Whoever loses in this contest can rule out a top four finish this year. Both are part of the chasing pack, and despite London only being two points behind Halifax they will need a more than massive swing on the points difference to overtake Richard Marshall’s side. Dewsbury upset Featherstone’s chances in the top four race last weekend, can they do the same to London on Sunday?
Last Time Out
Dewsbury went to Featherstone Rovers in round 20, the latter coming into the match after a superb win at Bradford a few days earlier. However, it was the Rams who came out on top in this one which is a massive achievement considering they were 20-8 down at the halfway mark. The hosts outscored Dewsbury four tries to one in the first half, and the scoring began in the first minute through Ben Blackmore. Reni Maitua added to Featherstone’s early advantage a short six minutes later before Paul Sykes crossed the chalk during the final quarter of the half. Toby Adamson got the Rams firing with seven minutes of the half remaining but there was still time for another score for the visitors, and it went to Will Milner. On the hooter, Dewsbury won a penalty for an infringement so Seymour slotted over a penalty goal which brought the deficit to two scores. On 51 minutes, the scoreboard showed a level game due to respective tries from Anthony Thackeray and Shane Grady. The comeback was more than complete when Aaron Brown found his way to the line, Featherstone were now staring down the barrel. Jamie Cording creeped over the whitewash but the score wasn’t converted so Dewsbury still had a two point lead, something that was furthered when Thackeray swooped in for his second try of proceedings. Seymour’s conversion proved very important when Remy Marginet scored in the dying embers for Rovers.
London Broncos welcomed Whitehaven to The Hive, Andrew Henderson’s side were looking for revenge after they were defeated at the Recreation Ground by Whitehaven in the opening rounds of the 2015 season. Revenge is what they got, but Whitehaven pushed the full-time side most of the way after a second half comeback. London triumphed 40-24 but surrendered a 24-10 half-time lead as Haven levelled matters during the second half but the visitors were never in front at any stage during the contest. Jason Walton and Oscar Thomas started the Broncos’ scoring with tries within ten minutes of each other before Declan Hulme and Chris Taylor both replied for the Cumbrians, the former’s try not being converted however. The final five minutes of the first half saw two London tries, one for Matt Garside and the other for Iliess Macani as the hosts went into the sheds on a high. Hulme completed his hat-trick during Whitehaven’s second half revival, and James Newton even notched from dummy-half on 56 minutes. But the final three tries of the match went the way of London, Walton and Thomas completed their doubles after Jamie Thackray burst over to give his side the initial advantage.
The addition of Jason Walton to the London Broncos has come at a good time for the club considering consistent back-rower Daniel Harrison is currently injured and out of action. Walton’s debut came against Whitehaven last week and he scored two tries, highlighting his dangerous running style and eye for the line. He was partnered in the second-row by Matt Garside, whilst Rhys Lovegrove started at loose forward. For Dewsbury, Scott Hale, Luke Adamson and Aaron Brown made up the starting back three, with Joel Farrell and Toby Adamson coming off the bench to take respective places in the back-row. Both sides have great power and skill in their back-rows so keeping an eye out for this battle will certainly go down a treat.
Dewsbury will be fancying their chances in this one. After the victory over Featherstone, they come into the tie with hope of dispatching another top four chaser. London have improved under the stewardship of Andrew Henderson, a top four finish is still on for them but they’ll need to win all of their games to give themselves the best chance possible – Dewsbury by 8