Fax underline their class with strong win at Dewsbury

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Halifax underlined their status as Championship contenders with a clinically comprehensive 35-16 victory at Dewsbury.

Karl Harrison’s side had already been out-muscled twice at Rams Stadium this year, once in pre-season and once in a far more costly Northern Rail Cup exit last month.

But there was never any danger of a repeat here as the visitors dismantled Glenn Morrison’s outfit piece by piece.

Captain and stand off Scott Murrell was the architect, turning in a sensational opening 40 minutes as Fax racked up a wind-assisted 28-4 interval lead.

Playing behind a dominant pack, Murrell’s kicking game was near-flawless, including two booming 40/20s, while he laid on two tries for impressive back rower Ross Divorty and a third for winger Wayne Reittie.

Fax had taken a third-minute lead through a Ryan Fieldhouse try, converted from the touchline by Steve Tyrer.

They doubled their advantage when Divorty forced a repeat set with a driving tackle on the Rams line, then powered in from Murrell’s short pass, Tyrer again on target.

At 12-0, Fax were already the dominant side, although Dewsbury’s Dale Morton did pull an unconverted score back after 19 minutes.

That was as good as it got for the home team, with Lee Paterson finishing a brilliant set piece move, Reittie dancing over from Murrell’s offload and Divorty bagging a second as Fax made the game virtually safe inside the opening 40.

Despite playing into the elements, they were hardly less impressive in the second half, despite only adding one more try from Wales forward Andy Bracek.

Bracek had a second score chalked off, while Karl Ashall was also denied by the referee as the Rams’ game fell apart.

Adam O’Brien, the Bradford Bulls hooker, and stand off Keiron Hyde touched down at either end of the half, but it never looked like enough to threaten their peerless visitors.

Dewsbury: Pryce; Morton, Watkinson, Scott, Finigan; Hyde, Goulding; Nash, Bentley, Hepworth, Walshaw, Hale, Gallagher. Subs: O’Brien, Tonks, Jones, Lillicrop

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Paterson, Tyrer, Heaton, Reittie; Murrell, Thackeray; Tonks, Handforth, Bracek, Manning, Divorty, C. Ashall. Subs: K. Ashall, Ambler, Robinson, Adamson

Referee: Warren Turley