Dewsbury Rams 16 Halifax 30: Penky inspires crucial victory

Massive influence: the introduction of Sean Penkywicz turned the game Fax's way
Massive influence: the introduction of Sean Penkywicz turned the game Fax's way

Sean Penkywicz came off the bench to inspire a Halifax fightback after they had trailed 14-0 a quarter of the way into yesterday’s clash at the Tetley’s Stadium.

The dummy half injected real purpose into a side that had been labouring and looked directionless in the early stages.

Actions from the game Fax RL v Batley at the Shay, Halifax'Pictured is

Actions from the game Fax RL v Batley at the Shay, Halifax'Pictured is

He scored his side’s first try then created two more with pin point kicks for Paul White as Matt Calland’s side got the victory they needed in their continuing bid to reach the play-offs.

Success had been far from certain after a poor opening quarter in which the Rams scored a couple of tries - and might have had more.

But class told in the end as Fax romped home.

Dewsbury provided the early threat with Richard Fletcher releasing Scott Turner on the left and it took a fine covering tackle from Miles Greenwood to force the centre into touch

Actions from the game Fax RL v Batley at the Shay, Halifax'Pictured is

Actions from the game Fax RL v Batley at the Shay, Halifax'Pictured is

James Haley knocked on from the resulting Fax scrum which put the visitors under further pressure.

And from a second successive set, William Bartau sent Ayden Faal over for a try on the right which Pat Walker converted for 6-0.

And a couple of minutes later, when Ryan Fieldhouse and Stephen Bannister went into a tackle on Faal that was deemed high by referee Thomason, Walker slotted a 40-yard penalty to increase the Rams’ advantage.

There was more defending for Fax to do after 15 minutes when Rob Worrincy did well to hold onto a Walker kick on the right, only to knock on.

The winger redeemed himself at the end of the next set, though, as he held onto Dominic Brambani’s kick despite being outnumbered three to one on his own line.

When Fax attacked they were unable to hold onto the ball and Dewsbury made them pay with a second try in the 19th minute.

Fletcher again set the break going on the left when he released Austin Buchanan and he had James Craven to his right in support, the full back completing a 50-yard move next to the posts.

Walker’s conversion made it 14-0 and minutes later James Haley was forced to concede a goal line drop out when he knocked William Bartau’s kick dead.

Fax were given a let off after 25 minutes when they failed to deal with a Bartau kick and Walker strolled through to touch down. Fortunately he started his stroll from an offside position according to the officials.

It was not until the half hour mark that Fax finally threatened the home try line, Michael Wainwright knocking the ball dead from a Danny Jones kick.

Sadly the Fax pressure came to nothing as Jones was unable to find Paul White on the left with a flat pass.

They were soon back defending their own line, with Worrincy just getting enough on Buchanan to force him into touch 10 yards out.

Fax finally got their act together in attack five minutes before the break when, after good strong running from Stephen Bannister and Sam Barlow, Penkywicz went from dummy half and squeezed over.

Jones was unable to convert and will have been relieved, after giving away a penalty, to see Walker put a kick wide from halfway minutes later.

Penkywicz’s influence from the bench increased a minute before the break when he popped a perfectly weighted kick to the left hand corner for Paul White to collect and touch down.

And Jones tagged on the extras from the touchline to get the visitors to within touching distance of their hosts at the break.

Fax opened the second half brightly with full back Craven smashed by Dylan Nash and knocking on after he had collected a Ben Black kick.

But, not for the first time, the visitors failed to capitalise on a good position and coughed up possession on the first tackle following the scrum.

Successive penalties for interference from Worrincy and Jones gave Walker the chance to put Dewsbury 16-10 in front with a 30-yard goal.

When Miles Greenwood was held down too long in the tackle after 54 minutes it gave Fax the chance to level things up, Bob Beswick forcing his way over and Jones converting for 16-16.

Penkywicz’s pass to Neil Cherryholme was close to miraculous and when the Rams knocked on trying to intercept moments later Fax were on the attack again.

Nash, Ryan Fieldhouse and Beswick all looked threatening, but when the ball was spun wide to Worrincy he put a foot in touch.

Fax hit the front for the first time in the game just past the hour after Worrincy, Jones and Greenwood had all driven the ball back following a Rams kick.

And it was the Penkywicz-White combination that did the damage again, the dummy half kicking 30 yards from the line and the winger racing through to touch down. Jones goaled to make it 22-16.

Confidence was growing in the Fax ranks with Worrincy showing good composure to pluck Brambani’s spiralling bomb out of the air.

And, after Buchanan had gone close following a Dewsbury penalty, Penkywicz leapt out of the defensive line to claim a loose pass and regain possession.

There were still errors and Sam Barlow blotted his copybook with a knock on after two tackles as Fax threatened the home line.

Dewsbury’s Fletcher reciprocated and when Fieldhouse won a penalty from the resulting scrum when he was held down by Bartau, Penkywicz pointed straight to the posts and Jones obliged to make it 24-16.

And they made the game completely safe with three minutes remaining when, after good work from Penkywicz, whose kick was played at by the Rams defence, and Beswick, Barlow crashed over from close range.

Jones kicked his fifth goal to complete the scoring.