Late tries decisive as Fax slip against Toronto

Two late tries from winger Adam Higson proved decisive as Toronto Wolfpack marked their first Championship foray into Yorkshire with a 20-6 win over Halifax at the Shay.

The final scoreline arguably flattered Paul Rowley’s expensively-assembled line up, who trailed 6-4 at the break after Halifax enjoyed the better of a good quality opening half.

Richard Marshall’s side, who had opened their league account with victory over Sheffield a week ago, had two tries disallowed before Chester Butler’s score, goaled by Steve Tyrer, put them ahead.

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But a long range raid from the former Fax back Nick Rawsthorne after 47 minutes put the visitors back in front, before a Ryan Brierley penalty stretched their lead to 12-6 going into the last 10 minutes.

With their hosts visibly running out of punch in attack, it was left to Higson, one of a clutch of former Leigh players in the visitors’ full time line up, to round things out with scores in the 73rd and 79th minutes.

Earlier, Fax almost scored in the second minute, with the dual-registered Castleford winger James Clare, who went close on two more occasions, having a try ruled out for a far from clear cut double movement.

The game settled into a good quality war of attrition, with Toronto coming close through Joe Westerman, who was denied on the line by a great tackle from Jacob Fairbank.

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Fax had their second score chalked off on the half hour, Ed Barber being called back for offside after Quentin Laulu-Togagae spilled a Scott Murrell bomb.

And a minute later Toronto were in front, centre Greg Worthington just getting outside the defence from a close range scrum and forcing the ball down.

Ryan Brierley’s conversion attempt went wide, Fax almost scored again through Barber and then finally did get the try they deserved just before the break; Woodburn-Hall sliding the kick in behind the onrushing defence and Chester Butler collecting to touchdown.

Steve Tyrer converted for a 6-4 half time lead, but Rawsthorne’s try early in the second period tipped the balance of the game in favour of the Wolfpack.

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Halifax: Sharp; Saltonstall, Barber, Tyrer, Clare; Murrell, James Woodburn-Hall; Maher, Moore, Murray, Grix, Butler, Fairbank. Subs: Morris, Kaye, Green, Douglas

Featherstone: Laulu-Togagae; Kay, Worthington, Rawsthorne, Higson; Brierley, McCrone; Simms, Beswick, Buchanan, Dixon, Whiting, Westerman. Subs: Emmitt, Krasniqi, Sidlow, Ackers

Referee: J. Smith