By Jacob Kilbride
Halifax RLFC moved a step closer to a place in the Qualifiers after a convincing 28-8 victory away to top four rivals Featherstone Rovers at the LD Nutrition Stadium.
Brandon Moore and Mitch Cahalane scored in the first half as Fax led 16-4 at half-time before they extended their lead with scores from Ben Heaton and Rob Worrincy.
Victory for Fax means that the Blue and Whites are now just a point behind the third-placed Rovers and two ahead of Toulouse Olympique in fourth ahead of the final game of regular season against Hull Kingston Rovers at MBi The Shay Stadium.
Halifax were the quickest out of the blocks with a try in the opening seven minutes of the game. Moore darting over the line from dummy half underneath the sticks.
Steve Tyrer easily converted from straight in front of the posts.
Seven minutes later, Fax doubled their lead with Moore again amongst the action. The hooker’s short ball sent prop Cahalane over the line for only his second try of the season.
Tyrer converted again as the centre reached 1,400 points for Halifax as well as 250 points for the season.
Featherstone fought back however midway through the half as former Samoan international Misi Taulapapa found room to acrobatically touch down the right corner for the 100th try of his career.
Kyran Johnson’s touchline conversion effort fell short of the sticks.
Fax rallied to Rovers’ pressure and took a two-score lead into the break through a couple of penalties from Tyrer.
On the half hour mark, Tyrer converted from 40m out after a high tackle by former Fax halfback Anthony Thackeray before the Fax’s top-scorer knocked over 10m out in the 38th minute to give Fax a 16-4 lead at the interval.
In the second period, Halifax were once again the faster starters as Ben Heaton went over inside the first ten minutes of the half.
After some strong play from forwards Cahalane and Ed Barber, Heaton managed to dive over in the corner to score his second try against Rovers this season.
Tyrer was unable to convert from a tough conversion attempt from the right flank.
After some strong Fax defence to keep out Featherstone the visiting side then managed to extend their lead through a fifth Tyrer penalty.
Fax’s number three slotted over a 30m penalty for his fifth goal of the game.
Just two minutes later Fax secured victory after Worrincy latched onto Johnston’s pass in his own half before the winger ran 80 metres to touch down in front of the ecstatic Fax fans.
Tyrer put Halifax 24 points in front with a simple conversion.
Featherstone managed to force a consolation try after Thackeray’s short ball sent Mariano crashing over the line.