Halifax Panthers maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 68-36 win away against Hull FC at the Allam Sports Centre.
Rob Hawkins was in outstanding form for the league leaders with an incredible 11 tries and nine goals to register all but six of his side’s points, a number coming from Wayne Boardman’s clever chip kicks over the advancing Hull defence. Jordan Holt and player/coach Nathan Mulhall were the Panthers’ other try scorers.
“It took us a while to get to grips with the aggressive start from Hull, who never allowed us to feel comfortable in the game,” said Mulhall.
“But as soon as we gained control, we managed to get the job done. Special mention to youngster Tom Robinson, making his Super League debut with a second half appearance.”
It was FC’s best performance of the season, Billy Swainger opening the scoring, and player/coach Mike Swainger finishing with four tries and three goals. Billy Swainger added a second try and Tristan Norfolk also claimed a brace.
“We prepared well in training but found it difficult in the first half to put that into practice,” Mike Swainger noted.
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“We addressed areas for improvement for the second half and took them on the field, I couldn’t have asked for much more from the lads and we now need to build on this going forward into the rest of the season.”
Leeds Rhinos qualified for the top four when the competition splits, moving up to second in the table with a hard-fought 58-46 home win over London Roosters, in front of England Head Coach Tom Coyd.
The visitors went 18-0 up early on, Lewis King scoring 14 of the points, the Rhinos responding with a first half hat trick from Tom Halliwell, the best when collecting the ball from a perfect kick off from Nathan Collins, to lead 30-22 at the break.
London hit back at the start of the second period but Collins went the length of the field for the one of his three tries to go with eight goals. Ewen Clibbens grabbed a brace for the Rhinos, and James Simpson and Josh Butler one try each.
Player-Coach Simpson said: “In the first half I felt we were off our usual game but I’m very pleased we showed our resilience. The challenge will help us be ready for a very busy week ahead with a midweek game at Warrington and then the Challenge Cup festival on Saturday.”