Featherstone 20 Halifax 44: Surprise win at Rovers keeps Halifax amongst division’s top four

Halifax's Tommy Saxton who scored a hat-trick of tries in the victory over former club Featherstone.
Halifax's Tommy Saxton who scored a hat-trick of tries in the victory over former club Featherstone.
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HALIFAX maintained their top-four bid with an impressive nine-try display as they inflicted Featherstone’s fifth home loss of the season.

Wingers Tommy Saxton and Gareth Potts each scored three tries, Danny Craven bagged two and Steve Tyrer chipped in with a try and four goals as Halifax avenged a 24-12 home defeat by Rovers in March.

Organised by half-backs Scott Murrell and Craven, they built a commanding 26-4 interval lead. Coach Richard Marshall said: “It was important we backed up the previous week’s victory. We performed well and scored some nice tries.”

Ex-Rovers player Saxton put Halifax ahead in the third minute from Murrell’s towering kick.

Featherstone replied when Will Sharp capitalised on Gareth Moore’s grubber kick but they were soon rocked again when Tyrer sent in Saxton for his second.

Rovers substitute Luke Cooper was then sin-binned and Halifax quickly took advantage of the extra man.

Potter scored from Murrell’s kick, Tyrer again made for the opening for Saxton to complete his hat-trick and Potts grabbed his second two minutes before half-time.

Rovers threatened a fightback early in the second-half when Alex Foster twisted his way over and Moore scored from his own kick to cut the gap to 26-16 but Halifax regained control when Tyrer sent in Craven and then scored himself from Ben Johnston’s kick.

Featherstone’s Ian Hardman went over from Jamie Cording’s pass but Halifax finished the game with Murrell, Johnston and Ben Heaton setting up Potts’ third try and Craven collecting his second in the final minute.

Rovers coach Andy Hay said: “We were poor, especially in the first-half when we just didn’t seem to turn up. They did everything a lot quicker, better and tougher than us.”

Featherstone Rovers: Hitchcox; Blackmore, Hardman, Minns, Sharp; Sykes, Moore; Baldwinson, Ellis, Carvell, Cording, Foster, Spears. Subs: Teasdale, England, Verlinden, Cooper.

Halifax: Saltonstall; Potts, Heaton, Tyrer, Saxton; Craven, Murrell; Tangata, Kaye, Cahalane, Divorty, Manning, Moore. Subs: Johnston, Bracek, Fairbank, Barber.

Referee: Chris Kendall (RFL).

Attendance: 2,035.