Holmes scores winning try as Featherstone edge out Halifax

Rovers full-back Anthony Thackeray scored two tries against Halifax this afternoon.
Rovers full-back Anthony Thackeray scored two tries against Halifax this afternoon.

FEATHERSTONE Rovers made it two wins from two pre-season games by beating Halifax 20-16 in a rehearsal for the opening Betfred Championship game at LD Nutrition Stadium on February 4.

With the sides locked at 16-16, Rovers half-back Tom Holmes scored the winning try 12 minutes from time.

Anthony Thackeray bagged two touchdowns and Martyn Ridyard set up three tries and kicked two goals as Rovers came out on top following their 32-16 win at Castleford Tigers on Boxing Day.

Halifax, who lost 22-6 at Bradford Bulls and 62-0 at Wakefield Trinity in previous warm-up matches, competed superbly in a keenly-contested friendly.

Rovers led 10-6 at the break after a scrappy first-half in which both teams made plenty of errors.

Halifax, captained by ex-Rovers hooker Ben Kaye in the absence of Scott Murrell, defended well to survive early Featherstone pressure.

Ridyard went close and Luke Cooper was held up on the try line as Rovers made most of the running in the opening 20 minutes.

Halifax missed a 20th minute chance at the corner when Conor McGrath was unable to take Steve Tyrer’s pass but they opened the scoring six minutes later.

Elliot Morris went close before Sion Jones barged his way over beneath the posts and Tyrer added the easy conversion.

Rovers levelled three minutes later when Thackeray collected Martyn Ridyard’s kick to score a try that Ridyard goaled.

Former Swinton Lions winger Shaun Robinson, making his home debut, then put Featherstone ahead on the stroke of half-time when he went over at the corner from Ridyard’s looping pass.

Ten minutes into the second-half, Halifax made it 10-10 when youngster Jack Fairbank showed clever footwork to dance his way over for an unconverted try.

Connor Farrell was held up over the line and Gareth Gale had an effort ruled out for obstruction as Rovers pressed strongly before Halifax regained the lead in the 62nd minute when Welsh international forward Dan Fleming, their new signing from Toronto Wolfpack, stormed over for a try on his debut and Adam Brooks converted.

Featherstone bounced back to get the edge with two tries in three minutes.

Keal Carlile’s short pass put in Thackeray for his second that Ridyard goaled before Ridyard made the opening for half-back partner Holmes to score his first try for the club.

Featherstone Rovers: Thackeray; Robinson, Taulapapa, Hardcastle, Gale; Ridyard, Holmes; Moore, Carlile, Cooper, Farrell, Mariano, Lockwood. Subs: Wildie, Knowles, Brooks, Maskill, Briscoe.

Halifax: Woodburn-Hall; Saltonstall, Tyrer, Barber, McGrath; Johnston, Brook; Fleming, Kaye, Jones, Calcott, Grix, Elliot Morris. Subs: Morris, Fairbank, Davies, Davies, Cullimore, Morgan, Punchard, Syme, Stringer.

Referee: Tom Crashley.