Betfred Championship: Halifax Panthers suffer biggest defeat of the season at play-off rivals Featherstone Rovers
Halifax Panthers were left well-beaten by Featherstone Rovers following one of the most eventful games of the Championship season.
Rovers bagged a total of ten tries as James Webster’s men enjoyed a comprehensive 54-22 victory over their play-off rivals.
The Panthers scored four tries themselves but ultimately it was a disappointing afternoon for Simon Grix and his men who suffered their biggest defeat of the season.
The first points of the afternoon went to the hosts as Kris Welham took advantage of a loose ball to score inside the opening five minutes.
Fax battled back and just seven minutes later, Zack McComb was able to bring the scores level. The try came on the back of a strong drive from Greg Worthington who was able to release James Woodburn-Hall. A quick pass to McComb, followed by some silky footwork, allowed the Panthers to get on the board.
Connor Robinson added the extras to put the visitors in front but that lead didn’t last long.
Rovers replied straight from kick off as Craig Hall’s kick hit the crossbar and confused the awaiting Robinson. The ball was taken but then spilled by the player as Dane Chisholm took full advantage and scored to make it 8-6.
Hall’s conversion moved Rovers 10-8 ahead but a penalty for Fax allowed Robinson to add a couple of extra points from his boot and make it a two-point game.
Just as fans were gearing up for a close contest, Featherstone turned on the style. Three quick tries from Gareth Gale, Ben Blackmore and another one for Chisholm moved the hosts 24-8 ahead at the break.
Halifax needed a good start to the second half but that’s exactly what they didn’t get.
A knock- on from Scott Grix in the opening seconds immediately put Rovers on the front foot. The hosts took full advantage with Connor Jones getting over the whitewash.
Fax were down but certainly not out. With 47 minutes on the clock, it was the Panthers who punished a Featherstone mistake with Matt Garside touching down towards the right side of the sticks.
A successful conversion from Robinson made it 30-12 – still a recoverable scoreline.
Unfortunately for the hosts, for every try they scored, Fev always came up with an answer. Just minutes after that Garside effort, Featherstone added two more points from the boot of Craig Hall and soon found another try through Blackmore.
Despite this, Halifax never threw in the towel and their efforts were rewarded as Ed Barber stamped his name onto the scoresheet. The player took advantage of a loose pass, kicked the ball down the field and dived over to cut the deficit.
Gareth Gale restored Featherstone’s 26-point advantage just moments later as the home side edged closer towards a dominant victory.
The Panthers managed one last effort through Woodburn-Hall in the 66th minute but that was as good as things got.
In the closing ten minutes of the contest, two further Featherstone efforts from Brett Ferres and Fa’amanu Brown put the game to bed.