These two West Yorkshire sides are in the race for a top four finish but both of them currently sit on the outskirts. Featherstone have a game in hand on Halifax and are also two points clear of them so a win on Sunday would be vital for the Rovers. Halifax picked up a great win over Bradford on Easter Monday and they’ll be hoping to replicate that result when they travel to the Big Fellas Stadium.
Last Time Out
Despite leading for most of the match, Featherstone were beaten 20-12 by London Broncos at the Trailfinders Sports Ground. The Rovers had a 12-4 lead at half-time after unconverted tries from Jordan Baldwinson, John Davies and Danny Craven. London’s lone score in the first half came courtesy of Rhys Williams. All of the second half action happened during the final quarter as the hosts crossed the whitewash on three occasions. Former Featherstone three-quarter Ben Hellewell notched a brace while Alex Foster also got on the scoresheet. With five minutes to go, the game had been turned on its head with London 20-12 to the good. Frustration set in for Featherstone in the dying embers, typified by Ian Hardman’s sin-binning.
Halifax registered a tight 14-10 victory over fellow West Yorkshire rivals Bradford Bulls at The Shay. It was the Bulls who made their mark on the scoreboard first as Etu Uaisele found his way over the chalk. Danny Addy couldn’t convert. Two consecutive tries by Halifax put the hosts in a good position heading into the second half. Jake Eccleston and Dane Manning both recorded converted tries before the break. A Steve Tyrer penalty goal kicked off the scoring for the second half, Fax held a ten point lead for most of the half but James Clare revived the Bulls’ hopes of snatching a victory in the final quarter. Addy converted to make the score 14-10 to Fax. Richard Marshall’s men managed to hold on to a great victory which could signal an upturn in form after two wins from as many matches over Easter.
On Sunday at the Big Fellas Stadium, there’ll be a lot of talented battles out on the pitch but you will do well to find one with more grit and determination than in the back row. Featherstone lined up with a trio of Jamie Cording, John Davies and Tim Spears for the game against London. All three players are experienced in the Championship division and bring power, ball handling skills and support play to the squad. Halifax went with Dane Manning, Adam Tangata and Jacob Fairbank for their back row. On his day Manning is one of the best forwards in the Championship while, in Tangata and Fairbank, Fax have two players who run hard and give 100% to the cause on a weekly basis.
A very tough one to call as both sides need the victory to keep up their challenge for the top four. Featherstone showed a lot of character to get over the line against Sheffield in their last home match while Halifax, as previously mentioned, have won two games on the trot and will be looking to carry on in the same vein of form – Halifax by 8
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