Halifax are hoping the magic of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup will cast its spell on Friday night (7.30pm) when they bid to topple Super League opponents Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in an intriguing fifth round tie.
The Championship club go into the tie sitting in fourth place and in positive mood against an injury-hit Wakefield team who are rooted firmly to the foot of the Super League ladder having lost eight games in a row.
However, Halifax coach Richard Marshall believes that this could serve to make the Wildcats more dangerous than ever.
“I know Wakefield are having it tough at the moment but they are going to see this game as a way to improve the way their season is going,” said Marshall.
“We are putting a lot of concentration into progressing in the Cup, we see it as really important. We don’t want to waste the performance we put in against Barrow in the last round by getting eliminated on Friday. This is the most important game of our season so far.”
If Halifax can continue their fine form in the domestic competition, they will be heading straight for the Qualifiers when the Super League and Championship split after 23 rounds.
Marshall is aware that this is the point where the two teams could meet again and is keen to lay down a marker for any possible future meetings.
“There are some really interesting ties in this round of the Cup and it is important for us to give a good account of ourselves with the chance of getting into that middle eight,” said Marshall.
“I don’t feel like we’ve quite hit our straps yet this season but this game gives us the chance to lay down a marker, we want to maintain our strong performances.”
After convincingly beating Barrow 16-56 in the fourth round, former Ireland international Marshall knows that this tie is the next big step and that his players want more than anything to progress through to the next round of Rugby League’s most prestigious competition.
“There will be a massive step up in the performance level from the game against Barrow,” said Marshall.
“It would be fantastic for the club to get through to the next round, there would be the possibility of facing another Super League club and set our stall out in terms of the rest of the season.
“The sport is really starting to grow again in the town and getting through to the next round would just be an even bigger boost for the club.”