Sheffield Eagles failed to capitalise on their victory over Toulouse after a 42-16 defeat to Halifax at The Shay.
After causing an upset by beating the much fancied French side in round two, the Eagles couldn’t repeat the trick as Mark Aston’s new look side continue to strive for consistency.
Indiscipline either side of half-time cost the Eagles dear, with Scott Wheeldon and dual-registration prop Dayne Weston both seeing yellow, as the hosts cashed in on their man advantage.
Weston was joined by fellow Leigh team mate Lachlan Burr, whilst Duane Straugheir was included for the first time this season after a head injury.
The home side set the early pace with new signing Adam O’Brien darting over for his first try, which was converted by Steve Tyrer.
Eagles almost created an opening but after heavy pressure on the Fax line, Simon Brown dropped the ball to let the home side off the hook. It was a similar story moments later with Perry Whiteley the guilty party as the Eagles failed to turn pressure into points. They would pay a heavy price when Wheeldon was sent to the bin for a cynical trip, and Scott Murrell dived under the posts shortly after. Tyrer converted.
On 24 minutes O’Brien fed Ben Johnstone for another converted try as Fax opened up an 18 point lead.
The tide was stemmed just past the half hour when the returning Wheeldon crashed over from close range, with Brown adding the extras.
But hopes of a second half comeback were dented when James Saltonstall struck a blow with a try three minutes after the interval, with Tyrer again converting. Andy Ambler also crossed five minutes later.
Weston was then sent to the bin following a scuffle and Fax took full advantage with Saltonstall going over in the corner. Tyrer converted.
Halifax took a firm grip when after Ryan Boyle was held up, Tyrer charged over on the next play but failed to convert his own score.
Eagles bagged a consolation try when good work from Dane Chisholm created an overlap for Ben Blackmore to score in the corner, but Brown missed the extras.
Straugheir also crossed the whitewash for a converted try after a short pass from Chisholm, but Fax had the last laugh as Saltonstall crossed for his hat-trick to seal a comfortable win.
HALIFAX: Sharp; Saltonstall, Tyrer, Wooodburn-Hall, Worrincy; Murrell, Johnston; Boyle, O’Brien, Calahane; Barber, Grix; Fairbank. Interchange: Morris, Wilkinson, Ambler, Lannon.
Scorers: Tries: O’Brien (4), Murrell (18), Johnston (24), Ambler (48), Saltonstall (43, 56, 79), Tyrer (60), Goals: Tyrer 5/8
SHEFFIELD: Chisholm; Lo, Yere, Whiteley, Blackmore; Brown, Minchella; Wheeldon, Fozard, Weston; James, Hope; Burr. Interchange: Straugheir, Trout, Scott, Harper.
Scorers: Tries: Wheeldon (32), Blackmore (63), Straugheir (74) Goals: Brown 2/3.
Referee: Chris Kendall.