Fax go down fighting in London, but finish Qualifiers without a win

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Halifax finished the Super 8s Qualifiers without a win after a youthful, depleted line up went down fighting 23-16 at London Broncos.

Richard Marshall’s side, who gave a debut to rookie Welsh hooker Curtis Davies, started the game missing several key players and lost their London-born full back James Woodburn-Hall with a knee injury early in the second half.

But they were typically dogged, leading 12-0 early on and then 16-12 until Keiran Dixon’s 58th-minute touchdown, converted by Jarrod Sammut, finally put the Broncos in front.

With Fax’s part-timers visibly running out of legs on London’s plastic pitch, the home side then sealed victory with Elliot Kear’s try 12 minutes from time and a late drop goal from Sammut.

That wasn’t enough to secure Danny Ward’s team home advantage in next weekend’s Million Pound Game though, with a trip to Toronto or Hull KR awaiting them.

Fax started the game as they finished it, on the back foot, with the Broncos bombarding them with early attacks.

But a close-range try from Ben Kaye, a former Broncos player, converted by Steve Tyrer, gave them a 6-0 lead against the run of play.

And when Tyrer soared high to claim a trademark score from Scott Murrell’s cross kick, the visitors were 12-0 in front after 14 minutes.

The Broncos’ response was immediate, Sammut scoring straight from a scrum and hooker Eloi Pelissier touching down, Sammut’s conversions levelling the scores after 23 minutes.

A determined finish from Adam Tangata, who is being heavily linked with a move to League 1 Newcastle, put Fax back in front at the break.

And it stayed that way until Sammut somehow rolled the ball out of a tackle for Dixon to finally tip the momentum of the game London’s way with 22 minutes remaining.

London: Walker; Dixon, Hellewell, Kear, Williams: Pitts, Sammut; Ioane, Pelissier, Evans, Hindmarsh, Gee, Battye. Subs: Spencer, Lovell, Adebiyi, Davies

Halifax: Woodburn-Hall; Moss, Tyrer, Heaton, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Fairbank; Tangata, Butler, Moore. Subs: Curtis Davies, Connor Davies, Douglas, Cooper.

Referee: Gareth Hewer