Despite being abandoned at half time due to a lightning storm in the area, the game between the Rams and Giants in Sheffield was a wonderful taste of things to come from both sides.
The Rams, taking to the field for the first time in 707 days, started well but after a couple of penalties put them on the backfoot, it was the Premier Division Giants who put the first score on the board with a pass to the left going in from the 5 yard line. A play that caught the eye was from safety James Abegglen, who jumped and batted down a ball that had he caught could’ve seen his first pick six of the season. An exact replica of the play would be seen once again by Abegglen who will be hungry to change those important bat downs into picks throughout the season.
Image credit: Dave Tidswell
It was a perfect response from the Rams though after a convincing first drive that saw the run game established with Liam Austin making the most of his opportunities and Brad Crisp taking an end around up the sideline for a big chunk of yardage. The series was eventually finished off by quarterback Joe Mills, leading the Rams offense for the first time, sneaking it in from a couple of yards out to bring the score to 7-6.
Another short yardage touchdown, this time on the QB keep put the Giants another score ahead but team captain Tyler Broad athletically blocked the PAT to keep it 13-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw a couple of dropped balls near the endzone leaving the Rams ruing missed opportunities but clearly showing signs of what is set to become a very exciting dual threat offense.
The Rams D-line led by the experienced Adam Cowley and rookie Charlie Beech, really started to bring pressure and with the secondary doing an equally good job of covering the Giants passing options, the QB started to scramble more and more.
One such scramble went for around 60 yards on a third and long, with opposite side corner Nathaniel Derrick showing unbelievable effort, sprinting back to take the QB down in the red zone. The Giants did run it in on the series, with the QB scramble once more, to make it 20-6 at the half before lightning brought an end to the day and an abandonment.
Fans were set for an exciting second half of football as the Rams warmed into the game and, with another fixture between the sides set for 26 September 2021 at John Charles Stadium in Leeds, it’s safe to say both sides will be looking forward to the rematch.
Head Coach, Jason Shaw had this to say after the game: "Sunday was almost everything we hoped it would be, until the half time thunderstorm put the game to bed!
The Sheffield Giants showed themselves to be what were expecting, a Premiership organisation who conduct themselves with class. The HT scoreline doesn't totally reflect the state of the game, and I believe our players showed they are capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone. Lots of positives to take away, some areas we can get even stronger and a general sense that this team is in a great position moving forward.
Personally, I cannot wait to test ourselves once again on Sunday against Doncaster Mustangs and I look forward to seeing our Rams continue to get 1% better every day."
- Offensive: Liam Austin
- Defensive: James Abegglen
- Special Teams: Tyler Broad
- Ram of the Day: Danny Roberts