Fax move to edge of top four after winning at Rovers

Fax get numbers in the tackle at Featherstone
Fax get numbers in the tackle at Featherstone

Halifax coach Richard Marshall saw his side climb firmly back into contention for a top four Championship finish with a nail-biting 20-19 win at Featherstone on Sunday.

Rovers, unbeaten at Post Office Road in 2016, thought they had clinched victory when the brilliant young Leeds half back Jordan Lilley landed a long range drop goal with three minutes remaining.

But Fax centre Steve Tyrer, who had already landed two tricky conversions, coolly converted a last minute penalty to seal a win which hauled Fax up to fifth on the league ladder.

“I knew we had enough quality to get back in it at the end, but I don’t think we should have been in that position in the first place, where it comes down to drop goals and last minute penalties,” said Marshall, whose side looked the more accomplished team for extended periods of a compelling contest.

“We had lots of opportunities, repeat sets and we didn’t take advantage, although to give some credit to both sides I thought they both defended very well.

“It wasn’t our most polished performance and I’m probably not overly happy with the way we played at times.

“But I am overly happy that we managed to grind out a third win over a tough period for us.

“Steve has been fantastic for us this year and for him to do his job like that, away from home and under pressure, is great to see.

“We kept the plan quite simple this week and we stuck with it enough, and had enough quality, to get the result we wanted.

“That team is not 100 per cent in terms of injuries and form, so to come to Featherstone, which is always a bit of a cauldron, and get the points is really pleasing.”

Marshall kept faith with the bulk of the side that beat Bradford on Easter Monday, with Gavin Bennion’s inclusion on the bench the only change, a decision the coach admitted had been something of a double-edged sword.

“We took a bit of a risk and ran with a similar team to try and get some continuity, but the danger of that is that people are a little bit jaded,” said Marshall, whose team host Swinton next Sunday (3.0).

“Brandon Moore was good off the bench and Adam Robinson had a real pop; he had a point to prove, he’s been in and out and he wants to be in every week.

“But we had some good players not playing again and it’s a squad game, a team game.

“It might not be the same team at the weekend, we’ll probably try and manage things a little bit over the next few weeks,”