By Jacob Kilbride | Article photo by Simon Hall.
Halifax RLFC began their 2019 Betfred Championship campaign with a 40-16 defeat to Widnes Vikings.
Three times in a dozen minutes put Widnes into a lead that they would never relinquish and though Fax fought back to score twice during the first-half, three more Vikings tries came during the second period.
It was a nightmare start for Halifax, conceding three times inside 12 minutes.
Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e (QLT) failed to catch Danny Craven’s high kick and, in his attempt to shepherd the ball out, allowed Jack Owens - who scored 6 of 7 conversion attempts - to pounce.
Another Craven kick then allowed Anthony Gelling to put an arm to touch down.
Gelling then turned provider moments later, putting an arm free to allow Ryan Ince to finish in the corner.
Eventually, Halifax managed to stop the stream of pressure. QLT redeemed his early error by throwing a brilliant cut-out pass for Will Sharp to score the corner.
Ten minutes later, Fax cut the lead to just six, Tyrer claimed a well-placed chipped kick by Ben White before converting his first of 2 goals.
Halifax looked the better of the two sides as the half came to an end, but a penalty deep in Fax territory gave Craven the chance to scythe through the line to bring up an 12-point lead at the interval.
Widnes were the quickest of the blocks out of the restart and, after Craven’s grubber forced a repeat set, the Vikings switched play wide for Ince to slide in.
A couple of minutes later, Gelling joined Ince in grabbing his second try; too big and too strong he powered through a gap on the right side.
Moments later, Brandon Moore was sin binned for a high tackle, though to Fax’s credit they managed to withstand the pressure whilst down to 12 men.
Again though Widnes had the numerical advantage, as Kevin Larroyer was the next to see yellow.
This time the hosts made it count. Again the ball was transferred to the right wing with Ince sealing his treble.
Halifax were able to salvage some pride in the form of a late score from debutant Ben Kavanagh, who crossed after QLT’s break from a delightful Simon Grix pass on halfway.
Widnes: Owens, Ashall-Bolt, Brand, Gelling, Ince; Craven, Lyons; Tangata, Hood, Hansen; Wilde, Dean, Leuluai
Subs: T Chapelhow, Johnstone, Farnworth, Walker
Tries: Sharp (18’) ,Tyrer (29’), Kavanagh (75’)
Goals: Tyrer (2/3)
Halifax: QLT, Robinson, Tyrer, Woodburn-Hall, Sharp; Murrell, White, Fairbank, Kaye, Kavanagh, Larroyer, Barber, Grix
Subs: Fleming, Cooper, Moore, Calcott
Tries: Owens (3’), Gelling (8’, 51’), Ince (12’, 48’, 71’), Craven (39’)
Goals: Owens (6/7)