Rooney punishes lowly Halifax

Halifax 18 Wakefield 30
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The Independent Online

Jamie Rooney's near faultless kicking display was the cornerstone of a Wakefield Wildcats victory which sent Halifax to their 20th successive defeat and a now almost certain drop from Tetley's Super League.

The first half was dominated by Rooney and his half-back partner, Ben Jeffries, who combined penetrating and accurate kicking with sharpness near the tryline.

Both scored simple but well worked tries. Rooney's was the result of a clever run-around move involving David Snitch which left the Halifax defence static.

Jeffries' try was all his own work as he sold a neat dummy to sprint clear of the opposition and dive over untouched in the corner.

The third and final try of the first half went to Richard Newlove, who scooped up a loose ball from a Rooney kick after the Halifax defender Lee Greenwood had made a failed attempt to hack the ball clear on his own line.

Five goals from Rooney meant that Wakefield went in at the half-time interval 22-4 ahead. Halifax had little to show for their first-half efforts, having defended far more resolutely than in recent weeks. But with the ball in hand they showed very little idea of how to make any progress.

The second half began with Halifax's last throw of the dice. Better efforts, which were marshalled largely by Sean Penkywicz and Dane Dorahy, were ruined by anxious lost balls and frustrated ill-discipline as the penalty count against them continued to climb.

The result of the confusion was a try for Wakefield's Ian Knott, to which Rooney added his seventh goal from eight attempts.

Halifax rallied in the end with a 95-metre interception try by Lee Greenwood in the 70th minute, followed five minutes later by a close range dart over from Penkywicz.

A second from Greenwood, which was kicked over by Dorahy in the dying moments, gave the scoreline a respectable edge but it was too little too late.

Halifax: Cardiss, Greenwood, Donlan, Frew, Norman, Dorahy, Penkywicz, Hobson, Lawless, Harmon, Cruckshank, Clayton, Maye. Subs: Brocklehurst, Finn, Birchall, Hill.

Wakefield: Wells, Wray, Halpenny, Ellis, Newlove, Rooney, Jeffries, Griffin, March, Snitch, Wrench, J. Field, Knott. Subs: Davis, Spicer, M. Field, Blake.

Referee: Ron Laughton (Dodworth).