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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Forber penalty earns Workington Town bonus point against Halifax

Workington Town 8 Halifax 20: Workington Townknew it was going to be tough in the Championship, and the season’s first visitors Halifax demonstrated all the qualities that had been anticipated.

Carl Forber photo
Carl Forber

But with four points from their first two games in the higher flight Town can feel pleased with their opening efforts – winning at Swinton and collecting a bonus point against Halifax.

With an impressive mix of watertight defence and clinical finishing Halifax showed why they will be up there contesting the title this year.

Town joint coach Gary Charlton admitted he would have settled for four points from the first two games, following their promotion, as Carl Forber’s late penalty earned Town a bonus point.

“Our lads are still learning at this level and I have to be pleased with the way we committed ourselves throughout the 80 minutes.

“You can’t get off to a better start than a converted try inside a minute but I don’t think we could find the guile after that to open them up. They are a very good side – strong in defence, efficient and clinical in the way they go about their business,” he said.

The first-minute try – actually timed at 54 seconds – came in Town’s first set of six and was a great fillip, giving them early momentum.

But it was to Halifax’s credit that they proceeded to edge their way in front by half-time, and some impressive work at both ends of the field eventually took them clear.

That sensational start was from a deep position. Experienced pair Peter Lupton and Ewan Dowes exchanged passes inside their own half and then Callum Phillips was up in support. He hared-on before releasing the perfect pass for Carl Forber to go over under the posts. He added the conversion himself.

Workington made life hard for Halifax when they tried to respond and the visitors uncharacteristically made handling errors as the Town defence harassed and closed down well.

But on 12 minutes the visitors did find space out side and when the ball was shipped to the right Lee Paterson got over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Workington’s best moment after that was sparked by Widnes dual registration centre Declan Hulme with a fine break which ended with John Patrick being bundled into touch ten metres out.

Halifax edged ahead on 25 minutes after Brett Carter mishandled a huge high kick from Craig Ashall. When the ball fell loose it was hacked to the corner where Steve Tyrer was first to react and make the touchdown.

It was mainly hard, uncompromising stuff with the two packs jousting for supremacy, and it stayed 8-6 for almost 40 minutes before two quick tries pulled Halifax clear.

That was not before they were forced to defend with great gusto on their own line and there were frequent high fives all round as various charges from Jamie Thackray, Dowes, Andy Morris and Adam Walne were halted just short of the line. It was superb defence, though.

Gradually Halifax forced their way back down field and on 61 minutes came the crucial score. Dane Manning, from just inside the Workington half, broke through two tackles and was able to go all the way for a try which Tyrer converted.

Seven minutes later it was all over. Adam Robinson, the visitors’ pocket battleship, powered forward dragging in the tacklers and when the ball was spread to the left sharp hands along the line gave Tyrer a walk-in try which he converted.

Workington were, if nothing, game and four minutes from time picked-up a deserved bonus point. Forber belted over a penalty from 45 yards.

Workington Town: Carter, Patrick, Hulme, Morris, Calderwood, Lupton, Forber, Dowes, C. Phillips, Walne, B. Phillips, Stack, Olstrum. Subs (all used): Coyle, Thackray, Gore, Davies.

Try: Forber (1);  Goals Forber (2/2)

Halifax: Fieldhouse, Sheriffe, Heaton, Tyrer, Paterson, Handforth, Murrell, Ambler, C Ashall, Bracek, Manning, Divorty, Robinson. Subs (all used): Tonks, K. Ashall, Bowman, Casey.

Tries: Paterson (12), Tyrer (26, 68), Manning (61); Goals: Tyrer (2/4).

Referee: Matt Thomason, Warrington

Crowd: 1,020.

Star man: Jarrad Stack - Led Town’s tackle count and ran as hard as anyone on either side.


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