Featherstone’s display in Halifax defeat ‘not acceptable’ says coach Sharp

Misi Taulapapa dives over for a first-half try in Featherstone's 28-8 defeat against Halifax this afternoon. Picture: Carol Austerberry.
Misi Taulapapa dives over for a first-half try in Featherstone's 28-8 defeat against Halifax this afternoon. Picture: Carol Austerberry.

COACH Jon Sharp described Featherstone’s display in today’s 28-8 home defeat against Halifax as “not good enough and not acceptable.”

Rovers’ hopes of pipping London Broncos for second spot in the Kingstone Press Championship ended with an error-ridden performance in their final home game of the regular season.

They also lost centre Chris Ulugia with a serious shoulder injury that could rule him out for the rest of the campaign.

Featherstone, already assured of a top-four place, were outplayed and out-enthused by Haifax who stayed two points clear of fifth-placed Toulouse following the French side’s win at Hull KR.

Halifax’s bid to clinch a place in the Qualifiers will be decided by the outcome of next weekend’s final round of matches. They host table-toppers Hull KR and third-placed Featherstone visit Toulouse who have a superior points difference to Halifax.

With Scott Murrell dictating play, Halifax were the better side from the start and went ahead when hooker Brandon Moore scored from close range and Steve Tyrer added the first of his six goals from eight kicks.

Moore sent Mitchell Calahan plunging over to double Halifax’s lead before Rovers hit back when John Davies put in Misi Taulapapa at the corner.

Tyrer kicked two penalties to put the visitors 16-4 up at the break.

Featherstone started the second-half strongly

Jordan Baldwinson was held up over the line and Matty Wildie put in Taulapapa but the pass was ruled forward.

They then fell further behind Ben Heaton crossed after good work by Murrell and Edward Barber.

Jason Walton and Wildie went close in a spell of Rovers pressure before Halifax made sure of victory when Johnston scooped up a loose ball and sent Rob Worrincy racing 80 yards to score.

Thackeray made the opening for Frankie Mariano to grab Featherstone’s second try five minutes from time but it was far too late.

Featherstone Rovers: Johnson; Taulapapa, Hardcastle, Ulugia, Briscoe; Thackeray, Wildie; Griffin, Carlile, Bostock, Mariano, Davies, Ormondroyd. Subs: Walton, Lockwood, Moore, Baldwinson.

Halifax: Sharp; Heaton, Tyrer, Barber, Worrincy; Murrell, Johnston, Douglas, Moore, Boyle, Grady, Cahalane, Grix. Subs: Morris, Sio, Mammone, Kaye.

Referee: Liam Moore (RFL).

Attendance: 3,156.