By Alex Robinson
Halifax RLFC secured their biggest victory of the season as they ran in eight tries in a 46-18 win over Dewsbury Rams at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Halifax held a ten-point lead at the half-time break after an entertaining 40 minutes through tries from Chester Butler, Brandon Moore, James Saltonstall and Ben Kaye.
A further four tries from Butler, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e (QLT), Steve Tyrer and Will Sharp saw Halifax clinch a fourth successive win and move ahead of Leigh Centurions into fifth place and level on points with fourth-placed London Broncos in the Betfred Championship table.
After signing on Thursday from Toronto Wolfpack, Richard Marshall drafted QLT straight into the team and the fullback repaid the coach with some three try assists and a try in a Man-of-the-Match display.
His first direct impact came in the tenth minute as a good pass sent Chester Butler, saw the second-rower into open field. With two defenders to beat, he powered his way through and barged over the whitewash to score the opening try, which Tyrer converted.
Dewsbury immediately hit back two minutes after, thanks from a Dale Morton score. Scott Murrell lost the ball in his own half and former Fax man Gareth Moore was quickest to react as he exchanged passes with Morton before the latter touched down in the corner. Paul Sykes converted to level up the tie.
Ten minutes later, Fax were back ahead when Ben Johnston jinked his way through the Rams’ line and with support at either side, gave a left inside pass to Brandon Moore who went unopposed to score to the left of the sticks. Tyrer converted to re-established Fax’s lead.
Halifax were further ahead with QLT again involved as he passed to Saltonstall who did the hard work and crashed over the line, his first try since scoring at Dewsbury in May last year. Tyrer missed the conversion this time around.
Fax had a fourth try when a clever kick from Johnston won Fax a goal-line dropout before Elliot Morris barged opened a gap up for Kaye who dashed over the line from dummy half. Tyrer converted with his 580th goal in a Blue and White shirt.
Two minutes before half-time, Dewsbury cut Fax’s lead as Dom Speakman scored a carbon copy of Kaye’s try. The 24-year-old found space on the blindside and punished the Fax defence on the left flank before Sykes was successful from the wide conversion leaving Halifax ahead at 22-12 at the break.
Shortly after the restart, Conor McGrath thought he scored in the corner after an acrobatic finish but the referee deemed the pass to have gone forward from Tyrer in the build-up.
Dewsbury drew first blood after Sykes scored after sustained pressure on the Fax line. A clever flicked pass from Brown to Sykes saw him in space in the middle to touch down to the left of the sticks, a score which he later converted.
Halifax responded well to the early pressure though, reaffirming their own lead just three minutes after. Murrell’s short ball sent Butler over for his second of the afternoon and Tyrer then added the extras to see Fax regain a lead of ten.
Fax came close when a fantastic breakaway run from Saltonstall saw him evade several defenders and he offloaded to Sharp, but the winger couldn’t score although he won a penalty for his efforts. Lucas Walshaw was shown the yellow card for the professional foul.
Halifax made the numerical advantage count through Tyrer’s try. Following a QLT pass, Tyrer with room to work, showed the dummy and waltzed over, later adding the two points from the boot.
Tyrer thought he scored once again shortly afterwards but the referee deemed QLT’s pass to have gone forward.
Arguably the try of the afternoon came moments later when Gareth Moore attempted a chip kick over the top but was dealt with by Murrell who quickly found the on-rushing QLT as the fullback raced 60 metres upfield to score on his debut for the club. On the touchline, Tyrer’s kick was good.
An error from the Rams saw Sharp latch onto the loose ball, with several Dewsbury players hot on his trail, Sharp was not to be stopped this time around. He raced 70 metres upfield and scored Halifax’s eighth and final try. Tyrer added the extras which rounded off a fine performance and Fax’s biggest win of the season to date.
Halifax now travel to the New River Stadium to take on Toronto Wolfpack in Round 12 of the Championship. Halifax will be looking to avenge the Wolfpack on Saturday 28th April (6:30 kick-off) after Toronto won 20-6 at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Dewsbury Rams: Guzdek, Worrincy, Glover, Hallett, Morton; Sykes, Moore; Sheriffe, Ward, Teanby; Crowther, Spicer, Brown
Interchanges: Speakman, Walshaw, Annakin, Trout.
Tries: Morton (13’), Speakman (37’), Sykes (47’)
Goals: Sykes (3/3)
Halifax RLFC: Laulu-Togaga’e, McGrath, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Fairbank, Moore, Maher; Butler, Grady, Grix
Interchange: Kaye, Morris, Fleming, Green.
Tries: Butler (10’, 51’), Moore (23’), Saltonstall (28’), Kaye (34’), Tyrer (67’), Laulu-Togaga’e (69’), Sharp (73’)
Goals: Tyrer (7/8)
Referee: Marcus Griffiths
Man of The Match: Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e