Fax pay the price for first half lapses

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Halifax paid the price for a series of nightmarish left-side defensive choices in the first half as they slipped to a 36-10 defeat in their third-versus-fourth showdown with Sheffield at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Richard Marshall’s side conceded a 14-minute hat trick to the former Fax wingman Rob Worrincy as the new combination of winger Alex Brown, centre Chris Taylor and on loan Widnes stand off Danny Craven struggled to combat the Eagles’ slick ball movement.

With the ever-dangerous full back Quentin Laulu Togagae also chipping in, Fax were as good as out of the contest at 22-0.

They close the gap slightly to 22-4 at the break, and gave as good as they got for much of the second period, with Mitch Cahalane’s try making it 22-10 before Dominic Brambani’s penalty and late touchdowns from Togagae and Brambani sealed things.

Things had started to unravel for the visitors from the moment a speculative chip from Michael Knowles was hacked on by Menzie Yere and the Togagae danced round James Saltonstall to score after 10 minutes.

Brambani kicked the conversion for a 6-0 lead and although Fax almost got a quick reply through Ben Johnston, their left side defence was torn to pieces twice in four minutes as the Eagles turned a promising start into a winning position.

Worrincy got them both, profiting from some indifferent decision making by the defence and with Brambani converting one, Sheffield were suddenly 16-0 up.

Again, Fax’s reply was almost immediate as Mitch Cahalane was only thwarted by the base of the post after taking a Richard Moore offload, while Moore himself went close after a rampaging break.

But a mistake from Dane Manning gave the Eagles more field position and they made immediate use of it, Worrincy completing his treble inside 35 minutes.

The visitors finally got the reward their play merited and the contest needed on the stroke of half time, Moore storming in after some high quality second phase play shifted the ball from right to left.

Craven’s conversion drifted just wide for a 22-4 interval scoreline, but despite a valiant effort, Fax could not conjure a meaningful second half revival.

Sheffield: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Worrincy; Aston, Brambani; Battye, Carlile, Thorpe, Knowles, Davies, Taulapapa. Subs: Davey, Musolino, Briggs, Stringer

Halifax: Saltonstall; Brown, Heaton, Taylor, Potts; Craven, Johnston; Cahalane, Kaye, Ambler, Divorty, Manning, Murrell. Subs: Tangata, Moore, Maneely, Spencer

Referee: Matthew Thomason