By Tom Smith | Photo by Simon Hall
Halifax earnt their first away win of the Betfred Champion season after comfortably dispatching Rochdale Hornets 24-48 this afternoon.
A hat-trick of tries from James Woodburn-Hall, braces from Steve Tyrer and Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e, as well as efforts from Will Sharp and James Saltonstall, made for a brilliant day out for Fax.
Fax did start the slower of the two teams, after four minutes a short ball from player-coach Carl Forster sent Lee Mitchell through under the sticks.
Abram easily converting from in front of the posts and added a penalty goal minutes later, from 40m out.
The tide turned when Jack Higginson was sin binned for a holding down on Jacob Fairbank. Halifax made the extra man count and scored their first points of the game after 15 minutes, Woodburn-Hall sent a grubber kick into space and Tyrer dived on the ball to score. Tyrer dusted himself off and converted his own kick.
Five minutes late, Tyrer had his second of the game. Fax moved the ball quickly down the left-hand side and QLT fed Tyrer who sidestepped an oncoming defender to touchdown. Tyrer couldn’t convert the extras but it still meant Fax were leading for the first time in the game.
The home side responded well, Higginson returned to the field and made an impact immediately, as he barged his way over in the corner to put Rochdale back in front. Abram couldn’t convert but Rochdale still led.
It was then time for Woodburn-Hall to get the first of his three tries, he found himself with the ball just short of Rochdale’s line and jinked his way through a gap to score. Tyrer added the extras.
Just two minutes later and Woodburn-Hall grabbed his second. Fleming produced a brilliant offload to put Woodburn-Hall one on one with the last defender, whom he rounded and stretched out to plant the ball over the line. Tyrer made no mistake with the conversion.
Rochdale scored on the brink of half-time to close the gap, substitute Robson managed to sneak over the line and Abrams reduced the lead to four points with his conversion.
It was in the second-half that Halifax began to show their class, just six minutes in and Sharp dived over in the corner to grab, after being put into clear space from Saltonstall. Tyrer couldn’t convert from the touchline.
Shortly after Woodburn-Hall grabbed his hat-trick, as he produced a quick step through the Rochdale line, in similar fashion to his first. Tyrer couldn’t quite manage to convert but Halifax led by 12 points.
Rochdale tried to respond but good defensive work, especially by Sharp managed to keep them out.
Fax piled the pressure back on and QLT managed to touchdown for his 200th career try. It was in typical QLT fashion, picking the ball up and dancing his way through the defence before putting the ball down, Tyrer converted this time and Halifax led 18-36.
On the 70th minute it was time for Saltonstall to get in on the action, he crossed after Fax continued to expose Rochdale’s left side. Tyrer converted and grabbed his 5th goal of the day.
With five minutes left on the clock QLT grabbed his second of the game, he used his excellent footwork to bypass the Rochdale defence and score, Tyrer added Fax’s last points of the game.
Rochdale managed to get a late consolation, Forster went over just before the hooter sounded for full-time, Abram converted but Halifax ran out comprehensive winners, 24-48.
Rochdale Hornets: Kay, Ainscough, Higginson, Mooris, Wood; Howarth, Abram; Mitchell, Moore, Forster; Case, Weldon, Carberry.
Subs: Moores, Robson, Ryan, Millngton.
Tries: Mitchell (3’), Higginson (25’), Robson (39’), Forster (80')
Goals: Abram (4/5)
Halifax: QLT, Sharp, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Robinson; Murrell, Woodburn-Hall; Kavanagh, Kaye, Fairbank; Barber, Cooper, Calcott.
Subs: Chapman-Smith, E Morris, Moore, Fleming.
Tries: Tyrer (15’, 20’), Woodburn-Hall (31’, 33’, 53’), Sharp (48’), QLT (61’, 75’), Saltonstall (70’)
Goals: Tyrer (6/9)