Championship preview: Halifax v Sheffield

Halifax had a fine win over London Broncos last week. Coach Richard Marshall said: “We played well and were good for the majority of the game. We had a patch in the second half where we fell off and, credit to London, they pulled the game back and made it a bit of a contest.

“But in the first half we played pretty quick and got a fair lead at half-time. I wouldn’t say the game was done then but coming away from Keighley, who hosted us, it was another ‘away’ game that we won.

“We’re looking forward to playing back at The Shay this week. Sheffield have a formidable pack, so it will be a great contest with our pack. They’ve got (Kyle) Briggs in the halves and we’ve got Scott Murrell, there’s match-ups all over the park.

“It will be an interesting one and one that’s we’re looking forward to. The field is in perfect condition so it will suit both sides. Sheffield can play some football and have a good kicking game. We like to throw it around as well and it would be nice if our wingers got on the scoreboard again.”

Wing Tommy Saxton is a doubt with a groin injury.

Mark Aston, the Sheffield Eagles coach, said: “We weren’t great last week but we won, we’re winning ugly, which is the sign of a good team. Defensively, I thought we were good, particularly in the second half. We looked very very strong but again, with ball in hand, we’re not fluent and hitting our straps yet and we need to start.

“There’s been a bit of soul-searching this week and a bit of honesty. I’ve talked about individual responsibility and accountability to the group and had a good response so hopefully we can start getting a bit of rhythm and momentum in our offensive play. We need to because Halifax are on fire at the moment.”

Prop Mitch Stringer and wing Rob Worrincy are both available.