In a thrilling and closely contested match, the Halifax Panthers managed to secure an impressive upset victory against the Featherstone Rovers, who suffered only their second defeat of the season. The game was characterized by a series of intense exchanges as the teams battled fiercely for dominance.
The opening minutes saw a rapid start, with Gadwin Springer of the Halifax Panthers crossing the try line just two minutes into the game, giving his team an early lead. However, the home side, Featherstone Rovers, responded swiftly with a well-executed try from Woodburn-Hall, levelling the scores. The momentum swung back in favour of the Rovers when Mark Kheirallah powered over the line, putting his team back in the lead. Unfortunately for Kheirallah, his joy was short-lived, as he was handed a harsh sin-binning for obstruction merely two minutes after scoring.
Taking advantage of the one-man advantage, the Halifax Panthers seized the opportunity and displayed their attacking prowess. Gee and Maizen both capitalized on the stretched Rovers’ defence and scored tries out wide, propelling their team into the lead. It was a pivotal moment in the game, and the Panthers went into the half-time break with a narrow 16-18 lead.
Undeterred by the setback, the Featherstone Rovers showed their fighting spirit as soon as they were back to full strength. Craig Kopczak bulldozed his way through tacklers to score an impressive try, putting the Rovers ahead once again. Kheirallah’s precise kicking was instrumental, as he successfully converted the try, maintaining a perfect record of three conversions from three attempts and extending Featherstone’s lead to 18-16 at the break.
As the second half commenced, Halifax came out strong, determined to reclaim the lead. Woodburn-Hall continued to be a thorn in the Rovers’ side, scoring another crucial try that pushed Halifax ahead on the scoreboard. With a Jouffret penalty on the hour mark, the Panthers extended their lead to six points, taking control of the match.
With only seven minutes left on the clock, Woodburn-Hall stepped up again, this time coolly slotting a drop-goal that seemed to have secured the win for Halifax. However, the Featherstone Rovers refused to accept defeat and launched a late surge. Luke Briscoe managed to cross over for a tryout wide, raising hopes of a dramatic comeback.
In the final minutes of the match, tension filled the air as the Rovers desperately sought a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. But the Halifax Panthers’ defence held firm, denying the Rovers any further scoring opportunities. When the referee’s whistle finally blew, the Halifax Panthers celebrated a hard-fought 25-22 triumph, inflicting only the second loss of the season on the valiant Featherstone Rovers.
Overall, the match showcased the determination and skill of both teams, but it was the Halifax Panthers who capitalized on their chances and emerged victorious against the formidable Featherstone Rovers.