Halifax 37 Featherstone Rovers 0: Rovers’ push for top-four finish suffers huge setback

Scott Murrell
Scott Murrell
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FEATHERSTONE Rovers’ Championship top-four hopes were rocked when they were totally outplayed by impressive Halifax at the Summer Bash in Blackpool.

Halifax moved level on points with Rovers by ending their three-match winning by beating them for the second time in two months.

Nothing went right for Featherstone who trailed 27-0 at half-time. Halifax took a fourth-minute lead when Mitch Cahalane put in Adam Tangata.

They doubled their lead five minutes later when ex-Rovers half-back Gareth Moore intercepted Anthony Thackeray’s pass and raced 80 yards to score.

Halifax’s domination contiunued and they twice went close to increasing their lead from captain Scott Murrell’s clever grubber kicks.

Rovers looked rattled and lacked composure. Andy Ellis was held up over the line as Halifax survived a spell of Featherstone pressure before Moore edged them further ahead in the 28th minute with a 25-yard drop goal.

Two minutes later, Ben Johnston’s clever pass sent Matt Sarsfield crashing over.

Rovers fell further behind when Sarsfield, James Saltonstall and and man of the match Murrell made the opening for Johnston to dart over and Steve Tyrer kicked the fifth of his six goals.

Featherstone’s Misi Taulapapa was sin-binned early in the second-half for kicking the ball out of Ben Heaton’s hands as the Halifax centre was about to touch down.

Rovers’ fate was sealed when swift crossfield passing by Johnston and Miles Greenwood put in Saltonstall at the corner and Tyrer went over after good work by Moore and Dane Manning. Ian Hardman was held up over the line 11 minutes from time as Halifax kept Featherstone scoreless.

Featherstone Rovers: Craven; Briscoe, Hardman, Taulapapa, Foster; Briggs, Thackeray; Griffin, Ellis, Baldwinson, Cording, Davies, Spears. Subs: Roche, Ormondroyd, Abdull, Ward.

Halifax: Greenwood; Saltonstall, Heaton, Tyrer, Sharp; Moore, Murrell; Cahalane, Kaye, Tangata, Manning, Sarsfield, Fairbank. Subs: Johnston, Ambler, R Moore, Boyle.

Referee: Chris Campbell (Widnes).

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