Rugby League: Rochdale Hornets 20 - 26 Halifax
Date published: 25 February 2018
Photo: Jackie Meredith
Rochdale Hornets v Halifax
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An improved performance on last week's outing and a half time lead were still not enough to give Hornets the win after Halifax took a lead they never relinquished midway through the second half, despite a Hornets rally in a pulsating final few minutes.
Richard Lepori, Toby Adamson and Dave Allen made their first appearances of the season for Hornets; Sion Jones made his competitive debut for Halifax.
Hornets put pressure on Halifax from the kick off and it paid off after 12 minutes when Harvey Livett set Rob Massam away down the left wing; Massam touched down unchallenged for his first try of the season. Livett added the extras.
Midway through the first half and Halifax ill discipline at the ruck gifted Hornets a kickable penalty, which Livett duly accepted to add a further two points to Hornets' tally.
With the half time hooter imminent, Halifax were camped on the Hornets line and got off the mark with a try from Ben Kaye - the dummy half scrambling over despite the best efforts of the Hornets defence. Burrows converted to bring Halifax back within two points.
Half time: Rochdale Hornets 8 - 6 Halifax
Halifax gave away a penalty from the second half kick-off and Hornets took full advantage. Livett found touch before Toby Adamson split the Halifax defence and laid on a pass for Pat Moran to stroll in. Livett successful with the conversion.
Within five minutes Halifax hit back after Hornets conceded a penalty for not being square at the ruck. A slick build up culminated in Will Sharp crossing the line on the right wing. Steve Tyrer's kick missed.
Midway through the second half Halifax took the lead. Deon Cross failed to deal with a high bomb and Simon Grix was quickest to react to the bouncing ball to touch down under the posts. A routine kick for Tyrer to add the two.
The next score had a touch of fortune for Halifax. Having been awarded a penalty for a high shot on James Saltonstall, Tyrer kicked but found ground inside the touchline and was fortunate to see his kick bounce over the Hornets' winger's head. From the resulting set, quick hands towards the left saw Sharp dummy before diving over in the corner. Tyrer unsuccessful with a difficult kick this time.
Ten minutes to play and the game had swung decisively Halifax's way, and with Hornets making too many errors and lacking ideas going forward there appeared no way back into the game.
Hornets appeared dead and buried with minutes to go when Richard Lepori was penalised for leaving his hands in at the ruck and Halifax took full advantage. Good work from Scott Murrell to offload in the tackle let Edward Barber in for a try, which was converted by Tyrer.
Hornets refused to give up and hit back almost immediately as Livett showed his strength to barge over the try line. Livett converting his own try.
It was, however, too little too late for Hornets as the hooter sounded to the relief of the Halifax supporters.
Rochdale Hornets: Richard Lepori, Deon Cross, Earl Hurst, Toby King, Rob Massam, Lewis Palfrey, Danny Yates, Joe Taira, Ben Moores, Luke Adamson, Dave Allen, Lee Mitchell, Harvey Livett
Interchanges: Toby Adamson, Ryan Maneely, Pat Moran, Luis Johnson
Halifax: William Sharp, James Clare, Benjamin Heaton, Stephen Tyrer, James Saltonstall, Scott Murrell, James Woodburn-Hall, William Maher, Brandon Moore, Daniel Murray, Edward Barber, Simon Grix, Jacob Fairbank
Interchanges: David Fleming, Ben Kaye, Sion Jones, Elloit Morris
Referee: T Grant
Touch Judges: R Dolan and S Houghton
Reserve Referee: A Tolley
Hornets coach Alan Kilshaw discusses the defeat against Halifax