HALIFAX opened up a three-point gap at the top of the Co-operative Championship with an utterly comprehensive thrashing of third-placed Dewsbury.
Winger Rob Worrincy and prop Sam Barlow both scored twice as Karl Harrison’s side cruised to their second half-century of points in a little over a week.
As first-versus-third contests go, this was about as one sided as they come.
The Rams are a side built in the image of their coach Warren Jowitt; they’re rough, they’re tough and they never, ever give up, even when any prospect of a win has long since disappeared over the horizon.
But they also have their limitations, especially in attack - despite the obvious talent of their dual-registered Leeds hooker Liam Hood - and were definitively out of this contest by half time, by which point Fax had opened up a 26-4 lead.
That blew out to 50-10 by the final quarter as Harrison’s side opened up the throttle, allowing the former Test prop the luxury of taking his two best players - the rampaging Adam Robinson and the excellent Sean Penkywicz - off the field with one eye on next weekend’s blockbuster at Batley.
Fax looked to have the edge on their visitors from the start, with and without the ball, and were off the mark after five minutes.
Back rower Ross Divorty, fresh from that memorable treble at Post Office Road last week, was held inches short, but the visitors had no answer when Fax went back to the short side, Penkywicz putting Steve Tyrer over near the flag.
Lee Paterson’s attempted conversion drifted wide, but the home side were over again within a minute, ripping the Rams apart down the right and Penkywicz claiming a second assist with a scoring ball for Rob Worrincy.
The Rams gave notice of their ownthreat when Hood almost made a score for centre Ayden Faal, but Paterson’s cover tackle dragged him to ground a couple of feet shy of the whitewash.
The home side did not heed the warning; failing to find touch with a penalty and gifting Dewsbury the position for Hood to send Ryan Esders over on the blind side.
Worrincy had to be at his best to take Walker’s bomb under tremendous pressure, but could do nothing to prevent being shovelled back into the in goal.
Fax survived though and the winger was soon showing his catching skills at the other end, producing a great leap to pluck Penkywicz’s kick out of the air and dance over by the corner flag for a 14-4 lead after 22 mintues.
A perfect kick from Paul Handforth almost saw Thackeray in, the Rams clearing at the expense of a drop out, but the chance came and went as Thackeray and the charging Robinson got their wires crossed.
Dewsbury still looked dangerous in attack at that stage, with Hood often the instigator, and the full back James Craven almost scored close to the half hour, Craig Ashall and Ryan Fieldhouse coming to the rescue in defence.
But the visitors simply had no answer to Penkywicz, who carved them open again just after the half hour, scoring himself to the left of the posts to allow Paterson to kick Fax into a 20-4 lead.
And on the final play of the half the home side added a fifth score, Sam Barlow forcing his way over the line despite a knot of Dewsbury defenders making his task seemingly impossible.
Paterson made it 26-4 with the kick and if the game wasn’t over then, it was seven minutes after the break when Barlow scored again, rounding off good close support play from Thackeray and Penkywicz.
Paterson made it 32-4 and could have been lining up another attempt a couple of minutes later if Fieldhouse had taken his inside pass after Handforth had scurried clear down the right.
Instead, Hood gave Dewsbury a timely fillip with a try by the posts, but that was as good as it got for the Rams as Fax posted three scores in five minutes.
Ashall got the first, showing footwork and strength to solo through under the posts; Thackeray the second after another clean break by Handforth; and, finally, prop Sean Hesketh touched down after more scheming from Handforth.
With Paterson doing the business with the boot, that was that as far as the league points were concerned.
Fax could easily have added a couple more tries, with Luke Ambler and Thackeray both being denied by impressively determined defence from opponents who were long gone on the scoreboard.
But it was the Rams who gave the ledger a deceptive gloss; the excellent Brad Singleton and the equally impressive Faal both touching down inside the final five minutes.