Richie Myler, Brad Dwyer 2, Liam Sutcliffe, Cameron Smith, Luke Briscoe,
Liam Sutcliffe 5,
By Jacob Kilbride
Halifax RLFC came up short as they were beaten 34-6 in their first contest against Leeds Rhinos in 15 years.
A fantastic crowd of 4,507 turned out at the MBi Shay Stadium for this historic fixture and the home supporters were given hope of an upset when Fax went into the break level at 6-6.
But the reigning champions showed their class with four unanswered second-half tries as they moved a step further to a spot in Super League for next season.
Leeds took just five minutes to go in front. Richie Myler was denied moments previously but his half-back partner placed a precise reverse kick through for the scrum-half to touch down front. Liam Sutcliffe converted.
Halifax fought back into the contest though and, after defending some solid sets on their own line, managed to produce their best chance of the half with Jacob Fairbank knocking on a metre from the line with a quarter gone.
With ten minutes of the half left, Halifax finally broke through to claim a deserved equaliser. The returning Steve Tyrer marked his comeback with a signature high rise and touchdown from a Scott Murrell cross-field kick.
The scoreline was levelled when he converted his own effort.
Neither side could conjure any more points before the interval, Halifax heading into the sheds as the by far the happier of the two sides.
That elation was soon nullified however. After just 90 seconds of first-half action, Leeds were back in front as a Brad Dwyer drive to left of the sticks followed by a Sutcliffe goal reaffirmed the lead.
Eight minutes later, Dwyer had his second. A nifty turn on the line saw him twist his way over in front of the travelling Leeds fans. The extras were added by Sutcliffe once more from in front of the posts.
Leeds were in the ascedancy by now and a couple of minutes later Liam Sutcliffe strolled to the line after spotting a gap in the line before converting his own score.
Halifax’s spirit proved a tough nut to crack for the visitors and Fax held firm in a ten-minute period which saw them camped on their own line, with some characteristic dogged defending prevalent.
A chance eventually come from it, a Johnston short-ball putting Shane Grady through but the second-rower’s attempt resulted in a knock on and bad-looking injury that saw him miss the final quarter of an hour.
In the final dozen minutes, Leeds added some gloss to the scoreline. Cameron Smith found the line from a couple of metres out and seconds later turned provider to put Luke Briscoe over in the corner.
Sutcliffe converted the first but missed for the first time on the second occasion.
Halifax saw out the remaining minutes and now face a trip to London on Saturday evening in their final match of 2018.
Halifax RLFC: Moss, Woodburn-Hall, Tyrer, Butler, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming Kaye, Jacob Fairbank; Tangata, Grady, Moore.
Interchanges: Jones, Heaton, Connor Davies, Maher
Tries: Tyrer (30’)
Goals: Tyrer (1/1)
Leeds Rhinos: Walker, Tom Briscoe, Keinhorst, Moon, Luke Briscoe; Sutcliffe, Myler; Crosby, Parcell, Singleton; Jones-Buchanan, Peteru, Thompson
Interchanges: Cuthbertson, Dwyer, Smith, Walters
Tries: Myler (5’), Dwyer (42’, 50’), Sutcliffe (53’), Smith (68’)
Goals: Sutcliffe (4/4)
Man of the Match, as chosen by Investing for Tomorrow: Brandon Moore
Hit Man Award winner, as chosen by LS28 Supporters Group: Ben Heaton