Halifax’s loss of form ended emphatically at Rochdale as Karl Harrison’s side powered their way to a 28-12 success over their near neighbours.
The visitors played with purpose, determination and method to leave their hosts looking hopelessly outclassed for most of the afternoon.
Fax’s much-discussed attacking game clearly still needs tuning, but, after last week’s debacle against North Wales, there was plenty to admire about the way they constructed a decisive 22-0 half time lead.
Fax’s start was less than auspicious, Murrell putting the kick off dead and giving Rochdale an early chance to test the defence.
Once that glitch was negotiated though, the visitors quickly assumed a dominance that lasted through until half time.
With Murrell pulling the strings at first receiver, Ben Johnston offering speed on the edges and Harrison’s forwards in relentless form, Rochdale spent most of the half trying to escape their own territory.
The first try arrived via the recalled Wayne Reittie, who did everything to justify his recall, with a second from Steve Tyrer, from Murrell’s cross kick, making it 8-0 after 16 minutes.
Reittie would have had two more in short order if Fax’s passing had been inch-perfect, but he soon bagged his second with another strong finish from a Ryan Fieldhouse pass.
But Tyrer bagged a carbon copy of his first to make it 18-0, before Fieldhouse stormed over from Johnston’s pass to leave the visitors 22-0 up at the break.
The early exchanges of the second half saw Hornets finally gain some possession in attacking territory, but with Dane Manning and Reittie leading the charge Fax held out comfortably enough.
Fieldhouse ran in for his second after 55 minutes, which surprisingly looked like being the last score of the game until Lewis Galbraith and Ryan Millard finally broke Fax’s defence in the final minutes.
Rochdale: English; Galbraith, Llewellyn, Davies, Robinson; Casey, Millard; Cookson, Crook, Thompson, Baines, Tilley, Case. Subs: Sheridan, Clare, Gilchrist, Marsh
Halifax: Fieldhouse; Reittie, Manning, Tyrer, Saxton; Murrell, Johnston; Ambler, Mennell, Tonks, Adamson, Divorty, Brookes. Subs: Holden, Casey, Bracek, Spencer