After an indifferent start to the season Halifax had the opportunity to strike a blow for their top half of the table aspirations and cause a temporary derailment of the Toronto Wolfpack juggernaut, as the two sides did battle at the MBi Shay.

Toronto needed the win to return to the top of the Betfred Championship table but a win for Halifax could see them finish the weekend in fifth spot, should other results go in their favour. But the odds were on the side of Brian McDermott’s side as they looked to make it seven wins in eight outings.

A high tackle on seven minutes gifted ‘Fax the opening points as Steve Tyrer slotted a penalty goal between the uprights. Tyrer added a second penalty on eleven after a late tackle from Adam Sidlow.

Brilliant Halifax tackling kept Nick Rawsthorne out, battering him into touch on fifteen when he looked certain to ground, bit returning the ball downfield Tyrer accepted the invitation to kick his third goal for a 6-0 lead.

A massive hole in the Halifax defence allowed Jon Wilkin to score the first four pointer of the afternoon from close range. After excellent defence the home defence was staring to show signs of tiring. Gareth O’Brien kicked the conversion to level the scores.

Four minutes later a determined run from Andrew Dixon allowed him to ground under the sticks and give his kicker the simplest of conversions for a 12-6 lead.

On twenty-six Blake Wallace helped himself to Toronto’s third try of the afternoon with a thirty metre try off a Wilkin pass. The try was again under the sticks making the O’Brien goal a simple one.

A great O’Brien pass put Matty Russell over in the left corner for the best try of the game, Toronto navigating the lenght of the field in two tackles. O’Brien was unable to add the extras but the Wolfpack looked to be in total control after struggling against a brave Halifax in the opening twenty.

It took seven minutes of the second half for Dixon to run the angle for hos brace, outpacing the cover tackler to score a simple try. O’Brien was unable to add the extras but the points were in the bag and Toronto were returning to the top of the table.

Three minutes later Wallace got his second, sliding over the line after dropping the shoulder and shrugging off the tackle. O’Brien was able to add the extras for a 32-6 lead.

On fifty-three it got worse for ‘Fax as Rawsthorne  was on hand ro score a ten metre run down the touchline off a miss-out pass. O’Brien couldn’t kick the conversion from the touchline.

On the hour mark Dixon completed his hat-trick, crashing between two tacklers off a Ryan Brierley offload, to ground. O’Brien goaled his fifth conversion of the afternoon for 42-6.

After some good Halifax pressure Toronto struck on the counter attack when Ricky Leutele made a barnstorming break before finding Russell in support to go over. O’Brien added the conversion as the visitots neared the fifty mark.

Halifax managed double figures thanks to an Ed Barber try on seventy-six with two steps on a run from twenty metres. Tyrer kicked the conversion for 12-48.

After a bright opening from Halifax when they were able to disrupt the flow of the Wolfpack, the game soon settled as the fitness of the visitors told and they started to find gaps in the ‘Fax defence. A Dixon hat-trick and braces from Russell and Wallace made up most of a nine try haul as the professional side made a professional job of another win which now sees Brian McDermott’s men just one league ladder position below the Leeds Rhinos side which sacked him last season.

Halifax: Laulu-Togaga’e, Shary, Tyrer (4G), Saltonstall, Murrell, Johnston, Kavanagh, Kaye, Fairbank, Larroyer, Grady, Grix. Subs Barber (T), Morris, Moore, Fleming.

Wolfpack: O’Brien (6G), Rawsthorne (T), Logan, Leutele, Russell (2T), Wallace (2T), McCrone, Springer, Ackers, Sidlow, Dixon (3T), Olbison, Wilkin (T).  Subs: Sims, Brierley, Lussick, Mullally.

Referee: Liam Moore.


Full-Time: 12-48.

Attendance: .


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