Yorkshire Rams 7 Edinburgh Wolves 31
The Yorkshire Rams’ regular season finished in defeat at the Edinburgh Wolves completed a perfect 10-0 campaign with victory at South Leeds Stadium.
Four touchdowns and a safety were enough for the Scottish side to complete the double over the Rams this season, though a more competitive outing and reduced margin of defeat offered some encouragement for the Rams’ play-off campaign.
Defences were on top early in the game, with both teams repeatedly forced to punt, and indeed the first score game when a high snap forced Rams punter Charlie Vincent to down the ball in his own end zone for a safety.
Wolves running back Stephen Wilson soon scored a close-range touchdown to put the visitors 9-0 up after the first quarter, and Stu Galloway’s score with a two-point conversion for fellow receiver Adam Ingram extended their lead to 17-0.
The Rams fielded a depleted offence, with running backs Alex Hughes and Daunté Wint-Angus having not featured since the last meeting between these sides while at wide receiver, Matt Ward-Stead has departed for Australia and Spencer Whybrow was unavailable.
With Andrew Cheeseman nursing injuries and Christian Davies lost for the game – and the play-offs – with a fractured ankle on the first offensive play, the Rams’ back-up receivers had to step up. Rookie Faheem Hasan, right, came of age with a huge day while Tom White contributed a deep contested catch down the left sideline.
Nevertheless, Edinburgh’s goal-line stand at the end of the half kept the scoreline unchanged and they were able to embellish their lead with Ingram’s touchdown in the third quarter.
Rams coaches David Pawson and Nathan Deeley got creative, using defensive players Will Johnson, left, Keimar Stuart and Adam Cowley in various offensive situations – and Johnson it was who came up with an excellent diving catch in the end zone to put his team deservedly on the scoreboard, Jonny Dudley adding the extra point.
Davie Orr tacked on a fourth Edinburgh score and they were the ones celebrating on the field at the end, but the Rams left with heads held high despite the result.
With our home season concluded, now is the time to say a huge thank you to Stewart Hegarty, Jack Marshall and everyone involved in helping things run smoothly at South Leeds Stadium, as well as Divesafe-UK for their logistical support and all of our sponsors, including Sunday’s match sponsors Panini Shack.
Attention now shifts to the play-offs, with defeat meaning the Rams are on the road this coming Sunday – but yet to discover which road, as we await clarification on the seedings from national governing body BAFA.
The Rams, Manchester Titans and Doncaster Mustangs travel to the Bury Saints, Sandwell Steelers and Kent Exiles in some combination, with Bury our expected opponents – we will update as soon as we can. Edinburgh host the eighth-seeded Nottingham Caesars in the one confirmed fixture.
Offensive MVP: Faheem Hasan
Defensive MVP: Adam Cowley
Rookie of the Day: Tyler Broad
Ram of the Day: Taylor Umland