Young centres lead the scoring as Fax win at Whitehaven
Halifax ended a run of six straight defeats win a comprehensive 30-10 win over relegation threatened Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground.
Three first half tries from Chester Butler, Ryan Boyle and Nick Rawsthorne along with Jacob Fairbank’s late effort sealed a hard-earned win for Richard Marshall’s side.
Marshall handed Luke Nelmes his debut for the club from the bench, the young forward becoming the fifth player to graduate from the club’s revamped reserve side this season.
After a slow start, Fax hit the front when Butler collected Ben Johnston’s pass - Johnston playing at half back at the expense of Gareth Moore - cut inside his man and finished well for his first senior try. Rawsthorne converted.
Back to back sets from ‘Haven soon followed, but the experienced Dave Allen threw the ball into touch with Ryan Ince closing in on the line.
Halifax made them pay. Boyle collected the busy Johnston’s kick underneath the posts to take Fax into double figures after 22 minutes. Rawsthorne goaled.
The coach-less Cumbrian side, who recently parted company with James Coyle, did get on the board before half time; Ed Chamberlain finishing off a neat move to dive over in the left hand corner. Jouffret missed the tricky touchline conversion.
But Rawsthorne ended the half with his first senior try. A short pass from Scott Murrell left the former Brooksbank School student with work to do, but a super step and finish saw the Hull-bound threequarter crash over in the right corner. He converted his own try to give Halifax an 18-4 lead.
The hosts started the better in the second period and were rewarded when Grant Gore profited from indecision from the away defence to touchdown under the posts. Jouffret converted this time.
It took Halifax until 22 minutes from time to kill off the spirited Cumbrian side. A break from deep by Adam Tangata allowed Johnston to run clear before finding Fairbank who spun over the line brilliantly to all but seal the win.
Tangata scored a late try with Rawsthorne kicking two goals to see Halifax return to winning ways ahead of next week’s home game against Oldham.
Whitehaven: Jouffret; Ince, Taylor, Parker, Chamberlain; Aiye, Gore; Walker, Carberry, Chapplehow, Fox, Allen, Forster. Subs: Newton, Davies, Riley, Perez.
Halifax: Greenwood; Heaton, Butler, Rawsthorne, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Cahalane, Moore, Boyle, Manning, Tangata, Fairbank. Subs: Kaye, Bennion, Morris, Nelmes.