Nine-try Fax off to a strong start at Whitehaven

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Halifax kicked off the 2015 Championship season with a comfortable and intermittently stylish 44-16 win at Whitehaven.

Wingers Alex Brown and James Saltonstall and back rower Adam Robinson all touched down twice to give new coach Richard Marshall a win in his first competitive game in charge.

On a spring-like afternoon but a heavy pitch, the visitors never really looked threatened after opening up a 16-0 lead that had gone out to 28-10 by the time the half time hooter sounded.

In attack, they showed glimpses of the free-flowing style Marshall has talked about playing, running in nine tries, some of which coming from approach play of real quality.

They were embarrassed once in defence, when Haven’s on loan Widnes half back Grant Gore skinned the defence straight from a scrum, but generally the home side struggled to break the line, despite a string of high risk offloads.

“We started off really well and you could see our preparation had been good,” said Marshall.

“I thought the tries we scored were first class, really skilful.

“It’s good they have the confidence to go to the edges and put those plays on.

“Overall, I’m pleased.”

Fax started clinically, with the ball sweeping from right to left and centre Steve Tyrer taking Scott Murrell’s pass to score in the corner.

Tyrer missed the kick, but was on target when full back Miles Greenwood pounced on Saltonstall’s kick ahead to score after eight minutes.

Saltonstall, who looked sharp on the wing, scored himself after Robinson and Murrell had carved open the defence, Tyrer kicking Fax 16-0 up.

Jordan Burns eventually grabbed a score back for Haven, but even that only arrived as a result of a forward pass as Fax attacked from their own line.

Brown pounced close to the half hour; Haven spilling the ball as they went for the corner and the winger racing 90 metres down the sideline.

Robinson then rumbled in twice, sandwiching a score from Haven’s Paul Johnson, and it was difficult to see a way back for Haven in the second half.

Gore’s early scorcher gave them some hope, but Fax soon reasserted their authority with the impressive Luke Ambler scoring off a pass from the highly promising young hooker Ryan Maneely, before Saltonstall profited from razor sharp approach play from Tyrer and Greenwood.

Centre Chris Taylor then set up Brown’s second to bring the curtain down on a solid start to the year.

Whitehaven: Lepori; Burns, Parker, McAvoy, Holliday; Seymour, Coyle; Davies, Newton, Hand, Aiye, Allen, Hepi. Subs: Gore, Trout, Johnson, Fox

Halifax: Greenwood; Saltonstall, Tyrer, Taylor, Brown; Murrell, Johnston; Cahalane, Kaye, Moore, Manning, Robinson, Bracek. Subs: Ambler, Spencer, Maneely, Divorty