Fax blitz Broncos to move closer to the Championship top four

Four tries in a 15 minute spell either side of half time secured Halifax a crucial 26-16 Championship win over London Broncos at the Shay.

Sunday, 8th April 2018, 6:08 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th April 2018, 6:16 pm

The Broncos, who have now lost their last three, are the second full time team to lose at the Shay this season, after Leigh were beaten three weeks ago.

Richard Marshall’s side were 10-4 down half an hour, but responded with an attacking blitz that left London floundering at 26-10 with 35 minutes remaining.

The home side, who host Swinton next weekend, should have been ahead inside four minutes, half back Ben Johnston unable to find his support players after breaking clear down the middle.

And it was the visitors who opened the scoring on 10 minutes, Rhys Williams scoring after an outstanding pass from centre Ben Hellewell and Jarrod Sammut converting for a 6-0 lead.

Halifax withstood a sustained bombardment, with a string of penalties and the sin binning of hooker Brandon Moore for dissent leaving them hanging on until centre Steve Tyrer scored against the run of play after 22 minutes to cut the deficit to 6-4.

With tempers flaring, Johnston and Apirana Pewhairangi were both sin binned after a scuffle, leaving the home side to play for four minutes with 11 men until Moore re-emerged from his enforced break.

The Broncos scored again when a blind pass from Will Sharp went loose and some slack cover defence allowed Elliot Kear to score at the other end, Sammut’s miss with the boot leaving the game balanced at 10-4.

With 10 minutes to go to the break though, the home side suddenly clicked into gear with the ball.

Captain Scott Murrell, moving from left to right and back again to compensate for Johnston’s absence, created back to back scores for back rowers Shane Grady and Simon Grix, Tyrer adding a single conversion and a penalty as Fax went 16-10 up.

And right on half time they added an outstanding fourth try, Murrell kicking high to the corner and young winger Connor McGrath applying a brilliant acrobatic finish.

Tyrer’s missed kick saw the home side go to the break leading 20-10 and when the centre scored and converted his own try five minutes after half time, that was effectively that.

The Broncos continued to probe, and looked the sharper side inside the last 10 minutes, but they scored just once, through Will Lovell with 11 minutes remaining, while the home side had a second sensational finish from McGrath ruled out for a foot in touch.

Halifax: Sharp; McGrath, Tyrer, Butler, Saltonstall; Murrell, Johnston; Douglas, Kaye, Maher, Grix, Grady, Fairbank. Subs: Moore, Jones, Fleming, Green

Broncos: Walker; Dixon, Kear, Hellewell, Williams; Pewhairangi, Sammut; Spencer, Cunningham, Beinek, Lovell, Pitts, Davis. Subs: Davis, Battye, Butler, Gee

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas