Early blitz seals win for York as Fax’s mixed form continues

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Halifax were blown away in the opening quarter as they went down 38-16 to Championship new boys York at a raucous Bootham Crescent.

The contest was shaped inside the opening 12 minutes, with James Ford’s side scoring three converted tries to open up an 18-0 lead that Fax never really looked like overhauling.

Ironically, it was the visitors who looked to have made a perfect start, with Steve Tyrer finding touch with a tricky kick off and Scott Murrell spotting an overlap on the right hand side.

But the half back’s lofted pass was picked off by his former teammate Connor Robinson, who juggled before sending winger Judah Mazive racing away to the line.

Robinson converted and suddenly the Knights were dominant, scoring two more tries in the opening 12 minutes through Sam Scott and Ben Cockayne as Fax’s defence was ruthlessly exposed.

Robinson converted both for an 18-0 scoreline and it was to the visitors credit that they worked their back into the contest, Jacob Fairbank going close before Dan Fleming crashed over from Ben Kaye’s short pass.

Tyrer converted, but 18-6 quickly became 20-6 when a mix up from the kick off allowed Robinson to add a penalty.

Again the visitors rallied and Murrell’s break in midfield and slick hands from Steve Tyrer and Ben White saw Shaun Robinson score acrobatically in the corner.

Tyrer’s conversion into the teeth of the wind looked good, but hit the far post and bounced away to leave the score poised at 20-10 with Fax finishing the half piling on the pressure close to the York line.

But it was York who stretched their lead on 52 minutes with a Robinson penalty, before Ben Cockayne showed all his class and experience with a close range try, Robinson’s conversion opening a 28-10 gap that looked insurmountable with 24 minutes remaining.

Another penalty from Robinson made it 30-10, before a try from Jacob Fairbank, converted by Tyrer, clawed the scoreline back to 30-16 with 10 to go.

But a Matty Marsh try, goaled by Robinson, who also added a late penalty, gave York a scoreline that better reflected their dominance.

York: Marsh; Whiteley, Bass, Salter, Mazive; Cockayne, Robinson; Dixon, Carter, Blagborough, Batchelor, Scott, Spears. Subs: Brining, Horne, Teanby, Porter

Halifax: Chapman-Smith; Sharp, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Robinson; Murrell, White; Fleming, Kaye, Fairbank, Larroyer, Grady, Barber. Subs: Kavanagh, Morris, Moore, Maher

Referee: Tom Grant