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Featherstone Rovers made it five wins out of five to go top of the 2022 RFL Championship, with a hard-fought 22-12 triumph over a spirited Halifax Panthers.

Despite being behind going into the break, a clinical second-half display made sure the hosts picked up the two points at the Millennium Stadium.

Despite missing his first two conversions, Craig Hall was the star of the show in the second period – scoring two tries and three conversions to help his side get the win.

The hosts threatened early on when a debutant Ryley Jacks chipped one through but Louis Jouffret got there first.

Panthers were then awarded a penalty after a foul on James Saltonstall around about 40 metres from Rovers’ goal-line.

The Fax came forward again with Cory Aston but he was dealt with by John Davies.

Brian McDermott’s started to grow into the game and threatened to get the first try of the game but the attack broke down at the last second.

Halifax’s Ed Barber was then put in the sin bin for 10 minutes after a committing a dangerous offence.

Rovers then had a promising break down the left-hand side but the Panthers’ defence did enough to scramble the ball away from danger.

Fev continued to come forward but this time it was dealt with well by Fax’s half-back Joe Keyes.

Despite being under plenty of pressure for the most part, it was the visitors who scored the first try of the game when Jouffret ran through and after a couple of dummies, carried the ball over the line.

Keyes then stepped up to take the conversion and made no mistake in putting his side 6-0 to the good with 23 minutes on the clock.

The home team then came very close to getting a try but were stopped by a combination of Ben Kavanagh and Fax’s substitute Adam Tangata.

Rovers then scored their first try of the encounter when Gareth Gale received the ball on the left-hand side in space and simply touched down just over the line in the corner.

However, the conversion kick was then missed by Craig Hall meaning the home side still trailed heading into the interval.

The second period began quietly with both teams cancelling each other out in the early stages.

It was the Panthers who got the first try of the second-half when Aston took the ball in before carrying it over the line to the right of the post.

Keyes then stepped up for the conversion and emphatically scored to put his side into a 12-4 lead – to leave the home crowd stunned.

Rovers’ struggles continued as Matty Wildie was then put in the sin bin for a dangerous foul on Kavanagh.

Keyes then went wide and looked to pick out Lachlan Walmsley but the pass was taken in by Luke Briscoe.

Fev then gave themselves a lifeline when they scored their first try of the second period thanks to their stand-off Morgan Smith.

However, Hall was once again off target with the conversion as the score remained 12-8 in the visitors’ favour.

Panthers then went within a couple of inches of bagging their third try of the game. Firstly, Keyes went through but he was denied and then it looked as though Dan Murray carried the ball over the line but he was just about stopped in front of the line by the Rovers defence.

Rovers then went down the other end and scored a try to level things up when Hall ran through the defence before carrying the ball over the line.

It was the 34-year-old centre who then took the conversion and it was third time lucky for him and Rovers as he put his side in front for the first time on the afternoon.

Fev were awarded a penalty for a foul on Cuthbertson and this allowed Hall to shoot for goal.

Hall did just that and extended his side’s lead to 16-12.

The hosts started running away with it and added yet another try just before the end of the game when received the ball and simply carried it over the line.

Hall then scored his third conversion of the game to cap off another fine afternoon’s work from the hosts.

The referee blew the full-time whistle to confirm that Featherstone maintained their 100% record so far in this campaign and that Halifax remained winless in their opening four matches.



1. Brandon Pickersgill (full-back)

2. Luke Briscoe

3. Joey Leilua

4. Craig Hall

5. Gareth Gale

10. James Lockwood

13. Jack Bussey

14. Matty Wildie

16. John Davies

17. Ben Hellwell

20. Morgan Smith

26. Adam Cuthbertson

27. Ryley Jacks (debut)


Connor Jones

Luke Cooper

Kyle Trout

Brett Ferres

TRIES: Gareth Gale (30’), Morgan Smith (59’), Craig Hall (68’, 80’).

CONVERSIONS: Craig Hall (68’, 75’, 80’).


2. Lachlan Walmsley

4. Joe Arundel

5. James Saltonstall

6. Cory Aston

7. Joe Keyes

9. Brandon Moore

10. Daniel Murray

11. Ben Kavanagh

13. Jacob Fairbank

16. William Calcott

17. Ed Barber

19. Zack McComb

24. Louis Jouffret


8. Adam Tangata

14. Kyle Wood

21. Titus Gwaze

31. Kevin Larroyer


Louis Joufrett (22’), Cory Aston (50’).


Joe Keyes (23’), Joe Keyes (52’).


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