IT has become one of the closest and most passionate rivalries in the Championship.
Big games against two finely tuned teams have been decided by drop goals in extra time, including last year’s semi-final of the Northern Rail Cup.
If you were to ask Rovers’ chairman Mark Campbell about his feelings about these games, he would give a Kevin Keeganesque ‘love it just love it’. He believes it is the kind of rivalry and the kind of games that make the sport great.
But there has been another side to the rivalry with crowd disturbances at recent games, which has led to the two sets of fans being segregated from each other for the first Halifax-Rovers game of 2012 at The Shay on Sunday, and Campbell is urging all supporters to behave themselves.
He said: “We all love our sport. We all love our clubs. We have far too many things in common to go round hurting each other either verbally or physically.
“Halifax and Rovers have wonderful, passionate, knowledgeable supporters, who have been betrayed by people not fit to stand amongst them on the terraces.
“Both clubs and the police have worked long and hard together to identify these people: people who are no longer welcome at our games.
“This weekend we’ll all show our love for each of our teams in the way that it is at every game no matter how big, but it’s also a priceless chance to show what unites us. We are united in our love of our clubs, our game, our humour and our decency.
“I hope Rovers win, but I believe strongly that the qualities that make the culture of Rugby League and its communities so special shines through this Sunday.”