Robinson at the double as Fax beat Leigh at the Shay

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Halifax opened their Championship account for 2019 with winger Shaun Robinson scoring twice in a 33-26 win over Leigh at the Shay.

Richard Marshall’s side, heavily beaten at Widnes on the opening day, endured an unsteady opening quarter, but having turned round 18-14 ahead were much improved in the second half.

Robinson scored back to back tries around the 55 minute mark, profiting from slick carbon-copy passing from half back Ben White and centre Steve Tyrer.

Tyrer converted both to push Fax out to 28-14, before back rower Ed Barber capped a long range raid, sparked by White’s pass to a marauding Jacob Fairbank, to make it 32-14.

The sin-binning of Fax’s Brandon Moore and Leigh’s Jonny Pownall - who then turned his yellow card into a red one by questioning the decision - heralded a slightly scrappy last 20 minutes, with Leigh eventually narrowing their deficit through tries from the Adamsons, Luke and Toby, both converted by Martin Ridyard.

But White’s drop goal left Fax with enough breathing space as they closed the game out to register victory.

Earlier, Fax had made a good, if fortuitous start on the scoreboard, Tyrer knocking Scott Murrell’s kick down, the ball ricocheting into the arms of Moore, who wasn’t going to be stopped from 20 metres out.

Tyrer converted, but Leigh hit back on the nine minute mark, an error, a penalty and a drop out paving the way for Andy Thornley to muscle his way over by the posts.

Ridyard converted and when Barber conceded a penalty straight from the restart, the visitors marched back downfield and Ridyard’s high kick saw Pownall outjump Robinson for their second try.

Ridyard converted from touch and at 12-6, Fax needed to get their game back together.

Murrell and Tyrer came to the rescue, the former kicking high and wide and the latter leaping for the ball and his trademark try.

Tyrer converted, but although the home side went close from distance, Barber putting QLT in space and then being tackled just short from the return pass, it was Leigh who went ahead again when Ridyard put them 14-12 up with a penalty.

Fax’s response was immediate, White sliding the ball along the turf, Gregg McNally fumbling under pressure and the half back regathering to score.

Tyrer converted for a 18-14 lead and, despite a last-play penalty attempt from Ridyard, that was how it stayed until the break.

Halifax: Laulu-Togagae; Sharp, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Robinson; Murrell, White; Fleming, Moore, Kavanagh, Larroyer, Barber, Grix. Subs: Morris, Fairbank, Chapman-Smith, Calcott

Leigh: McNally; Pownall, I. Thornley, Costello, Marsh; Ridyard, Woods; Douglas, Higham, Brooks, T. Adamson, A. Thornley, L. Adamson. Subs: Spencer, Cator, Smith, Ashworth

Referee: G. Hewer