Heaton, Rawsthorne star as Fax down Roughyeds

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall highlighted the contribution of his side’s new-look right side attack to Sunday’s 32-18 Championship Shield success over Oldham.

Rookie centre Nick Rawsthorne, bound for Challenge Cup winners Hull FC next season, and centre-turned-winger Ben Heaton were arguably Fax’s best as Marshall’s outfit came back from an 18-8 deficit early in the second half to clinch a second successive victory.

Rawsthorne, making his fourth senior appearance, scored one try himself and set up two more for the powerful Heaton as they tormented the Roughyeds’ backline.

“That right side was very good,” said Marshall.

“I must mention Ben; I thought he had one of his best games of the year, if not his best game of the year.

“Him and Nick are really helping each other.

“Nick put him away two or three times and that shows what a quality centre he can be.

“It’s a shame he’s not our player next year, but we cannot begrudge him the opportunity to go and get better with Hull FC.

“We are doing alright with him; we are nurturing him and hopefully he may come back here and play at some stage if it’s the right thing for his development.

“I was really pleased with our response when we went two tries down, we didn’t chance our arm, we went set for set with them and came through the other side.

“We showed our class and our skill levels improved in that final quarter and that went a long way towards winning the game.

“We had a bit more in the tank if I’m being honest; we could have really put them to the sword in that first half rather than going in at 8-6.”

Marshall again experimented with his playmaking options, with Gareth Moore and Ben Johnston at the scrum base and captain Scott Murrell at loose forward.

The jury remains out on that combination, with Murrell’s biggest impact coming in the final 10 minutes when he returned from a spell in the dugout at stand off, scoring one try himself and creating another for the outstanding forward Adam Tangata.

“We experimented a little bit and we’ll probably keep looking at things over the next couple of weeks,” said Marshall, whose side are already guaranteed a home semi final at the end of this month.

“I just wanted Scott to have a rest after being in the middle and then give us 10 minutes at the end.

“He did that and he certainly had a big influence on the way the game finished.

“Was it because it was late in the game and they were tiring and the holes were there? Maybe.

“Was it because he’s a fantastic experienced player? Possibly.

“It gives us something to think about.”