Dewsbury Rams v Bradford Bulls Preview

These two teams played off against each other in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup earlier on this year and the Rams came out on top by a single point. Bradford are currently in a bit of a slump, capped off by a loss against Sheffield Eagles in round nine. Dewsbury were also on the wrong end of a result last weekend as Leigh Centurions coasted to a 40-18 win.

Last Time Out

A manic five minutes in the second half, which brought about three tries for Leigh, put paid to Dewsbury’s efforts of getting anything out of their tie with the Centurions at Tetley’s Stadium last Sunday. Leigh ended up winning 40-18 but Dewsbury were competitive for a time, summed up by the 12-8 half-time score in favour of the visitors. Sam Hopkins barged his way over for two tries in the first period for the Centurions before Luke Adamson got Dewsbury on the board with a four pointer of his own. In the dying embers of the first half, Paul Sykes kicked a penalty goal to cut the deficit further as the Rams tried to sneak their way into contention. Adam Higson extended Leigh’s advantage with the opening score of the second stanza before Gareth Hock was sent to the sin-bin. The numerical advantage didn’t work in Dewsbury’s favour as the visitors managed to grab another try in their forward’s absence. Former Rams loanee Ben Reynolds crossed the whitewash, the score read 22-8 after Martyn Ridyard’s absence. It still wasn’t game over for Dewsbury at this stage but once Hock was reintroduced, the Centurions went from strength to strength and tries from Liam Kay, Cory Paterson and Richard Whiting put the end result beyond doubt. Dewsbury’s Jason Crookes and Leigh’s Jamie Acton were sent to the sin-bin soon after following a scuffle. The Rams did end the game on a high as Dale Morton and Jack Teanby both touched down for the West Yorkshire club.

Bradford Bulls were on the receiving end of a 46-28 scoreline against Sheffield Eagles at the Provident Stadium. Bradford did have a two score advantage after 20 minutes thanks to tries from Danny Addy and Lee Gaskell. The lead, however, was eradicated before half-time as Cory Aston, Elliot Minchella and Ryan Millar all made their way over the whitewash. In the second half, Sheffield started with a bang as Garry Lo registered a length-of-the-field try. A penalty goal from Aston soon followed as the steel city side went 24-12 to the good. Bradford responded with an Omari Caro try, which was converted, and there was only six points between the sides as the final quarter loomed. Unfortunately for the West Yorkshire side, Sheffield notched three tries on the spin to seal the win. Mark Mexico, Duane Straugheir and Millar were the try-scorers for the Eagles, who bounced back in style after a rocky few weeks. James Clare and Kris Welham both got on the scoresheet before the end of the game, as did Sheffield’s George Tyson. 

Key Battle

After Adrian Purtell and Lee Gaskell were paired up in the halves for Bradford’s game against Sheffield, it meant that Danny Addy could return to his more familiar position at loose forward. Things didn’t quite go as planned for the Bulls and it will now be interesting to see what changes coach James Lowes will make, if any at all. Moving Purtell to his usual position at centre will probably be a wise choice, considering Addy will provide more of a threat to the opposition in the scrum-half role. As for the Rams, a decent mix of youth and experience was put together in the halves for the Centurions tie. James Glover and Paul Sykes took the stand-off and scrum-half roles respectively and games against the big teams will help Glover’s development tenfold. This Sunday’s match will be another example of that. 


It’s fair to say Bulls coach James Lowes is the most under pressure boss in the league right now. A win is needed and if it doesn’t come against Dewsbury this weekend, more questions will be asked than ever before. Dewsbury will be wanting to give the full-timers a good run for their money, something they did to perfection in the Challenge Cup – Bradford by 14

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