Halifax Panthers power to fifth consecutive victory with 30-10 win at Newcastle

Halifax Panthers put on a deadly first half display away at Newcastle Thunder as they improved their winning run to five consecutive games.

By Seb Sternik
Sunday, 1st May 2022, 8:12 am
Updated Sunday, 1st May 2022, 8:15 am
Halifax Panthers

Simon Grix’s side scored five of their six tries in the opening 30 minutes as they powered to a 30-10 victory at Kingston Park Stadium.

The result moves Halifax into the play-off spots for the first time this season. It also sets the side in good stead ahead of a home clash with the Sheffield Eagles in two weeks’ time.

Fax got out of the blocks like a runaway train and took the lead with the very first set of the match. Ben Kavanagh was the architect of the effort as his break down the left flank was followed by a quick pass to Tibbs. The centre then produced a pitch perfect offload for Lachlan Walmsley who powered over the whitewash.

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Ten minutes later the Panthers landed another blow. On this occasion it was smart link-up play from Will Calcott and Adam Tangata which allowed Brandon Moore to charge forward. Fax then worked the ball down the left with Walmsley finishing off the move in the corner.

Jouffret took over the kicking duties from Joe Keyes, but he too failed to find the target as Halifax moved 8-0 ahead.

Despite controlling the early proceedings, Newcastle did show resilience and hit back with a try of their own. Halifax’s first penalty went instantly punished as Thunder worked the ball down the right as Jack Croft raced away from the defence to cross the tryline. A successful conversion from Alex Sutton closed the gap to just two points.

Newcastle’s effort didn’t prove to be much of a momentum changer as Halifax were quickly back on the front foot. In fact, the Panthers went on to score 16 points inside a deadly seven-minute spell.

James Woodburn-Hall kicked off the reply as he finished from close range to mark his first try of the season. Jouffret’s conversion made it 14-6.

The visitors were clearly on a mission to finish the match early and Zack McComb soon brought the Panthers closer to their goal.

James Saltonstall showed great pace and skill as he powered down the wing before finding McComb on his inside. The centre then raced away from Newcastle’s defence before crashing over. Jouffret’s second successful kick moved the visitors 20-6 in front.

If that wasn’t enough, just seconds later Joe Keyes added his name to the scoresheet. Moore split the Thunder defence through the middle before finding Jouffret in support. The half-back couldn’t finish the move himself, but on the next play, Keyes was able to dummy his way over.

Halifax didn’t have quite the same attacking intent after the restart but defensively, they held out strong. Croft did go on to score his second try for Newcastle, but that was as good as things got for the hosts.

Then, with one minute remaining, Halifax made sure of the victory as Dan Murray crashed over to complete a comprehensive 30-10 win.

Halifax Panthers: James Woodburn-Hall, Lachlan Walmsley, Ben Tibbs, Zack McComb, James Saltonstall, Louis Jouffret, Joe Keyes, Adam Tangata, Ben Kavanagh, Matt Garside, Will Calcott, Brandon Moore, Dan Murray. Subs: Kyle Wood, Titus Gwaze, Kevin Larroyer, Ed Barber

Newcastle Thunder: Alex Donaghy, Gideon Boafo, Jack Croft, Isaac Nokes, Alex Sutton, Connor Bailey, Dan Coates, Ted Chapelhow, Josh Eaves, Mitch Clark, Matty Nicholson, Brad Day, Nathan Wilde. Subs: Lewis Peachey, Callum Field, Nathan Clemmitt, Sadiq Adebiyi

Half-Time: Newcastle Thunder 6-24 Halifax Panthers

Venue: Kingston Park Stadium