The Lions face Dewsbury Rams in Round 4 of the Championship at Tetley’s Stadium..
Swinton Lions travel to Yorkshire for the first time this season as they face Dewsbury Rams in round 4 of the Championship.
The Lions will hope for a similar result to the one gained in the Championship Shield last season, when a late Ben Austin try helped the Lions to take a massive step towards survival.
Following defeats against Toulouse and Batley, Swinton face a tough schedule in the next month including games against Toronto Wolfpack, Featherstone Rovers and London Broncos. Stuart Littler’s side will hope to grab their first two points of the season against a team they have only beaten twice in the past six meetings.
Dewsbury have been one of the early pace-setters in the Championship having taking four points from a possible six in the opening rounds, only suffering a narrow 12-0 defeat at home to league leaders London Broncos. The Rams have looked a much improved side since Neil Kelly returned to the Tetley’s Stadium. Struggling at the bottom of the Championship when he took charge midway through last year, the former Dewsbury hooker guided his side to safety, finishing in 8th place in the regular season.
LAST TIME OUT
The Lions threw themselves a huge lifeline with an excellent victory at Dewsbury for the second time this season.
Chris Hankinson put the Lions ahead in the fourth minute when Josh Barlow and Ben Austin combined to put him over for the opening converted try. The home responded quickly and got on the scoresheet when Gareth Potts ran over the try line in the corner and Paul Sykes added a touchline conversion.
Hankinson increased the Lions lead after Barlow was hit high by Sheriffe and he slotted two more points from in front of the posts. The Rams battled back but it was the Lions that looked most dangerous as Mike Butt broke down the left and put in a nice weighted kick which bounced into the hands of Ben White to race over with Hankinson converting again.
It got even better five minutes from the break when Josh Barlow, playing against his old club, took three defenders with him over the line as Hankinson kicked 3/3. This was quickly followed by yet another Hankinson penalty for the Lions, but the Rams managed a try on the half time hooter when Dom Speakman found a gap to race in by the posts and Sykes converted.
Defences were on top for the next quarter of the match before White floated a high kick towards the left corner. Ilias Bergal and Potts both went into the air to catch the ball and it was the Lions player who came away with it to score in the corner but Hankinson could not continue his streak with the boot. There was more restructure in the side in the second half when Izaac Farrell limped off and White moved to partner Nicholson in the halves. Mike Butt also moved to fullback with Bergal now playing on the wing with Rhodri Lloyd partnering him.
The Rams came back again on sixty-seven minutes when Lucas Walshaw scored on the right but Sykes missed the conversion. With ten minutes left, the Lions took the initiative forcing a goal-line drop out but Sykes made a huge blunder when his kicked sailed straight into touch. Hankinson landed the penalty from in front of the posts and this was quickly followed by a White drop goal as the Lions held a thirteen point lead.
The home side fought back and scored two converted tries in a two minute period with Aaron Brown and Sam Day both going over and Sykes converting both to put them within one point with two minutes left.
From the restart the Rams got the ball back and tried to move the ball quickly through hands but on the second tackle they threw a forward pass inside their own twenty. From the resulting scrum and the pressure on the line, Ben Austin crashed over for the deciding points underneath the posts and Hankinson again converted as the final hooter sounded and there was jubilant scenes from the Lions fans, as well as some Hull KR fans who had come to give the Lions some extra support.
Ian Rigg reporting from Tetley’s Stadium. 28/08/17
Swinton Lions Head Coach Stuart Littler spoke to LionsTV reporter Colin James ahead of Sunday’s trip to Dewsbury. Watch the interview in full below.
Centre George Tyson is back to full fitness after recovering from a twisted knee suffered away at Toulouse on the opening weekend. Liam Forsyth and Josh Woods are on dual-registration from Wigan Warriors. Forward Aaron Hall is named in the 19-man squad for the first time this season.
LIONS SQUAD TO FACE RAMS: Ansell, Barlow, Bennion, Bracek, Butt, Fell, Forsyth, Hall, Hankinson, J Hansen, H Hansen, Lloyd, Nicholson, Sarsfield, Shelford, Taylor, Tyson, Waterworth, Woods
RAMS SQUAD TO FACE LIONS: TBC
REFEREE: J. Roberts TOUCH JUDGES: C. Smith, D. Arnold