Rovers coach: We’ve a lot of work to do after Halifax defeat

Rovers coach Andy Hay.
Rovers coach Andy Hay.

Featherstone’s Championship top-four hopes were rocked by Saturday 44-20 home defeat against Halifax.

Rovers were 26-4 down at half-time after a poor first-half show in front of disappointingly small crowd of 2,035.

They threatened a second-half fightback with two tries in five minutes from Alex Foster and Gareth Moore but they finished well beaten against a far sharper Halifax outfit.

Wingers Gareth Potts and Tommy Saxton each scored three tries for Halifax who were excellently organised by half-backs Scott Murrell and Danny Craven.

Featherstone coach Andy Hay said: “After today we’ve got a lot of work to do. This has been our toughest test in a couple of weeks and we failed.

“I think some players need to realise if they want to be a good rugby league player they’ve got to put in more effort.”

Rovers quickly fell behind when Saxton touched down in the left corner after the home side failed to deal with Murrell’s towering kick.

The first of Steve Tyrer’s four goals put Fax 6-0 up but Rovers soon cut the gap to two points when Will Sharp raced on to Gareth Moore’s grubber kick.

Ex-Featherstone player Saxton struck again with his second after Rovers conceded three successive penalties.

Featherstone substitute Luke Cooper was then sin-binned and Halifax quickly capitalised.

Gareth Potts scored from Murrell’s grubber kick before Tyrer put Saxton over for a 30-minute hat trick, Tyrer converting the first for a 22-4 lead.

Potts then added his second after Ben Heaton had torned the defence to shreds down the right flank.

When Foster and Gareth Moore scored early in the second-half, Rovers were back in the game at only 26-16 behind but their revival ended when Tyrer put Craven over in the corner, before adding a try himself from a Ben Johnston kick.

Rovers got another try through Ian Hardman but Halifax finished on top, Potts completing his treble with three minutes to go and Craven rounding things off almost on the hooter.

Featherstone: Hitchcox; Blackmore, Hardman, Minns, Sharp; Sykes, Moore; Baldwinson, Ellis Carvell, Cording, Foster, Spears. Subs: Teasdale, England, Verlinden, Cooper

Halifax: Saltonstall; Potts, Heaton, Tyrer, Saxton; Murrell, Craven; Tangata, Kaye, Cahalane, Divorty, Manning, Moore. Subs: Bracek, Fairbank, Barber, Johnston.

Referee: Chris Kenndall.

Attenndance: 2,035.