Halifax Panthers 46 Sheffield Eagles 12 - Panthers’ nine-try demolition is just what the doctor ordered
Halifax Panthers put last week’s home loss behind them as they comfortably dispatched the Sheffield Eagles at the Shay.
James Woodburn-Hall, Kevin Larroyer, Sam Hewitt and Nick Rawsthorne all scored twice as the Panthers ran in nine tries, and rarely looked threatened throughout the 80 minutes.
Fax opened the scoring with a brilliant move down the left wing on ten minutes. A burst from midfield opened up the Sheffield defence, with Rawsthorne juggling an off-load to dive over in the corner.
Halifax doubled their advantage when a good interchange in midfield opened a gap for the on-rushing Ben Kavanagh, who charged through unchallenged to score.
Rawsthorne took kicking duties in the absence of the injured Connor Robinson, and duly added the extra two for a 10-0 lead.
A burst from Eliot Morris was picked up by Woodburn-Hall, who outpaced his man to waltz in under the posts. Rawsthorne extended the Panthers’ lead to 16-0 from the conversion.
The one-way traffic continued with Sam Hewitt driving over the line after the Sheffield defence had failed to hold a grubber kick on the last tackle.
Despite their 20-point deficit, Sheffield showed a commitment to the cause and scored from their first period of concerted attacking pressure before the hooter to make the half-time score 20-6.
Five minutes into the second half the Panthers registered their fifth try. Woodburn-Hall gathered a high kick near to his own goal-line at pace, and showed blistering speed to run almost the entire length of the field before being brought down.
Fax would not be denied from the attacking position, with Frenchman Larroyer bursting onto a short ball for his first try of the season. Rawsthorne added a straightforward conversion to extend the Panthers’ lead to 26-6.
The points kept flowing as Halifax stretched the Eagles’ defence time and again, with another break from Woodburn-Hall finding Hewitt running the perfect inside line for his second of the game.
Woodburn-Hall was instrumental yet again moments later, running onto another line break for his second try and his side’s seventh.
The Eagles did get themselves on the board in the second half with just under 20 minutes to go, Ryan Millar sneaking in at the corner to reduce the arrears to 36-12.
Events turned sour with ten to play, as Larroyer was hit late by Scott Wheeldon. The Eagles’ prop was sent off, and Sheffield finished the game with 12 men.
Larroyer then scored his second try, bursting through tackles in midfield to touchdown in the corner.
Panthers’ points continued to flow with the man advantage, Rawsthorne soaring over for his second and Fax’s ninth.
Conversion duties were handed to Liam Harris, who executed the perfect kick from right on the touchline and Fax saw out the final few seconds comfortably.