin’s men have a blank weekend coming up because it’s Coral Challenge Cup weekend and they’re already out of that but the following Saturday, March 21 (3pm) they go to Leigh Centurions, currently in second place, and then play York City Knights at Bower Fold (3pm) on Sunday, March 29.
Knights were last season’s surprise packets, finishing high up the table at the first attempt, but they have made an inauspicious start this time, having lost each of their four league games to date and currently occupying next-to-bottom place.
They have played some top teams, however, and it is generally felt across the league that, as the season unfolds, they will start to climb the table.