After their big win last weekend against Batley Bulldogs, Featherstone Rovers knew the task at hand when they arrived at The Shay on Sunday. Jon Sharp’s men triumphed 24-20 over Halifax which has set up a proper humdinger with Bradford Bulls at the Big Fellas Stadium. The first piece of action in the game came between Halifax’s Jacob Fairbank and Featherstone’s Ian Hardman. Both players were sent to the sin-bin for fighting, typifying the ‘no love lost’ relationship between the two teams. Fax won the penalty and Steve Tyrer edged his side in front. Just two minutes after the hosts took the lead, Andy Ellis scooted over the Halifax whitewash in typical fashion. Kyle Briggs added the extras. Ashton Golding extended the visitors’ advantage on 26 minutes but the joy was short-lived as Connor Robinson touched down for Halifax soon after. Briggs put his boot to good use with a penalty goal in the dying embers of the half but there was another twist in the tale, as Ben Johnston found his way to the try line. Tyrer converted and after an enthralling first 40 minutes, Fax had a 14-12 lead.
In what had already been a back-and-forth contest, the scores were levelled in the opening exchanges of the second half thanks to a penalty from Briggs. 10 minutes later, Featherstone hit the front courtesy of Misi Taulapapa. The ferocious three-quarter has made a brilliant impact for Featherstone since his move from Sheffield and the former Cronulla Sharks man stamped his authority on this game in great fashion. However, the good work from Taulapapa was soon undone as Mitch Cahalane powered over the whitewash for an equalising score. Scott Murrell converted to make it 20-18 to the hosts after an hour. The winning try came from former Fax man Anthony Thackeray, who profited from a Jack Ormondroyd offload to send the visiting fans into delirium.
Prediction – Featherstone by 6
Result – Featherstone by 4