Hopwood Hall 6 Halifax ERA 22
Tough battle ends with Halifax ERA victory | 29/11/2017
HALIFAX kept their unbeaten league tag for the season with a win that was far from being an elite performance.
A delayed arrival in Lancashire may have been partly to blame but a performance full of errors which was costly in terms of possession and territory was compounded by a tendency to give away penalties when defending their line. Despite the encouragement that this gave to their hosts the Halifax side deserve credit as they defended well, with their line broken just once in the 80 minutes.
(Report by Paul English)
Second row Harvey Williams was quickly into his stride with a break from his own half, the first of many acts of fine play that often took his side forward. Prop Jos Landu was stopped inches short by a multitude of Hopwood defenders. At the opposite end Hopwood looked dangerous on their right hand side attack yet the final pass sailed into touch.
In all it took the Halifax side 25 minutes to find a way through the home defence, and when it came it was a fine score from centre Archie Andrade. Fullback Finley Hickey – who tried hard throughout – paved the way with a pass that put Andrade into acres of space. Ethan Egerton-Sharp hit the uprights with his conversion attempt.
Nine minutes later Egerton-Sharp and Hickey linked for Andrade to cross for his second, this time having to fend off some defenders from the home side. Egerton-Sharp converted for a 10-0 interval lead. Just before the break Sam Smith looked to be clear only to hear Super League match official Tony Martin call him back as he ruled that Hickey’s pass was forward.
Home fullback Asa Rogers sneaked over from dummy half two minutes into the second half with his try converted by Brad Hulme. The arm-wrestle of a match then continued for a long period with neither side really looking likely to score. Perhaps the hosts had the better of the territorial advantage though the Halifax defence was in no mood to cave in for a second time.
Landu made one storming run from midfield while Williams made one on the right to suggest that the Halifax lads were getting on top as the game entered its latter stages.
Finally Halifax turned possession into points with halfback Jordan Paga weaving his way through a Hopwood defence for a try converted by Brad Clarkson. That put Halifax 16-6 ahead with just over ten minutes remaining.
They confirmed their win when Williams finished the game in the style that he had started. His sweeping run saw him celebrating a try under the posts. Clarkson again added the extra two points – Halifax worthy winners but they made hard work of gaining the three league points on this occasion.
HALIFAX ERA: 1 Finley Hickey; 5 Luke Safa, 3 Archie Andrade, 4 Myles Harrop, 2 Ronan Sylvester; 6 Jordan Paga, 7 Ethan Egerton-Sharp; 8 Jack Stevenson, 9 Seb Blanco, 10 Joslin Landu, 11 Sam Smith, 12 Harvey Williams, 13 Titus Gwaze. Subs: 14 Daniel May, 15 Brad Clarkson, 16 Jordan Owens, 20 Dylan Harley-Poulton.
Tries: Andrade (25, 34), Paga (68), Williams (78) Goals: Egerton-Sharp 1/2, Clarkson 2/2
HOPWOOD HALL: 1 Asa Rogers; 2 Jake Butterworth, 3 Kyle Brogan, 4 Harvey Mann, 5 Jack Lowe; 6 Brad Hulme, 7 Dec Slicker; 8 Ryan Dalton, 9 Cole Connolly, 10 Joe Molden, 11 Tez James, 12 Ben Foster, 14 James Shaw. Subs: 13 Matthew Powell, 15 Eamon Duffy, 16 Corey Toone, 18 Elysha Kira.
Tries: Rogers (42) Goals: Connolly 1/1
Referee: Tony Martin